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Serious insight for serious situations.

Serious insight for serious situations.

Workplace & Institutional Investigations


As the preeminent firm in Canada to focus solely on this complex and challenging type of work, Rubin Thomlinson is synonymous with workplace and institutional investigations — operating with efficiency, sensitivity, and sureness. We are frequently retained to conduct impartial workplace investigations across Canada, in both English and French.

Our expertise in this field is considerable — spanning diverse sectors, provinces, and situations. The definitive text on workplace investigations, Human Resources Guide to Workplace Investigations, was written by Rubin Thomlinson’s managing partners.

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Investigation Support

In addition to conducting investigations for our clients, Rubin Thomlinson also provides second opinions, oversight, and support for internal workplace investigators and their counsel as they conduct their investigations. We ensure your investigations are legally defensible, well-reasoned, and sound. This supporting role can include:

  • Helping your internal investigator develop an investigation plan
  • Drafting interview questions
  • Assessing evidence
  • Fielding concerns or uncertainties that arise
  • Advising on unexpected developments or complications
  • Guiding the report writing process

This service is particularly valuable to internal workplace investigators who may not have experience dealing with complex investigations, and to teams of internal investigators who wish to optimize and standardize their practice across their organizations.

We also provide tactical training on the investigation process for your internal workplace investigators. In addition to this training, we can review your existing communications and training programs, and make recommendations that will support your policies and investigative process.

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Our approach

Impartial and objective.
We are widely relied upon for our rigour and neutrality, and fiercely protect our workplace investigations’ integrity.

We do not rely on speculation or presumptions, but on facts, evidence, and carefully considered assessments of credibility.

Legally defensible.
We conduct intelligent, thorough, and legally sound investigations, ensuring that all aspects are carefully examined and considered.

We are honoured to be frequently called upon for our reputation as the foremost firm for workplace and institutional investigations. We take this reputation very seriously, and aim in every investigation to uphold the faith all parties place in us.

We respect the urgency behind workplace investigations, and conduct our work with constant consideration for efficiency.

We are trained in trauma-informed practice, and are conscious of minimizing any risk of retraumatization while conducting our investigations.

We know how stressful and intimidating an investigation can be. We see workplace investigations as an opportunity to not only ascertain the facts, but to allow all parties to feel heard.

We recognize the sensitive nature of workplace and institutional investigations, and take great care to protect the privacy interests of all involved.

Types of complaints

We have conducted high-stakes, high-profile workplace and institutional investigations into the following types of complaints:

  • Sexual harassment
  • Sexual violence
  • Hostile work environment
  • Bullying and psychological harassment
  • Policy breaches
  • Statutory violations
  • Racial harassment and workplace discrimination
  • Code of conduct violations and other employee misconduct
  • Systemic discrimination
  • Abuse of authority
  • Whistleblower reports
  • Conflict of interest
  • Financial impropriety
  • Academic misconduct
  • Incivility
  • Workplace Violence & Harassment Investigations under the Canada Labour Code

Investigative challenges

We have considerable expertise with the following investigative challenges:

  • Anonymous complaints
  • Allegations of sexual harassment without a witness
  • Anonymous complaints to a board
  • Historical allegations
  • Allegations shared in confidence
  • Rumours of harassment or misconduct
  • Multiple complainants
  • Complaints from both sides
  • New allegations made during the course of an investigation
  • Complainants who recant
  • Public allegations

Sectors of experience

We have conducted workplace and institutional investigations across Canada in the following sectors:

  • Financial services
  • Professional services firms
  • Media, entertainment & culture
  • Advertising and marketing
  • Sports organizations
  • Retail companies
  • IT and technology
  • Universities and colleges
  • Public and private/independent schools
  • School boards
  • Unions
  • Government & municipalities
  • Not-for-profit organizations
  • Healthcare and hospitals
  • Policing
  • Property management and condo boards
  • Manufacturing
  • Transportation
  • Aerospace
  • Mining and construction
  • Telecommunications

Related services

In addition to traditional workplace investigations, we are also often asked to utilize our investigative expertise and insight to assist our clients in addressing workplace issues in other ways, such as:

Workplace assessments
We strategically and sensitively gather information on the culture, practices or behaviour in the workplace, and pinpoint the root causes of conflicts or issues.
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Whistleblower & Ombuds Services
We provide an independent whistleblower and ombuds service for clients. This service provides employees of our clients with access to one of our trained team members who can receive whistleblower reports, complaints or hear concerns, independent of the employer’s organization.
Learn more

Training for HR, managers and internal counsel
We provide a range of workplace investigation training courses, as well as customized training, so organizations are better equipped to address complaints of workplace sexual harassment, bullying, misconduct, and other types of workplace issues.
Learn more