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Proud Sponsor

Human Rights & Sexual Harassment - Prevent the Violations & Costs 

What employers can do to lessen the risk of a hard hitting damage award

Awards over $800,000 . Reinstatement (up to 12 years back pay)
Compensatory damages for injured feelings
Lost income claims (past and future)
Proof by inference defending the claim
The workers compensation defense
Both the size and volume of awards has increased significantly over the past 4 years.  The trend towards reinstatement at Human Rights Tribunals.

Learn of the new remedies and damage awards now available to employees. Understand the action you should take now to protect your organization and minimize risk.


Recent Damage Awards 

  • Calgary woman awarded $800,000 in sexual harassment claim 
  • $656,920 awarded for adverse treatment due to gender and retaliation
  • Ontario court of appeal decision upholds award of reinstatement plus 12 years back pay for failure to accommodate a disability
  • Ontario Human Rights Tribunal Award of 8 years pay for age discrimination
  • Ontario Human Rights Tribunal Award of 9 years wage differential paid for age discrimination
  • 10 years income loss awarded by Canadian Human Rights Tribunal for discrimination based on gender
  • Federal Human Rights Tribunal grants "10 years back pay" plus "5 years future pay" due to disability
  • 6 years lost income of $385,000 awarded due to mental disability
  • Human Right Tribunal awards lost earnings of $425,000 to minister adversely treated by a church 

Conference Agenda

8:00 am - Coffee9:00 am - Welcome + Introduction

9:10 am - Setting the stageDavid Harris
Author of “The Law on Workplace Sexual Harassment
in Canada”.


The rapidly changing environment
and escalating awards.
How to prove the case.
Navigating the landmines.9:45 am - Acting on behalf of the employee
Lior Samfiru,
Partner, Samfiru Tumarkin LLP

Human rights remedies.
Lost income claims (past and future)
Damages.  Reinstatement.

10:15 am - The Role of the Mediator and Arbitrator
Barry Fisher
Mediator and Arbitrator
Peter Israel
Mediator and Arbitrator

The negotiation and settlement process.
Assessing what is fair and how to get resolution including the tax consequences.
What should the employee get for giving up reinstatement.
How to maximize the chance of settlement.

11:00 am - The role of the Employment /Human Resources Consultant
Warren Shepell
Vice President, Client Relations and Communications
BizLife Solutions

What policies and practices organizations can
put in place to protect themselves.
How the HR consultant can engage before
an issue arises.

12:00 pm - Lunch

 

1:00 pm - Acting on behalf of the corporation
Lisa Talbot, Partner
Torys LLPHow to defend the case.
Policies in place?
Workers compensation - a defense?
Differences in Common Law and Human
Rights defenses1:45 pm - Family Status & Marital Status
David Law, Partner
Gowling WLG

Defining family status.
Adverse treatment.
Duty to accommodate.
Child care responsibility.
Elder care. Marital status definition.
Anti-nepotism policies.
Romantic relationships in the workplace.

2:15 pm - Panel Discussion

3:00 pm - Break

3:15 pm -The Public Relations Perspective
Susan McLennan
Principal, Reimagine PR

How companies can avoid toxic environments where violations flourish. Ongoing messages to foster a safe work place for all employees. Actions that can be taken if an incident arises.  How to mitigate the damage.

3:45 am - Investigations
David Whitten
Partner, Whitten & Lublin

The need to investigate.  Rules of investigation.
Damages for failure to investigate.
Use of results of investigations.

4:30 pm - Round Table Discussion

5:00 pm Cocktail Reception

The Speakers

Warren Shepell

Warren Shepell, Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology is Vice President Client Relations & Communications at BizLife Solutions, specializing in harassment prevention, management, consulting, and training from an overall organizational and human resources perspective. He and the mental health and business professional team at BizLife work with organizations to create mentally healthy and psychologically safe workplaces. Warren Shepell is a household name in Canada and among many companies in their executive and HR ranks and is well-known for his 25 years of Employee Assistance Services he provided through his firm he created and managed. Now, BizLife Solutions affords him the opportunity to move from treatment to prevention of mental health and emotional issues.

Read full bio here

Peter Israel

Repeatedly named as one of Canada’s most frequently recommended employment lawyers by The Canadian Legal LEXPERT Directory (each year since 1998) and listed in the American Lawyer Media’s Guide to the Leading 500 Lawyers in Canada, Peter is the founding partner of ISRAEL FOULON LLP, a boutique practice specializing in Employment and Labour Law. As counsel to management with more than 39 years of experience in employment and labour law, Mr. Israel has been awarded Martindale-Hubbell’s highest rating (“AV”) for his skills, integrity, and reputation.

Read full bio here

David Harris

David Harris practiced employment law in Canada from 1976 to 2011. He is the author of several employment law text books. His initial work “Wrongful Dismissal” was first published in 1978 and is updated monthly. It remains one of the preeminent texts in the area. He was the editor in chief of Canadian Cases on Employment Law from 1981 to 2012. He also recently authored Workplace Sexual Harassment in Ontario; Disability Issues in and Employment Context; The Written Contract of Employment; and Employment Law Human Rights Issues and co-authored The Law and Practice of Workplace Investigations.

