Embracing the Shifting Landscape of HR & Employment Law

For almost three decades, the HRPA Annual HR Law Conference has been the premiere must-attend event for HR professionals seeking to stay on top of changes to the HR law landscape. The HRPA 2021 Annual HR Law Conference will be offered online to enable all members across the province to attend, reflect on new challenges faced by HR professionals, and learn from the most experienced subject matter experts on HR law.

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Location:

ON24 Virtual Conference

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Date:

October 27 and 28, 2021
Registration closes 12:00 PM October 26, 2021

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6 CPD Hours

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Price:

EARLY BIRD PRICING:
Until September 13, 2021
HRPA Members: $195 + Taxes
Non-HRPA Members: $235 + Taxes

 

REGULAR PRICING:
September 14, 2021 onward
HRPA Members: $225 + Taxes
Non-HRPA Members: $275 + Taxes

Contact Amber Pilon, Specialist, Sales and Sponsorship Support, to learn more about partnership or sponsorship opportunities.
Tel: 416.923.2324 ext. 309
Email: apilon@hrpa.ca

Today’s HR Professionals face constant demands of a disrupted world of work. More than a year into a global pandemic, businesses are returning their focus to pervasive workplace issues that directly impact employee wellbeing, engagement, and organizational performance.

We heard what you had to say about the format of HRPA Conferences; based on attendees’ feedback, we have revamped this conference to now run on two half-days, instead of one full day. Throughout the conference, participants will engage with and tackle some of the biggest issues facing organizations today and be equipped with tools and strategies to confidently lead their workplaces into a future that is fast changing.

Agenda

Session timings are noted in Eastern Standard Time and sessions will be recorded for on-demand viewing.  

Day 1 – OCTOBER 27, 2021

8:50 AM – 9:00 AM

Welcome and Opening Remarks

Speaker(s): Kris Tierney, CHRP, CHRL, Vice President, Human Resources and LearningDavid Whitten, Whitten & Lublin Employment Lawyers; James Heeney, Heeney, Vokey LLP 


9:00 AM – 10:00 AM

Session 1: Current Issues in Human Rights

This session will address pertinent issues related to returning to the workplace, including accommodating alternative working arrangements and family status, as well as navigating vaccination in light of the Code.

Speaker(s): Nathaniel MarshallTurnpenney Milne LLPErin Porter, Fasken

10:00 AM – 10:15 AM

Break


10:15 AM – 11:15 AM

Session 2: Managing Mental Health and Disability Claims

This session will delve into ways to holistically promote wellness in the workplace and to accommodate non-workplace related mental health claims equitably. The duty to report per WSIB and strategies to manage absences and reduce leaves will also be explored.  

Speaker(s): Vanessa Mian, Chief People Officer, HazelviewPaula Allen, Senior Vice-President at LifeWorksKellie Gamble, Director, HR Services, St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton

11:15 AM – 11:30 AM

Break


11:30 AM – 12:30 PM

Session 3: What Employers Need to Know about the OHSA and WSIB

This session will tackle employer obligations as they relate to WSIB claims, the duty to investigate under the OHSA and other OHSA concerns. The exclusive jurisdiction of the WSIB and WSIAT and handling work refusals in light of COVID-19 are other key topics that will be discussed.  

Speaker(s): Carissa N. TanzolaFilion Wakely Thorup Angeletti LLP

12:30 PM – 12:40 PM

Closing Remarks

 

Day 2 – OCTOBER 28, 2021

8:50 AM – 9:00 AM

Welcome and Opening Remarks

Speaker(s): Kris Tierney, CHRP, CHRL, Vice President, Human Resources and LearningDavid Whitten, Whitten & Lublin Employment Lawyers; James Heeney, Heeney, Vokey LLP


9:00 AM – 10:00 AM

Session 4: Update on Employment Agreements

In light of courts recognizing new issues that may void termination provisions, this session will offer tips for successfully instituting new agreements for existing employees, including drafting these agreements and increasing the likelihood of enforceability.

Speaker(s): Mitchell Smith, Partner, Brauti Thorning LLP

10:00 AM – 10:15 AM

Break


10:15 AM – 11:15 AM

Session 5: Damage Awards in Wrongful Dismissal Cases

This session will focus on aggravated and punitive damages, along with new factors that impact required notice periods, including exceptional circumstances that warrant notice periods longer than 24 months.

Speaker(s): Jeffrey Mitchell, Partner, BLG; Cédric Lamarche, Singh Lamarche LLP

11:15 AM – 11:30 AM

Break


11:30 AM – 12:45 PM

Session 6: Ask Me Anything

Rounding off two days of learning, this session invites participants to reflect on the newest issues in employment law as a way to look to the future of HR.

