ACCOMMODATIONS, FLEXIBLE WORK, AND MORE: A LEGAL UPDATE FOR 2024

February 22, 2024 | Online
#HRDEmploymentLaw
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  • Employment Law Masterclass Vancouver has been approved for the following hours:

    CPHR Alberta and British Columbia – 4 hours 
    HRPA Ontario – 4 hours
    Law Society of British Columbia – 4.5 hours

ABOUT


The Employment Law Masterclass Vancouver will provide human resource professionals in British Columbia with a critical update on 2024’s evolving employment law landscape. With legal obligations becoming increasingly complex in a more unpredictable working world, organizations must ensure they are aware of best practices and understand how to avoid potential pitfalls as they manage their workforce needs. Covering topics ranging from expanding accommodations and flexible work arrangements, to the tort of harassment and the growing use of AI, our line-up of legal experts will have the answers you need to manage your most pressing HR challenges. Discover the insights you need for the year ahead, all in one informative, strategy-focused day.

Why attend?

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    Unpack new case law, legislation and regulation developments

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    Learn how to identify and respond to harassment and bullying in the workplace, and best practices for workplace investigations

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    Explore your new responsibilities and the evolving grounds for accommodation

SPEAKERS


Eleni Kassaris
Eleni Kassaris

Partner
Dentons

Matthew Cooperwilliams
Matthew Cooperwilliams

Partner
Cooperwilliams Truman LLP

Christopher Drinovz
Christopher Drinovz

Partner
KSW Employment Lawyers

Sandra Guarascio
Sandra Guarascio

Partner
Roper Greyell LLP

Robyn Jarvis
Robyn Jarvis

Partner
Harris & Company LLP

Kacey Krenn
Kacey Krenn

Partner
Harris & Company LLP

Jay Lannon
Jay Lannon

Lawyer
Forte Workplace Law

Victoria Merritt
Victoria Merritt

Associate
Dentons

Paul Pulver
Paul Pulver

Partner
Pulver, Crawford Munroe LLP

Andrew Schafer
Andrew Schafer

Partner
Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP / S.E.N.C.R.L., s.r.l.

Shana Wolch
Shana Wolch

Partner
McCarthy Tetrault LLP

Jae-Yeon Lim
Jae-Yeon Lim

Corporate Immigration Lawyer
Harris & Company LLP

AGENDA


All times in PT
  • Registration & virtual orientation
  • Opening remarks
  • Legal implications of AI in workplace

    AI is playing an increasingly important role in HR management, capable of assisting or altogether automating HR’s hiring, performance management, and disciplinary processes. However, along with the efficiencies that AI presents to HR professionals, it also raises legal risks. This session will explore the growing use of AI in HR management and highlight the legal implications, providing best practices for avoiding potential liabilities.

    • Impact of AI on employers and employees: AI technology to screen resumes, analyze interviews, and issue disciplinary decisions
    • Legislative responses to AI use by employers: Navigating the rapidly evolving legal and regulatory landscape surrounding AI
    • Ethical and legal HR 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 risk of biases when using AI: Legal risks associated with automated hiring tools
    • Best practices for drafting effective AI policies that provide a roadmap for ethical AI use, ensuring fairness, transparency, privacy, and accountability to mitigate legal risks
    Shana Wolch
    Shana Wolch

    Partner
    McCarthy Tetrault LLP

  • Panel: Key employment contract considerations: Focus on terminations

    The increasing complexity in employment law has made the careful drafting of employment agreements more critical than ever before. 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. This session will explore the latest legal developments pertaining to employment contracts, with a focus on recent cases and trends in terminations and best practices for avoiding higher severance payments and potential damages through effective employment contract drafting.

    • Recent decisions and legislative developments affecting the enforceability and interpretation of employment contracts, incentive plans and termination clauses
    • Understanding what constitutes wrongful dismissal in BC: overview of recent case law on wrongful dismissal claims
    • Managing the termination process to mitigate liability: adequate notice, severance payments, and proving just cause
    • Enforceability of restrictive covenants: how to minimize the risk of your contract being found as unenforceable
    • Best practices for changing terms of employment: Addressing issues of variances, averaging agreements and overtime
    • Practical tips for contracting for remote and hybrid work: type of policies that you would want to have in place to address entitlements upon terminations
    • Defining amounts payable and not payable for incentive compensation upon termination: what constitutes appropriate severance
    • Practical insights into type of severance provisions to include in employment agreements
    Moderator
    Matthew Cooperwilliams
    Matthew Cooperwilliams

    Partner
    Cooperwilliams Truman LLP

    Panelists
    Kacey Krenn
    Kacey Krenn

    Partner
    Harris & Company LLP

    Paul Pulver
    Paul Pulver

    Partner
    Pulver, Crawford Munroe LLP

    Andrew Schafer
    Andrew Schafer

    Partner
    Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP / S.E.N.C.R.L., s.r.l.

