Agenda

September 8, 2022 | Online | 8:30 am – 2:20 pm ET

8:30 - 9:00 am

Registration & virtual orientation

9:00 - 9:05 am

Opening remarks

9:05 - 9:35 am

Case study: Legal Issues Surrounding Hybrid Work: A practical discussion for business professionals

In the aftermath of the pandemic, hybrid work arrangements have become the norm for many workplaces. While these arrangements have several benefits for both employees and companies, employers need to stay on top of policy and contract updates, and potential liabilities. This session will provide an overview of best practices for meeting all legal obligations associated with a hybrid workforce.

  • The remote workforce: the importance of the work from home policy relative to hybrid work arrangements
  • Understanding the legal implications of multi-jurisdictional worker
  • Employee repatriation to the office - constructive dismissal and failure to return to the workplace

Lorenzo Lisi

Partner, Aird & Berlis LLP

David A. Whitten

Founding Partner, Whitten & Lublin Employment Lawyer

9:40 - 10:10 am

Case study: An Update on Remote Workers’ Rights – Understanding your responsibilities

With the continued proliferation of hybrid workers across the workforce, employers in Ontario must now bear in mind two new workplace policy requirements: the electronic monitoring policy, and the ‘right to disconnect’ policy. This session will examine the rights of hybrid workers, and the responsibility of employers to ensure privacy and work life balance for their employees.

  • Ensuring compliance with the Working for Workers Act
  • Developing a ‘Right to Disconnect’ strategy while maintaining productivity
  • Does your organization need multiple ‘Right to Disconnect’ policies or one umbrella policy?
  • Preparing for compliance with Bill 88, and developing an electronic monitoring policy
  • Comparing Ontario’s ‘Right to Disconnect’ and electronic monitoring policies with those in the EU

Jonathan L. Dye

Partner, Filion Wakely Thorup Angeletti LLP

10:15 - 10:45 am

Case study: Investigating bullying and harassment, both in the office and virtually

With the continued return to the office, incidences of harassment and bullying have started to increase. 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 case study will provide an update on policies, procedures and prevention plans, and a look at effective workplace investigation strategies.

  • How to investigate incidents and reports of bullying and harassment among hybrid and in-office workers
  • Understanding how to identify and manage cases of virtual harassment
  • Best practices for conducting a workplace investigation in a hybrid workplace
  • Remaining compliant with recent changes to Canadian labour code regulations while conducting an investigation

Mike MacLellan

Partner, CCPartners LLP

10:50 - 11:20 am

Networking and coffee break: Q&A ‘Ask the Experts’ breakout

Have a question or comment for our panel of employment law experts? Join this short question and answer session to hear the answers to your most important HR and employment law queries.

Lorenzo Lisi

Partner, Aird & Berlis LLP

11:25 - 11:55 am

Case study: Accommodation in the workplace – Supporting the physical and mental wellbeing of employees

Employee wellbeing has suffered multiple setbacks in recent years, including health issues caused by long covid, and mental stress caused by the return to the office. Chronic mental and health issues are increasingly contributing to reduced productivity and resignations. This session will look at employers’ legal obligations to their workers, and how they can provide support by offering flexibility at work and episodic leave.

  • Understanding an employer’s duty to accommodate – stress, depression, long-term disability caused by COVID-19
  • Balancing the needs of your organization with employee wellbeing – when do you need to accommodate?
  • Weighing the benefits and legal implications of granting episodic leave
  • How to accommodate employees on return from extended leaves of absence

Melissa Roth

Partner, Gowling WLG

12:00 - 12:30 pm

Case study: An update on legal changes to OHS and a review of key cases

Changing health and safety legislation tops many employers’ list of challenges and concerns. More than ever, employers need to be aware of their changing OHS responsibilities and increasing penalties for non-compliance. This session will help employers stay on top of new OHS legislation and ensure that they are providing a safe working environment for employees and subcontractors.

  • An overview of new, higher fines for officers, directors, and supervisors
  • What does the new two-year limitation period to lay charges mean for your company?
  • Is your workplace now required to train workers on naloxone kits?
  • Assessing the impact of the Supreme Court case on employer liability for subcontractors

Ryan Conlin

Partner, Stringer LLP

12:30 - 1:00 pm

Lunch break

1:00 - 1:30 pm

Adapting to the Post-COVID world: How has the employment law landscape changed?

After two years of upheaval, the pandemic has caused a seismic shift in employment law, setting new precedents and permanently changing the way that people work. Many changes caused by the pandemic are still working through the system, and employers need to be aware of their responsibilities, and the changing rights of workers. This session aims to help employers identify what needs to change in their organization to be ready to meet new requirements.

  • Ensuring continued health and safety in hybrid work settings after the removal of COVID regulations
  • Does a temporary layoff due to COVID constitute a constructive dismissal?
  • An update on recent Supreme Court decisions on EDEL
  • What are the future implications of constructive dismissal cases caused by COVID?
  • Understanding new legal precedents set by cases based on vaccine refusal

Christopher A. Sinal

Partner, Siskinds LLP

1:35 - 2:15 pm

Panel: Understanding recent trends in just cause terminations to limit exposure to legal issues

Terminations are some of the biggest challenges facing HR professionals and require detailed awareness of employees’ rights and employers’ obligations. This panel will examine recent trends and themes in just cause termination cases, and identify what employers need to be aware of when negotiating contracts and handling workplace incidents.

  • Managing the potential increase in harassment and bullying claims
  • Overview of recent cases upheld on common law instead of statutes
  • Understanding the legal implications of the Render v. ThyssenKrupp Elevator case
  • Dealing with the ongoing uncertainty caused by the Waksdale v. Swegon North America decision
  • Tips for drafting enforceable termination clauses to minimize liability

Moderator:

Matthew Certosimo

Partner, Borden Ladner Gervais LLP

Panelists:

Jeffrey E. Goodman

Partner, Mathews Dinsdale & Clark LLP

Nancy M. Shapiro

Partner, Koskie Minsky LLP

Greg Smith

Partner, Lighthouse NINE Group

2:15 - 2:20 pm

Closing remarks

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