Notes of Investigations

Investigators should never promise witnesses that the information they provide in the course of an investigation will be kept confidential. The employee who is the subject of the investigation may well have the right to access the information at some point during the disciplinary process or in a legal process arising out of the discipline. It is possible, however, to state to witnesses that the information will not be disclosed unless the employer is compelled by law.

Any notes kept by the investigator during the investigation are not generally shared with the employee during the disciplinary process. The employee may make an access request for the notes but the request will then be evaluated in accordance with the principles of LAFOIP. The information, or some of the information, may be exempt on one or more of the following basis:

  • it would disclose personal information of another party; and/or
  • it was provided by a third party in confidence and is collected for the purpose of evaluating the suitability of the employee for employment.

Opinions about another individual are personal information of the subject individual and must be treated in the same manner as any other record containing personal information.

If a report is completed by the supervisor that incorporates the information from the investigation, the investigatory notes do not need to be retained. It would, however, be good practice to do so until the disciplinary action is taken and all appeals from the action have been concluded.

As part of due process the employee is entitled to know the case that one needs to answer but this is not an automatic right to all records.