Conference / Seminar

2016 Ottawa Client Conference

Event Details

May 6, 2016
8:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

The Westin Ottawa
11 Colonel By Drive
Ottawa, ON
K1N 9H4

Stay on the leading edge of human resources change

Change is a constant in the human resources world: ongoing developments in the law, whether through new legislation or the courts, and the rapid evolution of best practices create a fast-paced learning environment for human resources professionals.

Recent examples of such changes are in the areas of gender identity and expression, social media harassment, mental stress claims, personal emergency leave and the ORPP implementation and CPP expansion. All of these issues can directly impact the management of your workplace.

Employers must take the lead in responding to these emerging challenges and Hicks Morley is pleased to be your partner in navigating this change.

Restez à l’avant-garde des derniers développements en matière de ressources humaines

Les ressources humaines font l’objet de changements constants : le flux continu de développements juridiques imposés par le législateur ou par les tribunaux ainsi que l’évolution rapide des meilleures pratiques créent un environnement où les professionnels des ressources humaines doivent s’adapter rapidement.

On retrouve des exemples de ces changements dans le domaine de l’expression du genre et de l’identité sexuelle, les demandes par rapport aux troubles de santé mentale liés au stress, les congés d’urgence personnelle, la mise en œuvre du RRPO et l’expansion du RPC. Toutes ces questions auront un impact direct sur la gestion de votre lieu de travail.

Les employeurs doivent prendre en charge leur stratégie face à ces nouveaux défis, et Hicks Morley se fait un plaisir de vous aider à naviguer ces changements.



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 the legal developments that you need to know about.

Big Data: Are there Privacy Limits to Employee Monitoring?

Sophia Duguay

Employer IT departments have the technology to know who’s doing what, when. While organizations have a vested and legitimate interest in ensuring its employees aren’t wasting company time and in minimizing risks, these interests must be carefully balanced against employee rights to privacy. This session provides you with the information and know-how you need to do that.

The Changing World of ORPP and CPP Expansion

Lisa J. Mills

The Ontario Retirement Pension Plan is scheduled to become effective for the first group of employers on January 1, 2017. The federal government is also considering the expansion of Canada Pension Plan. This session examines the steps Ontario employers can take to prepare for the implementation of the ORPP or an expanded CPP.

Social Media Harassment: How Should Employers Respond?

Colin J. Youngman

Social media is now pervasive in society and in the workplace. This session will explore the extent to which employers should police social media activities and provides best practices for dealing with the effect negative social media conduct has on your workplace.

The Moral of Damages: An Employment and Arbitral Case Law Update

Andrew J. McCreary

There is a growing trend amongst Courts and Adjudicators to award “moral damages” sanctioning employer misconduct. This session examines evolution of the moral damages, the types and quantum of damages awarded. and provides employers with practical insights to mitigate litigation risk.

Personal Emergency Leave: Emerging Trends

Kees W. Kort

The personal emergency leave provisions of the Employment Standards Act, 2000 can create challenges for employers’ attendance management initiatives and raise difficult questions about how the leave integrates with existing entitlements (e.g. sick leave and bereavement leave). In this session, we review recent developments in the case law that may give employers more options for managing this employee entitlement.

Managing Risk When Disaster Strikes

Charles V. Hofley

It is all too common for employers to be at risk when sensitive internal issues – ranging from employment disputes and harassment allegations, to governance disputes, data breaches and everything in between – become public. These kinds of public “disasters” pose unique legal and reputational challenges, especially for General Counsel. In this presentation, we will give you a roadmap for navigating these choppy waters.

Does the Canada Labour Code Permit Dismissals Without Cause?

Leanne N. Fisher

There have been significant case law developments regarding the ability of a federally regulated employer to terminate a non-union employee without cause under the Canada Labour Code. However, these types of terminations are not immune from review. This session will review recent developments in the case law and provide some tips on how to reduce exposure when it comes to unjust dismissal complaints.

Strategic Bargaining: Do You Have a Plan?

Vincent M. Panetta

Successful collective bargaining requires serious strategic consideration and planning if an employer wishes to place its organization in an optimal position. This session will point you to key considerations in developing a collective bargaining strategy, provide a guide to implementing your strategy and highlight common pitfalls and obstacles.

