TRAVERSING THE NEW NORMAL: LEGAL INSIGHTS FOR 2023

November 1, 2022 | Online

#CLEmploymentLaw

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    4.5 hours

ABOUT


The Canadian Lawyer’s Employment Law Masterclass West is designed to provide busy legal professionals with a comprehensive overview of workforce obligations in the ever-shifting employment landscape. This comprehensive program will feature a line-up of top firms and lawyers who will provide solutions to your biggest challenges and answer your most pressing questions.

What critical matters should employers be aware of in the new workplace? What are some essential employment considerations in the hybrid workplace model? How can they proactively minimize potential workforce disruption? What trends have the biggest impact on employers’ legal duties and obligations in this new era?

The Employment Law Masterclass West has the answers you need, all available in a convenient, one-day virtual event. Make sure you’re part of the conversation.

Why attend?

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    Engage with some of the biggest names in the field and get the solutions to your biggest workforce challenges

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    Examine legal guidelines regarding privacy and surveillance technology

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    Review employers’ duty to accommodate employee needs such as human rights, mental health, and family status accommodations

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    Discuss constructive dismissal guidelines in the post-pandemic world

SPEAKERS


Adrienne Couto
Adrienne Couto

Director, Labour and Employment Counsel
UPS Canada

Alison Adam
Alison Adam

Partner
McLennan Ross LLP

Carman Overholt
Carman Overholt

Managing Partner
Overholt Law LLP

Keri 	Bennett
Keri Bennett

Partner
Roper Greyell

Melanie Samuels
Melanie Samuels

Partner
Singleton Urquhart Reynolds Vogel LLP

Melanie Vipond
Melanie Vipond

Partner
Gall Legge Grant Zwack LLP

Steve Eichler
Steve Eichler

Partner
Field Law LLP

Wilson Chan
Wilson Chan

Partner
Mathews, Dinsdale & Clark LLP

Jill Wilkie
Jill Wilkie

Partner
Miller Thomson LLP

AGENDA


All times in MT
  • Registration & virtual orientation
  • Opening Remarks
  • Best practices for meeting legal obligations associated with a hybrid and remote workforce

    The growth of remote and hybrid working environments, which rapidly emerged out of necessity during the pandemic, have now become the “new normal” for many employers. The quick adoption of these practices was often done without full consideration of all the consequent legal issues and obligations. Now with workers wanting to maintain these flexible working conditions, employers need to be aware of all legal issues, as well as all potential liabilities associated with remote work. This session will provide an overview of best practices for meeting all legal obligations associated with a hybrid workforce.

    • Emerging liability risks: constructive dismissal claims, return to work vs remote work policies, infectious disease leave, mandatory vaccines, and violations of safety protocols
    • Ensuring continued health and safety in hybrid work settings
    • Protecting management’s right to adjust hybrid work practices to meet organization’s evolving needs
    • Establishing effective work from home policy
    • Understanding the legal implications of multijurisdictional worker
    • Constructive dismissal issues and failure to return to the workplace
    Adrienne Couto
    Adrienne Couto

    Director, Labour and Employment Counsel
    UPS Canada

    Melanie Samuels
    Melanie Samuels

    Partner
    Singleton Urquhart Reynolds Vogel LLP

  • Legal considerations in terminations: Reducing missteps and legal claims

    Employers have seen an increased risk of successful wrongful termination claims while facing a host of new termination legal issues arising out of the pandemic and new working environment, With terminations due to poor performance or chronic absenteeism and wrongful dismissal claims being a lengthy, difficult and costly processes, it is essential that employers are well versed in the latest practices to better protect themselves during the termination process. This panel will examine recent trends in just cause termination cases, and identify what employers need to be aware of when negotiating contracts and handling workplace incidents.

    • Terminations and termination clauses in the context of COVID – impact on severance payments
    • Determining what qualifies as constructive dismissal in the workplace
    • Risks in relying on forfeiture clauses in equity and incentive plans and contractual termination clauses to limit termination-related liabilities: enforceability of these clauses in light of recent court decisions
    • Best practices for managing the termination process: Performance reviews and disciplinary actions
    • Tips for drafting enforceable termination clauses to minimize liability
    • Key considerations in structuring the severance package: addressing bonuses, commissions, pension plans, life and health benefit extensions
    Carman Overholt
    Carman Overholt

    Managing Partner
    Overholt Law LLP

  • Networking Break
  • Investigating bullying and harassment claims in the workplace

    Despite increased attention being paid to workplace harassment and bullying, along with enhanced legislative efforts to address the problem and the growing adoption of anti-harassment policies and programs by organizations, these types of complaints in the workplace continue to abound. Employers need to ensure that their policies and protocols are up to date, and ready to deal with workplace behaviour issues when they arise. This session will provide an update on policies, procedures and prevention plans, and a look at effective workplace investigation best practices.

