London: 03.20.18 Duty to Accommodate - Employer Obligation

4 Hours

Date and Time

Starts:03/20/2018 7:30 AM

Ends:03/20/2018 12:30 PM

Event Type



Garden Inn by Hilton

300 King St



Members: $55+HST | Non-Members: $75+HST | Students: $45+HST


Additional Information

Event Sponsor

London: 03.20.18  Duty to Accommodate - Employer Obligations

Ontario employers have the obligation to accommodate the needs of employees on the job, and workplaces are expected to have accommodation policies and procedures in place. The right to be accommodated and the duties of the employer are no well-established in statute and case law. But, what does all of this really mean? How does the employer accommodate a return to work? What if the cost of accommodation is something the organization is unable to undertake?

Join us on March 20th, 2018 to learn more about how to navigate the accommodation process.

Registration is limited.  Be sure to register early so you don't miss out!


1.     Legislative Overview

Ben Kropp, VP of Government & External Relations, OSG

Overview of the Ontario Human Rights Code and AODA as their pertain to accommodation and how they shape the Employer – Employee relationship.

2.     Accommodating Mental Health

Jennifer Threndyle, Consultant at Workplace Safety & Prevention Services

Many employees face invisible barriers to employment due to mental illness. This session will review the obligations placed on employers and provide tools on how to handle accommodations with respect and dignity.

3.     When Health & Safety Requirements Conflict with Religious Beliefs

Jeff Thorne, Manager of Training & Consulting, OSG

Under the Ontario Human Rights Code, discrimination because of religion (creed) is against the law. Everyone should have access to the same opportunities and benefits, and be treated with equal dignity and respect, regardless of their religion or creed. Where a person has been negatively affected by a requirement, factor or rule based on religion or creed, failure to accommodate may lead to a finding of a breach of the Code. This can get complicated when health and safety requirements conflict with religious beliefs and practices. This discussion will provide clarity on what to do in these circumstances and what religious beliefs, observances, and practices are part of one's faith or religion and what is excluded.

4.     Risk Assessment of a Worker with Restriction


In order to successfully accommodate an employee, the employer needs to complete a risk assessment taking into account that employee's restrictions. This session will review the various steps needed in order to ensure a successful risk assessment. 

5.     Confidentiality & Transparency: An Uneasy Co-Existence?
Elizabeth Traynor, Labour & Employment Partner, Siskinds LLP

It's not news that maintaining confidentiality is a key function of Human Resource professionals.  But how can you maintain confidentiality when you need co-operation from stakeholders to accommodate an employee?  What happens if confidentiality is breached?  At the same time, "transparency" is a corporate buzz-word we're hearing everywhere.  What aspects of the accommodation process require transparency?  What are the tensions between these two concepts? 

6.     What does "Undue Hardship" Really Mean?
Mary Lou Brady, Labour & Employment Partner, Siskinds LLP
As Human Resource professionals, you know that employees must be accommodated "to the point of undue hardship". But what is undue hardship? What factors can you consider in assessing undue hardship? And what factors should you ignore? As important, what procedural steps must be taken before claiming an inability to accommodate on the basis of undue hardship. Simply put, when is enough, enough?

Speaker bio(s)

 Ben Kropp

Ben Kropp

Ben serves as Vice President of Government and External relations for the Occupational Safety Group, a London based company with over twenty years experience in the industry. In his role, Ben lobbies provincial and territorial governments to increase occupational health and safety standards to ensure that every worker has the right to return home safely when the whistle blows. In his spare time, Ben serves as President of the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of Canada - London chapter, and is a Director with Changing Ways, an organization aimed at ending gender based violence in intimate relationships. He is a member of the Young Professionals' Policy Roundtable with the London Chamber of Commerce

 Jennifer Threndyle

Jennifer Threndyle, Consultant

B.Comm. – Major HR Management, B.Ed.-Adult Ed., MBA, CDMP Over the past fifteen years, Jennifer has worked with persons with disabilities and employers in employment programing and return to work services. During this time she has placed clients in employment from WSIB, CPP-D, ODSP and insurance companies. Since it was passed into law in 2005, Jennifer has worked with employers from across the province on complying with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act and non-occupational return to work programs complying with the Ontario Human Rights Code. Jennifer obtained her Certified Disability Management Professional designation in June of 2016. Currently, Jennifer is the AODA Specialist at Workplace Safety and Prevention Services.

 Jeff Throne

Jeff Throne

A current member of the Canadian Safety Society of Engineering, Jeff’s extensive background in communication and knowledge of the legal and practical application of health & safety is demonstrated through the 50-plus courses that he has authored and delivered across Canada. His background in health & safety education and his passion for adult learning provides a unique delivery style, one that is always upbeat and memorable. He has also done work with the Canadian Association of Provincial Safety Councils and has participated in numerous health and safety discussions and forums.

 Elizabeth Traynor

Elizabeth Traynor, Lawyer

Beth Traynor is a partner in Siskinds' Labour and Employment Group and has practiced exclusively management-side labour and employment law for her entire career. Beth provides day-to-day advice to both unionized and non-unionized employers on discharge and discipline, accommodation of disabilities, occupational health and safety, bullying, harassment and violence in the workplace, and all other issues arising between employers and their employees. Her clients are located across Southern Ontario and the Near North. For more than ten years, Beth has been providing investigation services to a number of clients. She also regularly conducts training sessions on a variety of subjects, including the conduct of investigations, respectful communication in the workplace, and the identification and avoidance of discrimination and harassment in the workplace. Beth is frequently asked to speak on labour and employment topics and has presented continuing education programs for the Law Society of Upper Canada, community colleges, and numerous client events. She is also an active contributor to the L&E Group’s blog.

 Mary Lou Brady

Mary Lou Brady, Partner

As a Practice Group Leader and partner at Siskinds in its London, Ontario office, Mary Lou has been practicing exclusively in the area of management-side employment law for almost 20 years. Mary Lou recognizes that people are the most valuable resource in any organization. She works co- operatively with employers and human resource professionals to manage this critical resource through practical advice and real-world solutions. As such, Mary Lou represents employers in the full spectrum of the employment relationship, with particular emphasis on hiring and retention of employees, employment agreements, employee discipline, employee terminations and wrongful dismissal actions, human rights, employment standards, policy development and day-to-day legal compliance. Mary Lou has also developed a unique subset to her practice. She regularly provides strategic advice to corporate lawyers and business owners on employment-related issues arising in downsizings, closures, and sales, purchases or amalgamations of business. As a trusted advisor, Mary Lou prides herself on developing strong, long-lasting client relationships while delivering excellent results that are born of talent, training and true commitment to her clients. Mary Lou joined Siskinds in January 2005 as part of the firm's initiative to expand its Labour & Employment Group. Before doing so, she spent six years practicing management-side labour and employment law for a large national law firm in both its Toronto and London offices.

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