Responding to WSIB Mental Stress Claims

George G. Vuicic

Mental stress in the workplace is a topic of growing concern for employers in Ontario and the Workplace Safety and Insurance Appeals Tribunal has expanded entitlement to include claims of chronic mental stress. In this fast-paced session we provide you with updates on recent Tribunal jurisprudence and set out practical tips for employers who are faced with mental stress claims at the WSIB.

Gender Identity and Expression in the Workplace

Siobhan M. O’Brien

Understanding and Accommodating Gender Identity and Expression: Gender identity and expression are the newest grounds to be included in the Human Rights Code and a growing area of interest for employers and service providers in Ontario. This session will review key principles and best practices for effectively assessing and responding to gender identity and expression in employment and provision of services.


Networking Coffee Break


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

Termination for Off-Duty Conduct: What Are the Limits?

Leanne N. Fisher and Andrew J. McCreary

The law has always provided for discipline or dismissal for just cause based on an employee’s off-duty conduct if the conduct impacts the employer or the employment relationship. With the rise of social media, instances of culpable off-duty conduct have also been on the rise. This session will help employers understand when off-duty conduct, including that involving social media, is culpable and what discipline may be appropriate.

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

Cessation d’emploi suite à une conduite en dehors des heures de travail: Où sont les limites?

George G. Vuicic and Anne M. Lemay

Il a toujours été légal pour un employer de discipliner ou congédier un employé pour son comportement en dehors des heures de travail si celui-ci a eu des conséquences sur l’employeur ou sur la relation d’emploi. L’avènement des médias sociaux a vu une augmentation des comportements fautifs en dehors des heures de travail. Cette présentation aidera les employeurs à mieux comprendre lorsque de tels comportements, y compris sur les médias sociaux, sont fautifs et quelle discipline doit être appliquées dans ces circonstances.


The Safety-Sensitive Workplace: An Update On Drug and Alcohol Testing

Charles V. Hofley and Gabrielle Fortier-Cofsky

This session will review developments in the case law since the Supreme Court of Canada issued its seminal ruling in Irving Pulp & Paper, highlight the key principles, and provide both unionized and non-unionized employers with practical tips regarding when drug and alcohol testing may be considered and implemented.


Canada Labour Code Update

George G. Vuicic and Siobhan M. O’Brien

This session provides federally regulated employers with a practical overview of important case law developments and legislative changes that are on the horizon in light of the recent election of the federal Liberal government. Topics include key changes to the Canada Labour Code governing the federal certification and decertification process, a possible increase to pregnancy/parental leave from 12 to 18 months, whether the Canada Labour Code permits dismissals without cause, changes to the federal pension landscape and the basis for unjust dismissal adjudicators to award aggravated and punitive damages under the Code.


Lunch and Luncheon Speaker
Understanding, Leading & Motivating Gen Y’s

Dr. Karyn Gordon
Leading Relationship Expert | Media Personality

Dr. Karyn Gordon’s mission is to inspire people to dream their best life, learn the tools and do it! A bestselling author and media personality, Dr. Karyn has worked with hundreds of organizations, from Fortune 500 corporations to small non-profits, to help them foster the necessary communication skills for creating strong workforces and customer relationships.

Dr. Karyn is a regular expert for the USA’s #1 morning show Good Morning America, Canada’s #1 talk-show Cityline, and Toronto’s #1 morning show Breakfast Television. In addition, she writes a regular column for New York Parenting and Chatelaine magazines. Previously, she was the resident expert for The Mom Show,  hosted a radio talk-show on CFRB, and produced her own music talk-show, Spill Your Guts, where she interviewed celebrities to share lessons they learned as teenagers. Dr. Karyn is also the host of the nationally broadcast program, Success Stories with Dr. Karyn, in which she sits down with leaders to hear their stories and the lessons they’ve learned from being successful!

As a speaker, Dr. Karyn’s clients have included The New York Times, Credit Union, Pepsi, Young Presidents Organization, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Canadian Tax Foundation, Ontario Family Judges, the University of Alberta and Government of Alberta.

As a writer, Dr. Karyn is the bestselling author of Dr. Karyn’s Guide To The Teen Years, and has written three additional resources for parents, teachers and counselors. She has a Bachelor in Psychology, a Masters in Counseling, and a Doctorate in Marriage and Family. She has also done extensive studies in generational differences, personalities, leadership and emotional intelligence.


Closing Remarks and Networking Opportunity

HRPA Approved CPD Graphic