EMPLOYMENT LAW IN 2024:
ACCOMMODATIONS, FAMILY STATUS, AND MORE

February 15, 2024 | Online

#CLEmploymentLaw

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This Masterclass has been approved for the following hours:
CPHR Alberta – 4 hours and 35 mins
CPHR British Columbia – 4.58 hours
HRPA – 4.5 hours
Law Society of Ontario – 45 minutes of Professionalism Content and 30 minutes EDI Professionalism Content
Law Society of British Columbia – 4.5 hours of Professionalism Content

ABOUT


In recent years, Canada has witnessed significant developments in its employment law landscape, reflecting the evolving nature of work growing expectations of the workforce.
 
The Employment Law Masterclass brings together labour and employment lawyers, and inhouse counsel for an update on all things employment law.
 
You’ll walk away with answers to questions like:
 
• What are the critical employment law implications of AI in the workplace and how best to address the risks? 
• What are some best practices for mitigating the risk of constructive dismissal and without cause termination cases?
• How can employers mitigate their civil litigation risk and what do they need to know about the tort of harassment?
• What is the key need-to-know aspects of the new CRA reporting obligations for settlement and contractor agreements?
• What are the latest trends and related challenges of human rights accommodation?    
 
This program will feature a line-up of leading employment law experts, who will provide you the answers you need on your most pressing employment law questions and concerns.
 
Mark your calendar for this day-long event – you don’t want to miss out on this conversation.

Why attend?

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    Engage with top legal experts and in-house counsel – share insights, explore new ideas, and tackle workforce challenges

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

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    Discuss key legal considerations in terminations and best practices for ensuring the enforcement of severance provisions

SPEAKERS


Nancy Shapiro
Nancy Shapiro

Partner
Koskie Minsky LLP

Rich Appiah
Rich Appiah

Founder
Appiah Law

Lorenzo Lisi
Lorenzo Lisi

Partner
Aird & Berlis LLP

David A. Whitten
David A. Whitten

Founding Partner
Whitten & Lublin PC

Kristen Pennington
Kristen Pennington

Partner
McMillan LLP

Laura Blumenfeld
Laura Blumenfeld

Partner
Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP

Keri Bennett
Keri Bennett

Counsel to the ‎Employment and Data Protection
Privacy and Cybersecurity Groups, DLA Piper (Canada) LLP

Matt Chapman
Matt Chapman

Partner
Spring Law

Rachel Turnpenney
Rachel Turnpenney

Partner
Turnpenney Milne LLP

Ryan Morris
Ryan Morris

Tax Partner, Chair
Tax Group, WeirFoulds LLP

Jeff Hopkins
Jeff Hopkins

Partner
Grosman Gale Fletcher Hopkins LLP

Madeleine Loewenberg
Madeleine Loewenberg

Co-Founder
Loewenberg Psarris Workplace Law LLP

AGENDA


All times in ET
  • Registration and virtual orientation
  • Opening remarks
  • Panel: Best practices for mitigating the risk of constructive dismissal and without cause termination cases

    Employers have seen an increased risk of successful wrongful termination claims while facing a host of new termination legal issues. Constructive dismissals claims can be a lengthy and difficult process for employers and can often drag on for extended periods. As well, dismissing employees without cause can be a potential legal minefield and reflect poorly upon you as an employer. This discussion will look at steps employers can take to minimize the risks associated with terminating employees and constructive dismissals.

    • Overview of recent constructive dismissal cases: determining when an employee can make a claim for wrongful dismissal
    • Determining what is reasonable notice and who is entitled to receive it
    • How changes to an employee’s duties and responsibilities can lead to a constructive dismissal: changes an employer can make to an employee’s terms and conditions of employment
    • How workplace environment can create a risk of constructive dismissal
    • Constructive dismissal allegations in the realm of harassment
    • Establishing reasons for dismissal: Proving just cause, defining gross misconduct, demonstrating progressive discipline
    Moderator
    Nancy Shapiro
    Nancy Shapiro