Speaker(s): David Whitten, Whitten & Lublin Employment LawyersJames Heeney, Heeney, Vokey LLP

12:45 PM – 1:00 PM

Closing Remarks

Speakers Bios

david-whitten
David Whitten

Partner, Whitten & Lublin PC

David A. Whitten is a highly sought after lawyer with expertise in employment law and is a senior partner at Whitten & Lublin, a Toronto-based employment law firm focussing on the strategic resolution of complex workplace issues and challenges for both employers and employees. David specializes in advising clients on constructive dismissal in the workplace.

What sets David A. Whitten apart is his abiding belief in fairness. He holds that the most productive and successful work environments are those in which both the employer and employees are treated with respect. This ethical standard makes him a compelling advocate in negotiations or in court and an opponent to be reckoned with.

David also places great stock in flexibility and finding solutions through negotiated resolution. However, he is also a tenacious litigator. He has appeared before all levels of court in Ontario and a range of tribunals, including: The Ontario Labour Relations Board, Ontario Human Rights Tribunal, The Workplace Safety and Insurance Board and Workplace Safety and Insurance Appeals Tribunal.

For private and public sector employers, he has provided knowledgeable counsel on a broad range of issues, including: constructive dismissal, workplace safety, and insurance, employment standards, human rights, hiring, terminations, involuntary and voluntary buyouts, and common law obligations in Canada.

While David advises employees at all levels, he focusses on issues specific to the C-Suite. He is broadly experienced at crafting and negotiating executive employment and compensation agreements; severance packages; non-competition and non-solicitation contracts, as well as agreements related to post-employment obligations; incentive plans stock options; bonus compensation, and fiduciary obligations. David has developed a specialized approach to dealing with constructive dismissal in the executive suite that has assisted his clients to recover millions of dollars in severance.

David also has a proven talent for addressing commonly unforeseen downside issues when drafting and negotiating executive employment agreements. He has earned a reputation for defending business leaders embroiled in conflicts with their Board of Directors or other executives, or who face leadership issues, or who are facing performance-related criticism from shareholders.

In 2013, Lexpert named David A. Whitten as a litigator to watch in its US Guide to Leading Cross-border Lawyers. Since 2015, David has been named by Lexpert as a repeatedly recommended leading practitioner for both employers and employees. He also co-authored “HR Manager’s Guide to Independent Contractors in the Workplace” which was published by Carswell.

james-heeney
James Heeney

Partner, Heeney Vokey LLP

James Heeney is a partner at Heeney Vokey LLP. He provides advice to both employers and employees on all areas of employment law. James is driven to create a firm that focuses on integrity and attention to detail but which also provides advice which is cost effective and timely. He works diligently to ensure his clients make strategic and educated long term decisions. 

His employer side practice focuses on providing strategic daily advice and litigation support. He assists clients with employment agreements, policy manuals, terminations and human rights issues. James also has significant experience advising clients on drafting and litigating breaches of restrictive covenants. 

In respect of the employee side of his practice, James routinely advises clients on issues relating to executive compensation, employment contracts, terminations and human rights. 

James is an experienced workplace investigator having performed investigations in respect of all areas of employment law. James has experience performing complex investigations in both the unionized and non-unionized workplaces in which there is a need for both thorough and timely reporting. Before founding Heeney Vokey LLP, James gained valuable experience practicing at a large national firm as well as a boutique employment law firm. James graduated from Queen’s University, and was called to the bar in 2004. Upon graduating from Queen’s James was awarded the prize for overall academic achievement, as well as the Law Society’s Award of Excellence. James was named by the Canadian HR Reporter, a national employment law magazine, as a leading employment lawyer in Toronto. 

James has significant experience performing speaking engagements, seminars and writing articles. James has spoken on all areas of employment law and workplace investigations on behalf of the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Federated Press and the Learning Forum amongst others. He has gained a successful reputation and has proven his skills in creating and facilitating employment law seminars in an understanding and comprehensive format which has resulted in invitations to speak at several organizations annual conferences. 

James has written numerous articles for several employment law forums and has published articles with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation which may be found at cbcnews.ca with respect to the area of employment law. 

Kris_Tierney_1_2020-08-31
Kris Tierney

CHRP, CHRL, Vice President, Human Resources and Learning

Kris’s approach as an executive leader is to achieve results by creating outstanding workplaces where people & culture are strategic priorities. She is a passionate and skilled business executive with 15 years’ experience leading HR in hi tech, high growth companies in automotive and financial services where she served as a trusted people and culture strategist, advisor and business partner to the C-Suite.

