TORONTO – The union representing CBC employees is warning members that what they tell an investigator looking into the broadcaster’s handling of workplace harassment allegations against Jian Ghomeshi could be held against them by management.
The Canadian Media Guild issued a memo today saying that while it is “strongly supportive” of the investigation, it has “some concerns” about how the information garnered from interviews with employees will be used.
The memo says the investigator — Janice Rubin — will be recording the interviews and may pass the recordings to management, who could then rely on the information to discipline employees.
Marc-Philippe Laurin, president of the CMG’s CBC branch, says “no employee should be put in a position of exposing themselves to discipline based on information they themselves have provided.”
Rubin, a Toronto employment lawyer with expertise in workplace harassment, was chosen last month to lead an independent investigation into the scandal that has erupted around Ghomeshi, the former host of the radio show “Q.”
She will report to senior CBC management about what her investigations uncovered along with recommendations on resolving any complaints, and report separately on what the broadcaster should do to prevent any similar issues arising in the future.
The CBC fired Ghomeshi, 47, on Oct. 26 after seeing what it called “graphic evidence” that he had caused physical injury to a woman.
He is also facing five criminal charges — four counts of sexual assault and one of choking — stemming from alleged incidents involving three women.
Ghomeshi has admitted he engaged in “rough sex” but insisted it was always consensual.
He has been released on bail and his lawyer has said he will plead not guilty.