  • Diversity, equity & inclusion in the workplace: Implications of BC’s new Pay Transparency Act

    DEI issues are increasingly important, as businesses seek to enhance engagement, develop a sense of belonging among employees, and ensure pay equity in line with new legislation. BC’s Pay Transparency Act, enacted in May, 2023, has laid the groundwork for substantial legal duties and reporting obligations for employers aimed at ensuring fairness in the workplace. This session will explore the provisions and requirements of the Act.

    • Assessing requirements of and interplay between Multiculturalism Act, Accessible BC Act, Anti-Racism Data Act and Pay Transparency Act
    • Integrating diversity and inclusion policies and protocols into the workplace
    • Key provisions and requirements of the Act: what HR professionals need to know
    • What enforcement of the Act may look like: Expectation for penalties
    • Updating employment policies and employment contracts to comply with the Act
    • Establishing data collection and reporting procedures: Types of information required and acting upon findings
    • The need to update HR systems to prepare for data collection
    Eleni Kassaris
    Eleni Kassaris

    Partner
    Dentons

    Victoria Merritt
    Victoria Merritt

    Associate
    Dentons

  • 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.

    Matthew Cooperwilliams
    Matthew Cooperwilliams

    Partner
    Cooperwilliams Truman LLP

    Eleni Kassaris
    Eleni Kassaris

    Partner
    Dentons

    Victoria Merritt
    Victoria Merritt

    Associate
    Dentons

    Paul Pulver
    Paul Pulver

    Partner
    Pulver, Crawford Munroe LLP

    Andrew Schafer
    Andrew Schafer

    Partner
    Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP / S.E.N.C.R.L., s.r.l.

  • Effective strategies for conducting workplace investigations: Best practices for responding to incident reporting

    The conducting of workplace investigations has become a critical component of the HR function. With the potential liabilities of a flawed investigation growing significantly, employers need to ensure that they can deliver a rapid response to incidents and conduct investigations in a timely, unbiased, and compliant manner. This session will provide best practices for conducting investigations and mitigating potential liabilities.

    • Developments in law and emerging trends related to responding to workplace complaints
    • 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: legal requirements
    • Strategies for addressing the challenges of conducting investigations in a remote work environment
    • Steps to be taken to protect privacy and whistleblowers
    Sandra Guarascio
    Sandra Guarascio

    Partner
    Roper Greyell 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
    Robyn Jarvis
    Robyn Jarvis

    Partner
    Harris & Company LLP

    Jae-Yeon Lim
    Jae-Yeon Lim

    Corporate Immigration Lawyer
    Harris & Company LLP

  • Lunch break
  • Accommodating family status in the workplace

    The changing nature of the workplaces, including the heightened use of remote and hybrid working arrangements combined with renewed calls to return to in-person work, has introduced more complex accommodation challenges for organizations. For example, a recent B.C. Court of Appeal case clarified and enhanced and expanded the circumstances in which accommodation based on family status will be required. This session will review recent developments in the law on family status discrimination and provide practical strategies for employers on how to address requests for accommodation based on family status.

    • Impact of Gibraltar Mines Ltd. v. Harvey: the legal test for family status discrimination in BC
    • Remedy awards in family status accommodation cases
    • Best practices for employers when receiving family status accommodation requests
    • Proactive steps you can 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
    Jay Lannon
    Jay Lannon

    Lawyer
    Forte Workplace Law

  • How to handle challenging Constructive Dismissal and Without Cause Terminations: avoiding wrongful dismissal claims

    Constructive dismissal 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. This panel discussion will look at steps employers can take to minimize the risks associated with terminating employees and constructive dismissals.

    • An overview of recent constructive dismissal cases: determining when an an employee can make a claim for wrongful dismissal
    • Establishing employees’ rights upon termination in current environment
    • 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 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
    • Factors in the calculation of severance
    • Establishing reasons for dismissal: Proving just cause, defining gross misconduct, demonstrating progressive discipline
    • After-acquired cause: can evidence uncovered post-termination be used to formulate new grounds of just cause?
    Christopher Drinovz
    Christopher Drinovz

    Partner
    KSW Employment Lawyers

  • 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

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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

REGISTRATION FOR EMPLOYMENT LAW MASTERCLASS VANCOUVER 2024 IS OPEN

British Columbia’s employment law landscape is experiencing a seismic shift – don’t let it get the better of you. Get the update you need for the year ahead.

CONTACT US


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