    Partner
    Koskie Minsky LLP

    Panelists
    Rich Appiah
    Rich Appiah

    Founder
    Appiah Law

    Lorenzo Lisi
    Lorenzo Lisi

    Partner
    Aird & Berlis LLP

    David A. Whitten
    David A. Whitten

    Founding Partner
    Whitten & Lublin PC

  • Employee Monitoring: Employees’ Rights and Employers’ Obligations

    Hybrid and remote working arrangements, the ever-increasing availability of monitoring technologies and tools, and employers’ interest in protecting their confidential information and assets are just a few of the factors leading to increased instances of employee monitoring in Canadian workplaces. This session will examine how employee monitoring is regulated across Canada, summarize recent case law and regulatory guidance related to employee monitoring, and provide practical tips for how employers may balance employee privacy concerns with their privacy and data protection obligations and business goals.

    Kristen Pennington
    Kristen Pennington

    Partner
    McMillan LLP

  • Legal implications of AI in workplace

    It is critical that organizations stay ahead of the potential legal implications resulting from the rapid development of AI and its applications in the workplace. Responsible and effective integration of AI systems into the workplace can be greatly enhanced through the development of effective AI policy. This session will explore the legal implications of the growing use of AI and provide best practices for avoiding potential liabilities

    • Impact of AI on employers and employees: overview of the benefits of AI in HR
    • Overview of the rapidly evolving legal and regulatory landscape surrounding AI
    • Best practices for drafting effective AI policies that provide for ethical AI use, ensuring fairness, transparency, privacy, and accountability to mitigate legal risks
    • Ethical and legal issues surrounding the use of AI: Potential legal risks in using AI tools for HR management decisions
    • Risks regarding the protection of personal information associated with the use of AI: Privacy, data and human rights concerns
    • Addressing the built-in consideration of biases when implementing new AI systems
    • AI’s role in the hiring and recruitment process: Legal risks associated with automated hiring tools
    • Strategies for effective collaboration between counsel, executive teams, and tech departments in developing and implementing AI initiatives
    Laura Blumenfeld
    Laura Blumenfeld

    Partner
    Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP

    Keri Bennett
    Keri Bennett

    Counsel to the ‎Employment and Data Protection
    Privacy and Cybersecurity Groups, DLA Piper (Canada) LLP

    Matt Chapman
    Matt Chapman

    Partner
    Spring Law

  • Lunch break
  • Key employment contract and policies considerations: Focus on terminations

    Employers have seen an increased risk of successful wrongful termination claims while facing a host of new termination legal issues, including the questioning of the enforceability of severance provisions. To avoid higher severance payments and potential damages, employers need to draft effective employments contracts and policies to limit entitlement upon termination. This session will explore the latest legal developments pertaining to employment contracts and key policies, with a focus on recent cases and trends in terminations in order to provide best practices in refining the drafting of theses documents.

    • Recent case law and legislative developments affecting the enforceability of employment agreements and termination clauses
    • Key considerations in creating compliant policies to limit entitlement and liabilities upon termination
    • Enforceability of restrictive covenants during and after the termination of employment: non-competition, non-solicitation and confidentiality clauses
    • Strategies for negotiating and drafting employment contracts: newest and best practices for matters to include in employment contracts
    • Practical tips for contracting for remote and hybrid work: type of policies to address entitlements upon terminations and addressing jurisdictional issues
    • Defining amounts payable and not payable for incentive compensation upon termination
    • Best practices for changing terms of employment
    • Practical insights into termination agreements: type of severance provisions to include in employment agreements
    • Incentive plans best practices: necessary treatment, what language do you need in plan to limit an employee’s entitlement to bonus compensation or long term incentives
    Nancy Shapiro
    Nancy Shapiro

    Partner
    Koskie Minsky LLP

  • The tort of harassment: Mitigating employers’ civil litigation risk

    Employers’ civil litigation risk is on the rise, with wrongful dismissal actions, mental distress claims and class actions based on discrimination and harassment having become more common, and the level of damages increasing significantly. A recent Alberta case became the first in Canada to recognize the tort of harassment. This decision has the potential to open the floodgates for harassment lawsuits. This session will examine the implications of a tort of harassment, the latest legal developments regarding workplace harassment, and strategies for mitigating employers’ civil litigation risk.

