Conference / Seminar

2018 Waterloo Client Conference

Event Details

May 8, 2018
Breakfast: 8:00 a.m. - 9:00 a.m.
Session: 9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

Bingemans Conference Centre, Marshall Hall Ballroom
425 Bingemans Centre Dr.
Kitchener, ON


Additional resources from Luke Anderson’s presentation.

Lead with Knowledge

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 the Employment Standards Act and Labour Relations Act, medical marijuana, E.I. benefits, discrimination and harassment in the workplace and data security. 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.

Join us as we discuss these latest legal developments and more as we present effective tips, strategies and best practices that can help your organization stay on the leading edge of human resources management.




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.

Hashing Out Your Workplace Obligations – How to Deal with Intoxicants at Work

Glenn P. Christie

With the legalization of recreational marijuana, employers are concerned about intoxication in the workplace. We’ll address: What policies and practices are required to deal with recreational marijuana, alcohol, and the use of other intoxicants in the workplace? How do those policies apply when an employee uses an intoxicant for medical purposes? When is an employer justified in testing for workplace intoxication?

Addiction: How to Accommodate, When to Discipline

Addiction has long been recognized as a disability protected by human rights legislation. Addicts often display behaviour that, under ordinary circumstances, would be subject to discipline. Employers have struggled with responding to such misconduct and balancing their accommodation obligations. We review circumstances in which addiction may not be a legitimate excuse for misconduct in the workplace. We’ll also review best practices and suggestions regarding the disciplinary steps and procedure.

New and Longer E.I. Benefits – What You Need to Know

Alyson Frankie

Significant changes have been made to the timing and duration of maternity, parental and other protected leaves of absence and related EI entitlements. Learn how these changes will impact your workplace. Amendments may be required to your Top Up Plans, collective agreements, pension plans, administrative policies, and employee communications.

Data Security – Incident Response and Breach Notification

Stephen J. Goodwin

When a data security incident occurs, an organization must respond both quickly and thoughtfully – soon with a view to meeting a nation-wide statutory breach notification requirement under PIPEDA. In this short presentation we will outline the significance of the PIPEDA amendments and explain what makes for effective incident response.


Networking Break


How to End an Employment Relationship on Good (Contractual) Terms

Ted J. Kovacs

Termination clauses provide an opportunity for certainty and predictability – if drafted properly. These types of clauses, particularly those that provide only the ESA-minimum, are closely scrutinized by the courts. We will review termination language that has withstood such scrutiny and other language that has been soundly rejected. Learn what the courts are looking for when enforcing a termination clause.

Proactively Managing WSIB Mental Stress Claims

Kathryn L. Meehan

How will the WSIB’s new Chronic Mental Stress policy impact your workplace? We’ll identify the thresholds put in place for claims of chronic mental stress, including the types of diagnoses considered and the required role of workplace events. How can employers prevent and/or remove stressors in the workplace and proactively manage the costs associated with such claims?

Pay Equity Update

Lydia J. Bay

The sweeping changes under Bill 148 address issues related to equal pay for equal work under the ESA. While these equal pay for equal work amendments are not the same as pay equity under the Pay Equity Act, the Bill 148 changes to minimum wage and equal pay based on employment status DO have potentially significant implications for the status of your pay equity compliance. The Bill 148 amendments can have significant “hidden” financial consequences for pay equity. We’ll review what you need to know to ensure your pay equity status remains complaint in the post-Bill 148 world.

Claims of Discrimination and/or Harassment – When Should an Employer Investigate?

Matt J. Mihailovich

In recent years, we have seen an increased focus on the issue of the extent of an employer’s obligation to investigate complaints of discrimination and/or harassment and liability for faulty investigations under the Ontario Human Rights Code. We’ll review tips and best practices regarding human rights investigations, including when an investigation must be completed and who should conduct the investigation.

Bill 148 Part I – The Nuts and Bolts of ESA Amendments

Is your workplace ready for the sweeping changes regarding minimum employment standards in Ontario. The changes to the general minimum wage have been broadly publicized, but not to be forgotten are the changes to: employee classification, vacation entitlement, public holiday pay, scheduling, and leaves of absence, among other changes. We will provide a practical review of the key changes and the potential impact of these amendments.


Networking Break


Substantive Sessions

Bill 148 Part II – The Nuts and Bolts of LRA Amendments

Ted J. Kovacs / Stephen J. Goodwin

Amendments to the LRA will result in increased union access to: employees and industries together with an increased ability to organize, and obtain a collective agreement.  This session will provide employers with details of the specific changes to union certification, first collective agreement arbitration, review/consolidation of bargaining units, and just cause protection.

Strategies for Effectively Managing Employees on LTD

Kathryn L. Meehan  / Glenn P. Christie

We’ll discuss how the LTD claims process intersects with an employer’s accommodation obligations.  We’ll also address issues such as:  How long should a job be left open while an employee is on LTD leave?  When is termination for frustration an option?  What obligations/liabilities continue while an employee is on LTD leave?  Are there ways to avoid or reduce these obligations/liabilities? Will termination or other payments impact the employee’s LTD benefits?

#ItsNeverOK – Sexual Violence/Harassment in the Workplace

Matt J. Mihailovich / Lydia J. Bay

Now, more than ever, sexual violence/harassment in the workplace is an issue.  Employers need to ensure that they meet their statutory obligations to prevent, respond to, and investigate allegations of sexual violence and/or harassment.  We’ll explore these statutory obligations as well as workplace initiatives and practical strategies to help prevent and/or reduce claims of workplace harassment.


Lunch and Keynote Speaker
Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities

Luke Anderson
Founder, StopGap Foundation

Luke Anderson is the founder of the StopGap Foundation. The organization’s volunteer-run Community Ramp Projects open up previously inaccessible spaces and build awareness about how we don’t need to look far for examples of barriers to access—they are often right at our doorsteps.

A civil engineer and outdoor enthusiast, Luke sustained a spinal cord injury in 2002 while mountain biking in British Columbia. When he returned to work in Toronto, his frustration with the built environment came to a boil after encountering one too many inaccessible storefronts. StopGap is building brightly-coloured single-step ramps to not only increase accessibility, but also to start a conversation about the importance of an inclusive society. The project has had early success in Toronto, and is building grassroots support in communities from coast to coast. An amazing thing happens when these ramps show up in a neighbourhood; people don’t just notice who has a ramp, they notice who doesn’t have a ramp. As soon as they ask why, they stop contributing to the problem and become part of the solution.

Luke regularly speaks about accessibility in the media and on behalf of the Rick Hansen Foundation. StopGap has been featured in the Toronto Star, Globe and Mail, CityTV, Global News, CBC, CTV’s Canada AM and many other outlets across the country.


Closing Remarks




HRPA Approved CPD Graphic This program has been approved for  4.5 hours of Continuing Professional Development by the Human Resources Professional Association.
HRPA Approved CPD Graphic This program contains 1 hour and 35 minutes of EDI Professionalism content and 1 hour and 50 minutes of Substantive content