Employment Lawyer, Workplace Investigator & Mediator
*Catalina sirve a sus clientes en Español
|Law School||University of British Columbia and Universidad de Los Andes|
|Hometown||Bogota, Colombia and White Rock, B.C.|
|When not at work |
|Playing hangman with my daughter, walking the Maltipoo, running, reading, working out at home and hoping Covid lets me go back to a gym soon|
|Certifications||CPHR (Chartered Professional in Human Resources) COC (Certified Organizational Coach)|
|Awards||None since Law school, when in first year I received the Outstanding Service award from the Law Students Legal Advice program|
|Languages||Spanish, English and conversational rusty French|
|Ice Cream Flavour||Chocolate + Limoncello on a waffle cone|
|If I wasn’t a lawyer |
I would be
|A ballet dancer, a yogi, a writer, a neuroscientist, a biologist. Do I have to choose one?|
|Book Recommendation||In Search of Human Nature, Mary E Clark|
|Community Work||Past president of the Board of Directors of West Coast Leaf|
Career Mentor – Mosaic Workplace Connections Program
Mentor – Canadian Hispanic Bar Association
My clients are humans first and foremost, and their legal problems at work impact their health and their lives. I am passionate about service and bring a mindful approach to everything I do, personally and professionally.
I have been practicing employment and labour law in B.C. since 2006. I have worked in private practice with a large national firm and regional firm representing companies, and with a small firm representing mostly employees. I have also been in-house counsel for employment matters and Director of Human Resources for a large retailer. Prior to joining Forte Law, I was Head of Employee Relations for the Canada operations of a global bank. At Forte Law, I have a mixed practice advising employers and employees. All of these experiences have given me a broad range of perspectives on issues that matter to my clients, and allow me to provide very practical advise.
As a workplace investigator, I have particular expertise in bullying and harassment issues in a broad range of sectors.
As a mediator, I assist parties with resolving disputes related to the workplace, whether the dispute is arising from personal relationship issues, or whether the dispute is under active litigation. My mediation credentials include my experience as a Certified Organizational Coach from UBC and the Advanced Mediation course through the Justice Institute of B.C.
Growing up in Bogota, Colombia, I attended Universidad de Los Andes Law School where I represented the law school in an international human rights moot court competition. I interned with a global law firm and after practiced with a commercial and insurance firm. Upon immigrating to Canada, and working in the legal field on various capacities, I went back to law school, this time at the University of British Columbia. I have a CPHR designation (Chartered Professional in Human Resources).
I am a facilitator and trainer on compliance topics as well as on leadership development, amongst them, diversity and inclusion. I am trauma-informed, and have a keen interest in non-violent communication. My young daughter and I live and play in beautiful South Surrey/White Rock in the vicinity of Forte Law
I would like to complement and recommend Forte Law’s Catalina Rodriguez and Sarah Ewart for successfully concluding a contentious labour matter for my company. They have dispelled the myth that you have to go to downtown Vancouver to find good legal help. I was pleased to find this conveniently located White Rock law firm that was able to provide me with professional, competent, and friendly service.
– Russ C.
Catalina took on my case and made me feel very comfortable and safe. It was a difficult time that was made very smooth and I never had to worry about being taken advantage of. It’s hard to trust someone in sensitive circumstances, but I never had a doubt. I would recommend her to anyone going through a difficult time with employment. She will have your back 100%
It was a fortunate day when I sought legal support from Catalina Rodriguez. I was in a situation where I felt overwhelmed and unprepared. Catalina’s strong communication skills and ability to project logic over chaos put me at ease immediately. I felt like I was receiving both excellent strategic legal advice, and kindness and understanding. Catalina is a lawyer who is both excellent in her field and exemplary as a caring human. She guided me to a fruitful conclusion to my legal matter. The only sad part is that we miss her!
In a very difficult time in my work life I found myself needing legal help. As I’m sure many feel about obtaining Legal Counsel, it is a bit of a difficult and an unforeseen expense. Forte Law (specifically Catalina Rodriguez) was completely transparent with her billing from the get go and never varied from her original position. Catalina was informed, professional and had a demeanor that comforted me when I needed it most. At no time during a lengthy process did I have any problem reaching Catalina nor her support staff. All my queries were answered with importance and professionalism. At times though there were several questions that I asked by impulse. Those questions were answered seriously and with a recognition that the questions, although they may not have been completely relevant to my situation, but were important to me. I would ask Catalina to help me in a workplace situation again without hesitation.
Catalina in the news
The Law Times | Catalina on diversity, inclusion and leadership
The Globe and Mail | Should my employer be paying for my COVID-19 tests if they’re making it a new requirement for the job?
HR Law Canada | Catalina writes on the importance of bystander intervention to prevent and address bullying and harassment
SHRM | Catalina comments on workplace investigations
SHRM | Catalina comments on microaggressions
Advisor Magazine | Catalina comments on the human rights compliance aspect of “quiet quitting”
PeopleTalk magazine Winter 2021 | Catalina wrote about conducting workplace investigations under the Canada Labour Code
The Corker Collective Podcast. Episode #187, March 8, 2022. | Catalina was interviewed by Stephanie Corker on various legal topics
The Joyful Practice for Women Lawyers Podcast. Episode #48, April 20, 2022. | Catalina was interviewed by Paula Price on courageous conversations at work, harassment, money and advocating for yourself
Catalina’s latest blogs
- Four Things to Consider When Adopting a Parental Leave Policy
- Workplace investigations under the Canada Labour Code
- Is your lawyer a great coach?
- Four reasons to investigate a complaint – even if the employee has quit
- The buzz on diversity & inclusion… and the law
- Trauma-Informed Workplace Investigations – Five lessons from the trenches