    • Trends that increase employers’ civil litigation risk: Emerging common law obligations
    • Best practices for updating your workplace policies, procedures, and prevention plans to mitigate risks
    • Implications of a tort of harassment for employers
    • Practical tips for drafting a stand-alone bullying policy: creating procedures for addressing complaints including cyberbullying
    • Criteria for establishing a successful claim for harassment: proactive measure employers can take to establish defences to an employee’s claim
    • Addressing the rise in employers’ vicarious liability for the conduct of their employees
    • Trends in damage rewards
    Rachel Turnpenney
    Rachel Turnpenney

    Partner
    Turnpenney Milne LLP

  • Networking and coffee break
  • Impact of new CRA reporting obligations for settlement agreements and contractor agreements

    Recently expanded mandatory disclosure rules in the Income Tax Act (Canada) may require employees/contractors and employers to disclose (A) an allocation of non-taxable damages within a wrongful dismissal settlement, and/or (B) a contractor arrangement where the worker could be characterized as an employee. This session will examine these new rules and their implications for employees/contractors and employers.

    • Reporting obligations and tax treatment of general damages in a wrongful dismissal settlement
    • Reporting obligations of independent contractor arrangements where the worker could be characterized as an employee
    • Can employment lawyers have their own reporting obligation?
    • Exceptions to reporting obligations and the due diligence defence from penalties
    • Structuring possibilities to avoid reporting obligations
    • What does the CRA say?
    Ryan Morris
    Ryan Morris

    Tax Partner, Chair
    Tax Group, WeirFoulds LLP

  • Human rights Accommodation challenges in the workplace

    The changing nature of the workplace has introduced more complex accommodation challenges for organizations. For example, a recent B.C. Court of Appeal case clarified and enhanced the circumstances for family status accommodation, as well, addressing the issue of substance impairment can be a legal minefield, especially in the case of ‘legal’ impairment. This session will review recent developments and emerging issues in accommodation and provide practical strategies for employers on how to best assess and approach requests for accommodation.

    • New accommodation challenges employers are facing: Best practices for responding and meeting the duty to accommodate
    • Impact of Gibraltar Mines Ltd. v. Harvey: the legal test for family status discrimination in BC
    • Best practices for employers when receiving accommodation requests
    • Proactive steps you need to take to ensure you are properly accommodating employees’ needs to avoid future litigation
    • Assessing and accommodating claims citing the inability to go back to work: How to re-integrate employees on return from extended leaves of absence
    • Establishing best practices for dealing with legal impairment such as medical marijuana
    • Practical advice on how to prepare and implement policies on substance use and impairment
    • Legal concerns in conducting workplace alcohol and drug testing
    Jeff Hopkins
    Jeff Hopkins

    Partner
    Grosman Gale Fletcher Hopkins LLP

  • Conducting effective workplace investigations: Best practices for responding to incident reporting

    Despite increased attention being paid to incidents of harassment, bullying, or racism in the workplace, complaints of this type continue to abound. Employers need to ensure that they can deliver a rapid response to incidents as the potential consequences of a flawed investigation can be devastating. This session will provide best practices for the steps involved in conducting investigations in order to ensure a thorough, impartial approach to dealing with a claim and mitigating potential liabilities.

    • Developments in law and emerging trends related to responding to workplace complaints: learning from recent cases regarding the appropriate scope of an investigation
    • Best practices for handling allegations of workplace misconduct: key steps for navigating an effective workplace investigations
    • Establishing effective policies for investigating incidents of bullying and harassment
    • Determining who should carry out investigations: deciding to keep investigation in-house or to outsource
    • Ensuring procedural fairness in investigations: best practices for conducting investigations in an unbiased and compliant manner
    • Strategies for addressing the challenges of conducting investigations in a remote work environment
    • Steps to be taken to protect privacy and whistleblowers
    Madeleine Loewenberg
    Madeleine Loewenberg

    Co-Founder
    Loewenberg Psarris Workplace 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

THANKS FOR TAKING PART IN EMPLOYMENT LAW MASTERCLASS 2024

Missed this year’s event? Register your interest to participate in the next Employment Law Masterclass

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