This post discusses some of the action steps and tactical considerations in the wake of discovering a serious wrongdoing by an employee. For more severe wrongs, I suggest that it becomes more rather than less important to preserve an employee’s ongoing legal obligations of good faith by maintaining their employment while conducting a procedurally fair investigation. This can be carried out in tandem with various forms of damage control. Finally, this post sketches some of the potential end games after discovering a suspected wrongdoing.
Confidentiality and trade secrecy claims often run aground on legal procedure issues relating to the scope of the claim and the exchange of evidence. If left too wide, speculative claims may lead to impossible discovery battles or unjustly chill departing employees and competitors. If made too narrow, a plaintiff be unable to fairly test the merits of their case. The British Columbian Court of Appeal reasoning in Steelhead LNG Limited Partnership v. Arc Resources Ltd., 2022 BCCA 128, provides a rare appellate level analysis of how this balance is to be struck.