Sarah Atkinson

Sarah’s focus is on helping resolve workplace disputes constructively and respectfully. She regularly conducts independent and neutral workplace investigations into human rights and other workplace issues, such as personal harassment and bullying. She also provides assessment, facilitation, and mediation services for various types of workplace conflict. In addition, Sarah provides training on human rights, harassment, and other issues in the workplace as well as training on how to conduct workplace investigations.

Sarah practiced in-house with a union in federal labour relations for more than six years. She then moved to private practice with a leading human resources law firm for several years, where she focused on representing management in human rights, employment standards, and labour relations. She has worked in her current independent third-party role since 2004. Sarah works with a wide range of federally- and provincially-regulated organizations, unionized and non-unionized, in both the public and private sectors.

In conducting investigations and assessments, Sarah applies her diverse background in labour and management as well as her strong people skills. This gives her a unique perspective and independence in making factual findings and in preparing balanced, well-written, and thoughtful reports that workplace parties can rely upon and use effectively to move forward in difficult situations.

Sarah’s training materials and workplace investigation expertise were relied upon and referenced by Elaine Newman in her 2012 Lancaster publication “Violence and Harassment in the Workplace: A Practical Guide to Ontario’s Bill 168 For Employers, Unions and Employees”.

Education:

  • B.A., McGill University 1987
  • LL.B., University of Ottawa (French Common Law) 1990
  • LL.B., Université Laval (Civil Law) 1991
  • LL.M., Osgoode Hall, York University (Labour Relations & Employment Law) 2005
  • Advanced Certificate in Dispute Resolution, York University 2007

Year of Call:

  • 1993 – Ontario Bar
  • 1994-2011 – Québec Bar

Professional and Community Affiliations:

  • Ontario Bar Association (Sections: ADR, Labour Relations, French Speaking Lawyers)
  • Corporate Human Rights Practitioners Group (CHRP), Organizing Committee Member
  • Member, 100 Women Who Care Toronto

Bilingual: English/French