Gillian Shearer Bio

Gillian Shearer

A founding partner of Shearer Parnega, LLP, Gillian Shearer is an experienced workplace investigator, mediator and human rights and employment lawyer. 
 
After practicing as an Associate at a prestigious boutique labour and employment firm and a global law firm, Gillian moved to in-house roles. Most recently, Gillian was Ethics and Privacy Officer for one of the world’s largest nuclear facilities.  In this role, she was responsible for implementation of the Code of Conduct program and for neutrally conducting and overseeing all Code of Conduct investigations in a highly regulated and heavily unionized environment.  Gillian has spent half her career acting as a labour and employment lawyer advocating for clients, and half her career as a neutral.
 
Having conducted over a 1000 workplace investigations, Gillian has expertise in dealing with a myriad of misconduct allegations including workplace theft, fraud, harassment, sexual harassment, poisoned work environment, breach of contract, conflict of interest, workplace violence, safety violations, email and internet abuse and retaliation.  Gillian has a reputation for being a fair and thorough workplace investigator.  She has also trained Human Resources professionals and Front Line Managers on how to conduct proper workplace investigations.  
 
Gillian recently authored a book entitled, “The Law and Practice of Workplace Investigations” (Emond Publishing, November 2016). In addition, Gillian has written several articles on the effective conduct of workplace investigations, and has been engaged by LexisNexis as a key expert contributor to “Practice Advisor” in the area of workplace investigations. Gillian has also presented on key issues pertaining to workplace investigations, including “Bill 132: Ensuring a Safe Workplace Free of Harassment” (Ontario Bar Association: February 8, 2017).
 
In addition to her expertise as a workplace investigator, Gillian also has experience mediating workplace conflict and in assisting clients with improving workplace culture through both workplace culture assessment and workplace restoration.
 
As a labour and employment lawyer, Gillian has experience in dealing with a wide variety of workplace law issues, including performance management, human rights, wrongful dismissal, employment agreements, termination of employment rights and obligations, statutory compliance, the implementation of effective workplace policies, including the introduction of global and local ethics and Code of Conduct hotline programs. Gillian also acted for her clients in employment related mediation and litigation.
 
Gillian is best known for her tenacity her thoroughness. While getting to the bottom of the issues is central to her approach, her philosophy is to ensure that through this process, she maintains the dignity of those involved, and upholds existing relationships, particularly with union representatives. And, of course, where appropriate, Gillian uses good old-fashioned humour to alleviate the stress typically involved in workplace conflict situations.
 
Education and Certifications
 
Admitted to practice law in Ontario, February 2002
LL.B, Queen’s University, 2000
Bachelor of Arts (Honours), Queen’s University, 1995
Investigation Certification, John E. Reid & Associates
Certified Compliance and Ethics Professional
 
Professional Associations
 
Association of Workplace Investigators
Ontario Bar Association
Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics