Conference / Seminar

2012 Ottawa Client Conference / Conférences de 2012 pour nos clients

Event Details

May 25, 2012
8:00 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.

The Westin Ottawa
11 Colonel By Drive
Ottawa, ON

Position Your Organization Ahead of the Field in Human Resources

Since the founding of Hicks Morley in 1972, tremendous changes in the legal, social and technology landscape have affected the way employers in Canada manage their workplaces. Now more than ever, employers must take the lead and respond to the countless new and different challenges that continue to arise. Workplace bullying and violence, social media management, pension and retiree disputes and departing employee litigation are only some of the diverse, evolving and critical issues of today that can impact your business. Join us as we discuss the latest legal developments, and present effective practical strategies and “best practices” geared to helping your organization’s human resources management.

Placez votre organisation à l’avant-garde dans le domaine des ressources humaines

Depuis la création de Hicks Morley en 1972, le paysage juridique, social et technologique a été le thétre de modifications spectaculaires qui ont eu une incidence sur la façon dont les employeurs gèrent leur milieu de travail au Canada. Plus que jamais auparavant, les employeurs doivent prendre l’initiative et répondre à un nombre incalculable de défis nouveaux et différents qui ne cessent de se présenter. Parmi les enjeux critiques et en constante évolution qui touchent votre entreprise aujourd’hui, notons la violence et l’intimidation au travail, la gestion des médias sociaux, les différends entourant les régimes de retraite et les retraités, ainsi que les litiges concernant les anciens employés. Joignez-vous à nous pour discuter des plus récents développements juridiques, et pour assister à notre présentation de stratégies efficaces et de meilleures pratiques destinées à aider la gestion des ressources humaines de votre organisme.



Registration and Continental Breakfast


Opening Remarks and Welcome


A Whirlwind Tour of Critical New Developments in Human Resources Law and Advocacy

A fast-paced, tightly focused review of developments that you need to know about.

My system, my data! Employer access and the problem of personal use

Vince M. Panetta

Computer use continues to change dramatically as more of us do more browsing, transactions and messaging/posting online. This presentation will address the legal consequences of increased “personal use” and explain what employers should be doing to ensure that privacy claims don’t get in the way of investigations and other important work.

Pensions – The story continues to unfold

Lisa J. Mills

Pensions have grabbed headlines over the past few years like never before as market turmoil, low interest rates and changing demographics continue to alter the Canadian pension landscape. Governments across the country are grappling with how to expand pension coverage and update minimum standards legislation. This presentation will provide employers with an update on current legislative and regulatory issues and industry trends.

Are you complying with the AODA?

Leanne N. Fisher

The Accessibility for Ontarians With Disabilities Act (AODA) Customer Service Standards are now in force for all organizations in Ontario – and the requirements of the Integrated Accessibility Standards are looming. We will review what your organization should be doing now to ensure current and future compliance with the AODA.

Union and non-union terminations. The year in review

Kees W. Kort

It’s been a busy year in the courts and at arbitration, with new and significant cases on constructive dismissal, damages, mitigation of loss and more. This fast-paced presentation will cover the need-to-know termination cases from the last 12 months.

Avoiding the pay equity shock

Cheryl A. Waram

With legislation that dates back almost 25 years, it is not surprising that some employers have taken a “been there, done that” approach to pay equity compliance. Despite the perception of pay equity as yesterday’s HR requirement, it is in fact alive and kicking in Ontario. This presentation will explain how – and outlines the significant financial liability that can result when employers fail to comply.

Bargaining and strike planning in the age of social media

Charles V. Hofley

Are you ready for your next round of bargaining? How will you manage a cyber picket line? Many would say that the dynamics of bargaining have forever changed with the advent of social media. This presentation will examine the changing face of bargaining and strike planning in this electronic age.

To report or not to report – Non-worker injuries under the Occupational Health and Safety Act

George G. Vuicic

A recent Divisional Court case says that employers and contractors must report all critical injuries and fatalities in the “workplace” to the Ministry of Labour whether they involve a worker or not. In this presentation, we will discuss how this important decision affects your obligation to report critical injuries.