    • Developments in law and emerging trends in practice pertaining to workplace harassment & bullying: Overview of related legislative requirements
    • Understanding the legal definitions of harassment and bullying and obligations of employers
    • How to update policies and protocols to reflect current legal requirements
    • Understanding how to identify and manage cases of virtual harassment
    • Best practices for handling allegations of harassment in the workplace: practical tips for avoiding common procedural errors in conducting effective investigations
    Alison Adam
    Alison Adam

    Partner
    McLennan Ross LLP

    Melanie Vipond
    Melanie Vipond

    Partner
    Gall Legge Grant Zwack LLP

  • Legally managing employee use of social media

    Social media has become an integral part of our society, and as a result, employers must be keenly aware of the ways in which employee social media use can affect have a serious impact on their business and take action to protect themselves from harm. This session will explore the legal steps employers can take to properly manage and address employee use of social media, as well as the permissibility of monitoring discipling for employee social media use.

    • Social media concern for employers over employee use of social media
    • Key considerations in for developing a social media policy
    • Best practices for adapting the employment contract to address social media issues: impact of social media on restrictive covenants
    • Legal pitfalls in disciplining employees for social media use
    • Legal implications of monitoring employee social media use
    Wilson Chan
    Wilson Chan

    Partner
    Mathews, Dinsdale & Clark LLP

  • Networking and coffee break
  • Addressing new developments in accommodation: focus on mental health issues

    The workplace is constantly changing, and the circumstances in which an employer has a duty to accommodate continue to expand. The pandemic ‘s impact on the workplace has introduced more complex mental health challenges and related accommodation issues for organizations. It is critical that employers are well informed on the evolving issues and are up to date on their legal obligations. This session will look at proactive steps that employers can take to ensure they are properly accommodating employees’ mental health needs before liability issues arise.

    • Employers’ legal duties with respect to human rights and mental health accommodation: Legal requirements for accommodating employees citing mental health issues
    • Emerging challenges and duties of accommodation for mental health disabilities in the new hybrid work environment
    • Factors to consider when deciding types of accommodation
    • Limits to accommodation: Undue hardship and a bona fide occupational requirement
    • Dealing with complex and difficult accommodation requests: types of HR and mental health accommodations employers are facing
    Jill Wilkie
    Jill Wilkie

    Partner
    Miller Thomson LLP

  • Privacy and surveillance technology issues

    During the pandemic, technology not only allowed employees to work remotely, but it also offered employers new ways to track, monitor and analyze workers through the use of new forms of digital surveillance. As such, the remote work environment has given rise to new privacy concerns for employees. This session will examine employer and employee rights under current privacy laws and regulations.

    • Review of laws regarding how employers collect, use and disclose employee data
    • Requirement to give notice to employees and clarify the purpose of collecting personal information
    • Legal ramifications of increased use of employee monitoring software in remote workplaces: employees’ right to privacy in their homes vs. employers’ interests in supervising employees working from home
    • Limits on accessing employees’ social media during the lifecycle of the employment relationship
    • Establishing policies regarding electronic monitoring of employees
    Keri 	Bennett
    Keri Bennett

    Partner
    Roper Greyell

  • Emerging workplace health and safety issues

    Evolving occupational health and safety law and workplace arrangements continue to present ever-increasing risks and complexities for employers. It is critical that employers monitor, update and put into practice the workplace requirements of health and safety and related

    legislation. This session will explore practical challenges ensuring a safe and healthy and legally compliant work environment and the requirements of ensuring health and safety compliance in hybrid work settings.

    • Overview of provincial health and safety standards, emergency orders and municipal by-laws
    • Types of health and safety issues and requirements for remote workers: how are RTO and hybrid work environments incorporating OHS practices
    • How to best enforce on-site health and safety protocols and practices
    • Nuances of work refusals due to ‘unsafe conditions’
    • Vaccine mandates in workplaces: recent case law
    • Dealing with the emerging aggressive stance on OHS compliance and penalties for non-compliance: New legislated sentencing factors, increased limitation periods and penalties for directors, officers, and individuals
    • Conducting meaningful review of corporate health and safety policies and programs
    Steve Eichler
    Steve Eichler

    Partner
    Field Law LLP

  • Closing remarks

Sponsors


Contact us about partnership opportunities

VIRTUAL PLATFORM


What makes this virtual event so innovative?

Using cutting-edge technology to provide a cloud-based virtual forum, this innovative event allows attendees all over the country to connect by signing in from their office, home, mobile phone, tablet or computer.

This virtual destination is the perfect platform for bringing the industry together. Step into the virtual expo to visit booths, arrange one-to-one chats, gain or distribute brand awareness and leverage new connections in a timely and exciting way.

Much like an in-person conference, a virtual conference is an online event that brings together top industry experts and industry peers on a single day. It also enables you to:

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  • Connect with a wider audience

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  • Engage with our speakers in a live Q&A

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  • Connect with industry leaders dedicated through 121 live chats

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  • Thought-provoking topics

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  • Build your contact base and easily share details

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  • Access sessions after the event, On-demand

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  • Visit booths in the partner lounges area

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  • Gain critical industry insights

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  • Accessible web, mobile, live and on demand

Registration for the Employment Law Masterclass West 2022 is open

Prepare yourself for a new year ahead with some of the province’s top firms and specialists. Enhance your knowledge base, develop powerful legal strategies, and get ready to tackle the biggest challenges in employment law, from new laws for hybrid workers to evolving policies on employee monitoring.

CONTACT US


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