 

Lisa Talbot

Lisa Talbot is a partner in Tory's Litigation and Dispute Resolution Practice and Pensions and Employment Practice. She is co-head of the Pensions and Employment Litigation Practice and also heads the firm’s Privacy Practice. Lisa’s practice focuses on employment litigation and advisory work, privacy and commercial disputes. She has appeared as counsel in the Superior Court of Justice and the Court of Appeal for Ontario, the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal, the Ontario Workplace Safety and Insurance Appeals Tribunal and in numerous mediations and arbitrations.

Read full bio here

Susan McLennan

Susan McLennan helps brands tell compelling stories that change minds and open hearts while managing their reputations in an increasingly complex and connected world. She is also adept at helping grass roots organizations disrupt existing narratives and news cycles. She chairs the board of Openmedia, an organization which campaigns to keep the internet affordable and accessible. The organization has grown from 0-700,000 engaged supporters in the last few years. She was key in building a signature PBS kids brand from its infancy to its place as one of the most trusted brands on the network. Sometimes she works top down with some of the world's most influential media outlets. Other times, she works bottom up, creating or overseeing digital campaigns that start movements and even change laws.

Read full bio here

 

Barry Fisher

Barry B. Fisher is a mediator and arbitrator in Toronto. His practice focuses on both labour matters as well as employment law matters. In 2011, Barry was awarded the Ontario Bar Association Award of Excellence in ADR. He is one of the most often chosen mediators for employment law cases under the Ontario Mandatory Mediator Program. He is the past Chair of the ADR Section of the Ontario Bar Association and was formerly on the executive of  the Ontario Labour Management Arbitrators Association and the Labour & Employment Section of the Ontario Bar Association.

David Whitten

David Whitten is a senior partner at Whitten & Lublin, a Toronto-based employment law firm focusing on the strategic resolution of complex workplace issues for both employers and employees. He has appeared before all levels of court in Ontario and a range of tribunals, including: The Ontario Labour Relations Board, Ontario Human Rights Tribunal, The Workplace Safety and Insurance Board and Workplace Safety and Insurance Appeals Tribunal.

Read full bio here

David Law

David Law is a partner in Gowling WLG's Employment, Labour & Equalities group. David is leader of the national OHS practice and executive editor of the Employment, Labour & Equalities newsletter.
David provides advice and advocacy to organizations in matters of crisis management, employment, labour, occupational safety, construction, human rights and workers’ compensation.
David was successful at the Supreme Court of Canada in a significant federal labour law matter. He has also appeared at the Ontario Court of Appeal, Superior Court and Provincial Court, boards of arbitration, the Canada Industrial Relations Board, the Ontario Labour Relations Board and the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario.

Lior Samfiru

Lior is a partner and the Labour & employment National Practice Leader at Samfiru Tumarkin LLP.

Lior has established a reputation as a leading employment lawyer in Canada.  Lior represents and advises both employees and employers with respect to all workplace matters, including employee terminations, wrongful dismissal, disciplinary issues, employment contracts and human rights.

Read full bio here

Robert Cooper

Rob Cooper is Managing Counsel, Employment Law at CIBC. Rob leads a team of pension and employment lawyers that advise CIBC and its subsidiaries in Canada on all employment-related legal matters.  In addition to managing an internal team of experienced counsel and directing external counsel, Rob advises senior business leaders at CIBC regarding actual and potential legal and reputational risks and ways to mitigate those risks.  Prior to joining CIBC in 2005, Rob practiced labour and employment law at Fasken Martineau in Toronto.

Thomas Santram

Thomas Santram is the Vice President, Legal and Chief Privacy Officer of Cineplex Inc.

Cineplex is one of Canada’s largest entertainment companies and operates in multiple business lines through its Canadian and U.S subsidiaries, including: cinemas, multi-purpose entertainment facilities, digital media and advertising, online gaming, amusement & arcade gaming and the SCENE loyalty programme.

Since joining the company in 2008, Thomas has been involved in all aspects of Cineplex’s operations.  Thomas practices primarily in the areas of commercial law, real estate law and privacy law.  Thomas also oversees intellectual property law, employment law and commercial litigation.

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Lynn Korbak

Lynn Korbak is a senior legal executive with more than 20 years’ experience acting as a general counsel and business executive.  Recently, she was General Counsel of the Canadian division of one of the world’s largest automakers, following more than a decade as General Counsel, Corporate Secretary and Chief Risk Officer in a fast-growing, public company with an international footprint. She has broad legal, business and strategic knowledge and expertise, operating under a variety of circumstances and regulatory regimes.

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Ryan Edmonds

Ryan Edmonds is the principal lawyer of Ryan Edmonds Workplace Counsel, a boutique firm that provides workplace law services to both employers and employees.  Prior to starting his own firm, Ryan practiced in the labour and employment law group of national law firm and clerked at the Ontario Labour Relations Board, where he was seconded during his articles.

Read full bio here