As an infant, Zaheer arrived in Canada as a refugee following the expulsion of South Asians from Uganda. As such, early in his childhood Zaheer felt a desire and obligation to ensure that whatever career path he took would be for the betterment of those who were marginalized or disadvantaged.
This shaped his career path from assisting individuals with autism, downs syndrome and other disabilities in his early twenties, to assisting those affected by poverty and limited resources at a community legal clinic, to being employed with the Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee where he represented individuals whose mental and physical capacity was compromised. Subsequently, Zaheer channeled his need to protect the most vulnerable by embarking on a career as a child protection lawyer; an emotionally demanding role to say the least.
The early part of Zaheer’s career was devoted to child protection prosecutions where, for over 10 years, he assumed the task of training social workers across the province on how to conduct investigations in an anti-oppressive manner. Through this work, Zaheer became familiar with investigation techniques and strategies and now applies these strategies and techniques in conducting workplace investigations.
While he was passionate about child protection issues, Zaheer was drawn towards HR law and would find himself reading articles and case law on the topic in his spare time. He also thought back to how much he enjoyed this area when he was in law school. After considering how this had always been a strong interest, Zaheer took the bold step of changing career paths after many years in practice. But he did not want to join any employment law practice: he wanted to work with a firm where he could incorporate his knowledge of investigation skills and his understanding of issues that impacted upon marginalize groups. In 2011 Zaheer joined Bernardi Human Resource Law and his new career quickly became a renewed passion.