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Basic Workplace Investigation Techniques

Rubin Thomlinson Workplace Training and Consulting Inc


Date: July 16-18, 2019

Time: 9:00AM-4:00PM

Location: The Westin Ottawa
11 Colonel By Drive
Ottawa, Ontario K1N 9H4

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

Ottawa session - July 16-18

In addition to learning about the fundamentals of investigating workplace complaints outlined above, this session is designed to:

  • explore the current realities of diverse workplaces, particularly as they include Indigenous peoples; and
  • highlight the legislative changes relating to Bill C-65.


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.

Marisha Roman brings analytical skills, curiosity and perseverance—as well as respect and empathy—to her role at Rubin Thomlinson. She excels at interviewing, analyzing the evidence and reaching a conclusion supported by the facts while ensuring the process, which is understandably difficult for everyone, is respectful. Marisha focuses on the issues as well as the people in the investigation. She appreciates the opportunity to support the people involved in resolving conflicts. And, she understands that a thorough, timely and fair investigative process will lead to a sound decision. For Marisha, the foundation for a sound investigation is asking effective questions. She says, “asking questions that will support the process requires that you pay close attention to the person in front of you. You need patience to pick the right question, preparedness to ask the questions that are needed and compassion when listening to the answers.”

At Rubin Thomlinson, Marisha employs her more than 20 years of expertise in working with people from diverse communities, in particular, First Nation, Métis and Inuit communities. Marisha brings experience in investigations in various settings, including post-secondary institutions, workplaces and community-based organizations and extensive experience in working with clients to seek alternative resolution processes, including mediation and talking circles, and workplace restoration. Marisha is certified in Adult Learning and Development (OISE) and has experience in delivering training on policy and procedures and principles for creating inclusive workplaces.


16 - 18 July 2019
Ottawa, Ontario