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Alison Renton

Lawyer & HR Advisor

Expertise

  • Sophisticated workplace investigations, with a focus on harassment and discrimination
  • Resolving workplace conflict including through mediation
  • HR management advisory services
  • Employee advisory services
  • Human rights advice for employers and employees
  • Training about investigations, accommodation and respect in the workplace

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PhilosophyIn a word: Respectful

Treating people respectfully is a principle that is important to Alison. In addition to ensuring that’s how she treats others, it’s a principle that is embedded in her work, including respect training and conducting investigations in a respectful and fair manner.

BA (Hons.), English Literature: Queen’s University, LL.B: University of Windsor, practicing since 1993

Accomplishments

Alison is an experienced litigator who has attended hundreds of hearings and mediations, either as a lawyer representing her client or as a Vice-chair with the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario (“HRTO”).

Alison is an experienced writer. As Vice-chair with the HRTO, Alison issued over 600 written and reported decisions, as well as many unreported written directions, on sensitive human rights issues.

Since joining Bernardi, she has successfully built an investigation practice, for private and public provincially and federally regulated employers, primarily focused on harassment and discrimination, and through her work has travelled to interesting parts of Canada, including northern Alberta, northern Ontario, and Nunavut.

Backstory

Little did Alison know that working on the construction site of nuclear power station as a summer student would have a significant impact on her future career as a lawyer, and in the field of labour, employment, and human rights law.

She held a bargaining unit student position and when she reached the maximum amount of time permitted to be a unionized summer student, she was transferred into a non-bargaining unit student position in human resources and labour relations. One summer she participated in negotiating 13 collective agreements and observed, first hand, different unions’ picket lines. These gave her insights into workplaces and people, which aptly describe her legal practice.

An interesting tidbit

Alison has been where few others have been: to the top of a nuclear reactor! While working as a summer student on the construction site of a nuclear station, she had the opportunity to tour the station while it was being built. Donning her hardhat, safety glasses, and safety shoes, she climbed up steep metal ladders and walked along the steel mesh cat walks at the top of (non-working) nuclear reactors to gaze down hundreds of meters to what would later become fuel bays. She stood close enough to the reactors to touch them!

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