And now for the good news… mental distress and punitive damages update

Andrew J. McCreary

While the Honda v. Keays Supreme Court of Canada decision confirmed that punitive damages should be awarded in exceptional circumstances only, there were concerns that the case made it easier for plaintiffs to advance claims for damages beyond those for “reasonable notice.” In actual fact, the case has been narrowly interpreted and has not given rise to the floodgates initially anticipated. This presentation will review these interpretations – and provide some rare good news for employers.

Threat assessment, mental disability and workplace violence

Sophia Duguay

Employers have had an express duty to manage the risk of workplace violence since Bill 168 reforms came into force. But how far does this duty to manage extend? This presentation will explain what threat assessment means and why it is essential to managing the threat of workplace violence. It will also explain how good threat assessment procedures can help employers meet their duty to accommodate individuals with mental disabilities.

Leaves, leaves everywhere – An ESA update

Siobhan M. O’Brien

SARS, organs, critical illnesses and war are all good reasons for your employees to be absent from work. Recently the Ontario government introduced family caregiver leave, which brings the total number types of leaves under the Employment Standards Act to eight. This presentation will provide an overview of current and new leave requirements to ensure you are up to date.

The rising stakes of work reintegration at the WSIB

Jason E. Mandlowitz

The Workplace Safety and Insurance Board has implemented five new work reintegration policies that invite the Board to take a much more active role in the return to work process. This presentation will describe how the new policies are being applied, how they interact with the duty to accommodate under the Ontario Human Rights Code and what you should be doing to meet your duties.

Goodbye… so now what? How to protect your organization when a key employee departs

Colin J. Youngman

Employers face a unique risk and challenge when a key employee departs. The employee knows your business inside-out, and likely has access to sensitive and confidential information. This presentation will explain the proactive steps you can take to protect your organization – and the legal and practical steps you can take to minimize the risk once the employee is out the door.


Networking Coffee Break


Please note that the session below will also be available in French, in a separate break-out room.

Challenges in attendance management. Mistakes made, lessons learned

Cheryl A. Waram and Charles V. Hofley

Employers often have one chance to get their attendance management program right in the face of workplace challenges. This session will identify the “must have” components that a program needs to meet these challenges – with a focus on typical miscalculations made by employers and how to avoid them.

Veuillez noter que cette séance sera également présentée en anglais, dans une salle distincte.


Les défis de la gestion de l’assiduité. Les erreurs commises, les leçons apprises

Sophia Duguay and George G. Vuicic

Les employeurs ont souvent une seule chance de modifier leur programme de gestion de l’assiduité pour lui permettre de relever les défis posés par le milieu de travail. Cette séance cernera les composantes essentielles que doit comprendre un programme pour relever ces défis – en portant une attention spéciale aux erreurs que font typiquement les employeurs et aux façons de les éviter.


Strategy and tactics to guide your human rights defence

Leanne N. Fisher and Colin J. Youngman

With the dramatic overhaul of Ontario’s human rights system almost four years ago, human rights issues in the workplace have greater visibility than ever. This session will provide an overview of the nuts and bolts of mounting a strong human rights defence. We’ll discuss the optimal strategies for different kinds of cases, how to use Tribunal procedure to your advantage and effective strategies to consider in light of the Tribunal’s approach to damages.


Internal investigation tips, techniques and traps

Kees W. Kort and Andrew J. McCreary

HR professionals are often asked to investigate internal matters that involve considerable complexities and can have a high stakes impact on their organization. This session will help you understand the proven techniques that can form the basis of a successful investigation – with practical ideas to implement so you can be confident in your process and outcomes.


The good, the bad and the ugly of social media management

Siobhan M. O’Brien and George G. Vuicic

Social media offers companies great opportunities – but with these opportunities come significant risks. This session will address the good (employee use for the company), the bad (employee off duty use) and the ugly (managing employees who are targeted by outsiders) of social media management.


Lunch and Luncheon Speaker

Brian Thwaits, Brainspeaker Inc.
The Superstar Brain: Teamwork and Leadership


Conference Ends