14 HRPA CPD Seal

This program has been pre-approved for 6 CPD hours by HRPA.

Employment Law Masterclass

10 September 2018 - Toronto

  Introduction from chairperson
9:15am   Discipline, termination and mental health

This session will provide HR professionals with guidance on dealing with underperforming or toxic employees who suffer from disclosed (and undisclosed) mental health issues.

  • Mental health and disruptive behaviour - balancing the needs of the individual with the interests of the business
  • Which performance management plans are appropriate for employees with mental health issues?
  • Step by step guide to investigating and managing a potential undisclosed mental health issue that may be impacting performance or behavior


Kevin Robinson, Partner, Robinson Heeney

10:00am   Accommodating employees with mental health issues

When it comes to mental health, it can be particularly difficult to determine when the duty to accommodate arises. This session will discuss best practices for approaching the accommodation process in cases involving complex mental health issues.

  • When will the duty to accommodate be triggered in a mental health context?
  • Where do courts draw the line between duty to accommodate and undue hardship?
  • How to handle employees who do not cooperate with requests for medical information
  • Mental health accommodation in safety-sensitive roles – when will employee safety be considered to be an ‘undue hardship’?
  • Balancing accommodation on mental health grounds with client and employee safety
  • Documentation and procedural requirements for processing mental health accommodation requests
  • Striking a balance between the rights of the employee and the obligations of HR professionals to ensure a productive and safe workplace


Maria Gergin, Senior Associate, Borden Ladner Gervais

10:45am   Morning tea

Coffee brought to you by

11:15am   Accommodation: family status, medical records and undue hardship

This session will discuss the duties and responsibilities that arise in the accommodation process in cases that do not involve mental health issues. The limits to the duty to accommodate and best practice procedural guidelines for requesting medical information will also be covered.

  • At what point is an accommodation request considered to cause undue hardship?
  • When can you deny an accommodation requests to work from home?
  • How far does an employer have to go to accommodate individuals who have non-work related illness or injuries?
  • Updates in family status and elder care accommodation requests
  • Resolving situations in which an individual employee's rights conflict with that of another employee
  • Terminating an employee with a disability - when is an employment contract "frustrated" by an employee's disability?


Brian MacDonald, Partner, Filion Wakely Thorup Angeletti LLP

12:00pm   Sexual harassment in the workplace

The #metoo movement and high profile sexual misconduct allegations have elevated the profile of workplace sexual harassment. What HR policies and procedures will effectively prevent sexual harassment in the workplace?

  • What behaviour constitutes sexual harassment under the Ontario Human Rights Code and Occupational Health and Safety Act
  • Balancing pressure to ‘believe the women' with employee rights to due process
  • Step by step guide to investigating sexual harassment complaints
  • How to handle confidentiality requests from complainants during workplace investigations
  • Dealing with false accusations – what penalties should apply?
  • Can HR professionals conduct sexual harassment investigations in the absence of an official complaint?
  • Does a release signed by a complainant upon the termination protect the employer from future allegations? Watson v. The Governing Council of the Salvation Army of Canada, 2018


Muneeza Sheikh, Partner, Levitt LLP

12:45pm   Lunch
    1:00pm – 1:30pm Lunch & Learn brought to you by Homewood Health Centre

Workplace Mental Health: Shifting to a Model of Prevention

This session will provide HR professionals with an understanding of the workplace factors that impact mental health. Psychological health problems amongst Canadians are common, and constitute a large economic burden, much of which is absorbed by employers. As adults spend much of their time at work, the workplace plays a significant role in their physical and psychological health. A stressful and non-supportive workplace can contribute to the onset of a psychological disorder or exacerbate the severity and functional impact of an existing condition. On the other hand, a positive and supportive workplace can enrich psychological well-being and enhance employee engagement, effectiveness, and productivity. This session presents an opportunity to talk about the benefits of proactively supporting workplace mental health.

  • What is the Canadian National Standard for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace
  • Thirteen workplace factors affecting employee psychological health
  • Emerging legal duty to create and maintain a psychologically safe workplace
  • Benefits of creating a psychologically healthy workplace
  • Building a business case for prevention
  • Practical benefits and key takeaways


Dr. Ashley Spetch Ph.D, Vice President, Workplace Health and Research

1:45pm   Clarifying ongoing misunderstandings relating to Bill 148

Significant set of amendments come into force on January 1, 2018 as a result of Bill 148, the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017.

  • Clarifying the "equal pay for equal work" amendments to the Employment Standards Act, 2002
  • How are the Ontario courts interpreting the phrase ‘substantially the same’?
  • How to process requests from employees under the Equal Pay for Equal Work section of the ESA
  • How to document exemptions for seniority, merit, productivity system, or some other non-discriminatory factors
  • What qualifies as evidence that is “reasonable in the circumstances” for the purposes of Personal Emergency Leave (PEL)?


Christopher Burkett, Partner, Baker McKenzie

2:30pm   Afternoon tea

Coffee brought to you by

2:45pm   Pay Transparency Act, 2018 – obligations for employers

Coming into force on 1 January 2019, the Pay Transparency Act, 2018 will require employers in Ontario to disclose information about the compensation of its employees and prospective employees.

  • What can employers ask a candidate about their compensation history?
  • What type of behaviour is classified as intimidating, dismissing or otherwise penalizing employees for making inquiries about their compensation?
  • Reporting obligations and penalties for non-compliance


Jennifer Hodgins, Senior Associate, Norton Rose Fulbright

3:30pm   Complex termination cases: constructive dismissal, just cause and termination provisions and payments

This session will discuss practical lessons from recent cases involving just cause, constructive dismissal and termination provisions in Ontario.

  • Step by step guide to disciplining and terminating an employee for poor performance
  • When does a change to a job description constitute constructive dismissal? Hagholm v. Coreio Inc.
  • What are the courts awarding employees for moral damages? Galea v. Wal-Mart Canada Corp
  • Best practice guide to terminating an employee under the Canada Labour Code
  • Tips for drafting termination provisions– lessons from Nemeth v. Hatch Ltd., 2018 and Bergeron v. Movati Athletic (Group) Inc., 2018
  • When do common law "reasonable notice" periods apply?
  • Reasonable notice period calculations – lessons from Dussault v. Imperial Oil Limited, 2018


Stephen Wolpert, Partner, Whitten and Lublin

4:15pm   Legalization of marijuana: Implications in the Workplace

The much-anticipated imminent legalization of marijuana presents HR professionals in Ontario with several challenges. This session will provide practical guidelines for drafting and implementing effective policies and procedures relating to marijuana in the workplace.

  • How to prohibit the use of marijuana in the workplace
  • When can you submit employees to drug testing?
  • Accommodation - dealing with situations where substance use involving marijuana is characterized as a disability
  • Lessons from University of Windsor v Canadian Union of Public Employees, 2017
  • Tips for drafting workplace drug and alcohol policies


Daryl Cukierman, Partner, Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP

5:00pm   Close



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General Information

Karen Tan
Event Coordinator

P: +1 416 644 8740 ext. 278

E: karen.tan@keymedia.com


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