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Basic Workplace Investigation Techniques

Rubin Thomlinson LLP


When: May 14-16, 2019

Where: Vancouver Marriott Pinnacle Downtown Hotel
1128 W Hastings St,
Vancouver BC V6E 4R5

Time: 9:00AM-4:00PM

If a complaint of workplace harassment is made, do you know how to respond, investigate, and report on it — legally and correctly? If you don’t, you aren’t alone. This 3-day course is a crucial primer for today’s climate. Investigate mock complaints (inspired by our work across the country) from start to finish, build your investigation skills, and learn how to avoid costly pitfalls. The third day focuses on mastering report writing.

All participants will have the opportunity to practice their investigation skills by conducting a live interview of the complainant, the respondent or witnesses.

Participants will also receive a copy of Human Resources Guide to Workplace Investigations, Second Edition — the definitive text authored by Janice Rubin and Christine Thomlinson.

What you'll learn:

  • Which legal requirements and human resources considerations trigger an investigation
  • Whether an investigation should be conducted internally or externally
  • How to plan your investigation and set up your process
  • How to determine your mandate
  • What to include in pre-investigation communication to the parties
  • Who to interview, and in what order
  • How to prepare for and conduct investigation interviews
  • How to collect and record evidence
  • How to approach decision making
  • How to avoid common investigation pitfalls
  • How to write a thorough and defensible report that will “stick”
  • How to organize your report and what to include in it
  • How to deal with credibility issues
  • How to deal with tricky evidentiary issues
  • How to avoid common reporting pitfalls


Christine Thomlinson is the co-founder and co-managing partner of Rubin Thomlinson LLP, recognized in 2016 by Canadian Lawyer Magazine as one of the top 10 Labour and Employment Law Boutiques in the country.

Christine understands and is sensitive to the challenges that businesses face. Recognizing that sometimes the law does not fit with a client’s business reality, Christine has a gift for exploring creative solutions, helping her clients to look at issues objectively and explaining things in a way that people understand. over 20 years of experience, she has become a trusted advisor to senior human resource professionals, providing counsel on pursuing employee relationships that support her clients’ business objectives. Christine is renowned for her knowledge, strategic and innovative thinking and ability to provide solutions to challenging workplace issues.

Regularly appearing on the Best Lawyers and Leading Practitioners lists in Canada, Christine is recognized as one of Canada’s leading employment lawyers. Along with the late Mr. Justice Randall Scott Echlin, Christine co-authored the best-selling employment law guide, For Better or For Worse – A Practical Guide to Canadian Employment Law. Now in its 3rd edition, the book remains a prime resource for human resource professionals and students across Canada.

In addition to her depth of expertise in employment law, Christine and Rubin Thomlinson are considered leading authorities in the area of workplace harassment, workplace investigation and workplace reviews.  Christine and her colleagues work across the country, and have conducted various high profile investigations/reviews in workplaces such as the CBC, the Canadian Olympic Committee and the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador. Their expertise is reflected in the best-selling, Human Resources Guide to Workplace Investigations, written by Christine and her partner, Janice Rubin, as well as in the extensive training curriculum they have developed to enable employers to conduct effective workplace investigations themselves under increasing regulatory scrutiny.

With seven years of legal expertise, and a focus on criminal law, Elizabeth Bingham brings a high level of skillfulness to Rubin Thomlinson. Her expertise includes cases with challenging factors — such as potentially contradictory evidence, reluctant interviewees, and the implications of disability, mental health, and class.

Elizabeth’s practical, methodical process and problem-solving nature have proven assets to her clients: allowing her to parse the facts reliably and responsibly, even in convoluted cases, while minimizing stress and slowdowns for all involved. She is also a strong listener, offering all parties a compassionate and considerate presence to share their stories.


This program has been approved for 18 CPD hours by the Chartered Professionals in Human Resources of British Columbia & Yukon.


14 - 16 May 2019