Ontario Employment Law Conference Agenda

You'll find all the top issues employers in Ontario are facing on the agenda for this year's Employment Law Conference. Join us June 2, 2016, and as always we'll make sure you Learn the Latest® and leave ready to manage your workforce and workplace.

Employment law experts from Stringer LLP, plus Human Rights Chief Commissioner Renu Mandhane, will cover the following topics:

8:00 a.m.

Continental breakfast and registration

9:00 a.m.

Opening Remarks – Yosie Saint-Cyr

9:05 a.m.

Ryan Conlin

Getting ready for the WSIB experience-rating revolution
– Ryan Conlin

CAD-7 and NEER will soon be a thing of the past. Prepare your organization for the new WSIB revenue regime and discover the latest return-to-work strategies. We will review the future of SIEF and provide guidance on how to respond to the new system.

This session will cover:

  • How the new system could affect your organization's WSIB premiums
  • Strategies for reducing the risk of surcharges
  • What to expect in regard to the timing and roll out of these changes

9:45 a.m.

Jessica Young

Bill 132 and the new sexual violence and harassment rules for employers – Jessica Young

New rules are coming for employers to address sexual violence and harassment in the workplace. Learn what your organization will need to do to be compliant.

This session will provide guidance on:

  • What changes you will need to make to your workplace violence and harassment policies and programs
  • Bill 132's new investigation requirements
  • Best practices for responding to harassment allegations

10:15 a.m.

Question and answer session

10:30 a.m.

Networking break

10:45 a.m.

Allison Taylor

Constructive dismissal and suspensions: the supreme court weighs in – Allison Taylor

Employee suspensions, whether disciplinary or administrative, raised thorny issues for employers, including whether or not they will trigger a constructive dismissal. The Supreme Court of Canada recently issued a decision that could have significant implications for employers considering a suspension of an employee.

This session will review:

  • The test for constructive dismissal and how it applies to employee suspensions
  • Different types of suspensions and how they can be used
  • Circumstances where an employer may be able to impose a disciplinary suspension

11:30 a.m.

Jeff Murray

The continually evolving law of privacy and what it means for employers – Jeff Murray

The Ontario Court of Appeal broke new legal ground in 2012 when it created a new privacy tort in the case of Jones v. Tsige. There have also been developments in the criminal law context. The result has been an increase in the risk of liability for employers for breaches of employee privacy.

This session will review:

  • Recent decisions on the law of privacy
  • How a recent amendment to the Criminal Code could affect employers
  • Best practices for employers to avoid liability for breaches of employee privacy

12:00 p.m.

Question and answer session

12:15 p.m.

Lunch presentation – Renu Mandhane, Chief Commissioner of the Ontario Human Rights Commission

Renu Mandhane will speak about some of the key human rights issues that arise in employment, likely covering such topics as disability and the duty to accommodate, understanding and accommodating for creed, pregnancy and breastfeeding, workplace dress code issues, removing "Canadian experience" barriers, preventing sexual and gender-based harassment, and mental health/addiction issues.

1:30 p.m.

Jeremy Schwartz

Employment standards update – Jeremy Schwartz

Recent changes to the Employment Standards Act have been causing employers some headaches. The Ministry of Labour is also signalling that new changes may be coming. Meanwhile, the Ministry's continuing spot audits mean that employers must stay on their toes when it comes to compliance.

This session will review:

  • The challenges created by the new employee leave rights and how to respond to them
  • The status of the Ministry's Changing Workplaces Review and what the review could mean for employers
  • The latest enforcement trends from the Ministry of Labour

2:00 p.m.

Landon Young

Family status accommodation: how far do employers have to go? – Landon Young

Family status accommodation continues to be a hot area of litigation with new decisions adding new wrinkles to the extent of this duty. Find out where the lines are being drawn in regard to how far employers have to go to accommodate employees with family care responsibilities.

This session will cover:

  • The potential scope of the duty to accommodate employee child care needs
  • What information employers can require to substantiate employee accommodation requests
  • How far employees must go to show they have taken reasonable measures themselves to meet family care obligations before requesting accommodation

2:30 p.m.

Question and answer session

2:45 p.m.

Networking break

3:00 p.m.

Breakout Sessions

This year you will have an option of attending one of the following three sessions.

Session 1: Accommodating employee disabilities


  • The duties on employers imposed by The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act
  • How to prepare an effective accommodation policy
  • What medical information employers may or may not ask for when considering accommodation
  • Best practices for addressing employees with mental health disabilities

Session 2: Terminations of employment


  • How to assess your organization's potential liability to employees upon termination of employment
  • The options for structuring employee severance packages so as to minimize the risk of litigation without overpaying
  • When to assert just cause and how to do it
  • The do's and don'ts for carrying out employee terminations

Session 3: Responding to workplace accidents


  • The accident reporting obligations employers have
  • How to deal with Ministry of Labour inspectors following an accident
  • Why your organization should have an accident response plan and how to prepare one
  • When there could be charges and how to get ready to defend them

4:00 p.m.

Conference closes

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Don't forget your continuing education hours!

This program is approved for 6.25 HRPA CPD hours. Contact Denise at 1 (800) 750-8175 to get yours.

The conference also qualifies for up to 5.25 hours of human resources law content, which may apply toward substantive CPD hours for lawyers and paralegals. In addition, this program complies with the Quebec requirements for activities automatically recognized as "out-of-province" activities.