Kris started her career in hospitality where she held various leadership and management positions. For more than 20-years, Kris has served as a valued member of senior and executive leadership teams, where her skills in HR, leadership, strategy, and culture were honed and her passion for business and human resources were developed. She is periodically called upon by media, conferences and academia to contribute her experience and perspectives as an HR and business leader.

Kris has achieved the Certified Human Resources Professional (CHRP) and Certified Human Resources Leader (CHRL) designations as awarded by the Human Resources Professionals Association in Ontario, Canada. As a lifelong learner, Kris is thrilled to bring professional development and learning opportunities to the HR community in her role as Vice-President, Human Resources and Learning at the HRPA.

Nathaniel-Marshall
Nathaniel Marshall

Turnpenney Milne LLP

Nathaniel is a lawyer at Turnpenney Milne LLP, practicing in all areas of employment and labour law. Prior to joining the firm, he worked at a prominent, national law firm, as well as a boutique labour and employment firm. Nathaniel has conducted workplace investigations in a range of workplaces, including small, medium, and large enterprises (both unionized and non-unionized), in the public sector, and within large, provincial unions. He has a wide breadth of experience in workplace investigations having conducted investigations relating to sexual harassment, workplace harassment, personal harassment, benefits fraud, discrimination, bullying, workplace violence, and those concerning employer specific Codes of Conduct and workplace policies. He also has significant experience in workplace harassment training and workplace restoration.

Clients regularly turn to Nathaniel to conduct investigations where equity issues are alleged. Nathaniel has investigated allegations of race and gender-based discrimination in the provision of services to the public, allegations of racial discrimination for several large, private employers, and serious allegations of sexual harassment in an Indigenous community in Nunavut.

In addition to conducting workplace investigations, he has appeared as a prosecutor in numerous disciplinary proceedings under the Police Services Act, and counsel in police grievance arbitrations. Nathaniel is also certified by the Toronto Police Service to conduct use of force investigations involving Special Constables. His experience in both labour and employment law, particularly in the police sector, has provided him with a unique skill set compared to other workplace investigators.

Nathaniel is an experienced advocate and has represented clients before the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, the Ontario Labour Relations Board, the Ontario Civilian Police Commission, the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario, and the Workplace Safety and Insurance Appeals Tribunal. He has also been published in the Canadian Human Resources Reporter and Canadian Employment Law Today.

Nathaniel received a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science (Dean’s List) and J.D., both from Dalhousie University, where he was a member of the Indigenous Blacks and Mi’Kmaq initiative.

Düsseldorf, NRW, Deutschland, Business, Arbeit, w46, Werbeagentur. Loft, modern, Büro, Office, Stil
Erin Porter

Partner, Fasken

Erin Porter’s practice is focused on advising and representing employers in labour, employment and human rights matters. With considerable experience in the health care sector, Erin offers strategic and practical advice to her clients. Erin is a member of the Canadian Association of Counsel to Employers, the Ontario Bar Association’s Employment and Labour Division, and the Canadian Bar Association

Erin returned to Fasken after spending more than 11 years as in-house counsel for one of Canada’s largest retirement and long-term care home providers. In her position as Vice President, Legal, she was responsible for providing advice on acquisitions and dispositions, accommodation, employment contracts, terminations and various other workplace matters. Her areas of expertise include labour, employment and human rights, labour relations and collective bargaining, employment advice and litigation and labour mergers and acquisitions.

Erin frequently appears before arbitrators, the Ontario Labour Relations Board, and the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario. Although she is a passionate advocate, Erin also knows the benefit of pursuing a settlement under the right terms and conditions. In addition to her appearance work, Erin also has experience negotiating and interpreting collective agreements, advising regarding union grievances, drafting employment policies and conducting workplace investigations. A former teacher, Erin loves to present and has been a speaker at professional and client-based seminars on topics such as the duty to accommodate, preparing for arbitration, workplace investigations, code of conduct and last chance agreements.

Erin has also published on the “PSLRTA Overhaul in the Health Services Sector” in the Health Law Bulletin, May 31, 2019, and on “Amending the Broader Public Sector Executive Compensation Act” in the Labour, Employment and Human Rights Bulletin, May 14, 2019. Moreover, she is a well-versed public speaker who has presented on a wide variety of topics, including what Canadian employers need to know regarding COVID-19 vaccinations and the workplace, understanding how new developments in relation to COVID-19 impact Ontario’s health care providers and organizations, addressing violence in the workplace and upholding terminations for abuse, tackling drugs and alcohol in safety sensitive workplaces and navigating ethical considerations for in-house counsel.

Vanessa-Mian
Vanessa Mian

Chief People Officer, Hazelview

As a leader of strategy and people functions, Vanessa Mian is passionate about tackling complex business, talent and cultural matters to support employees and organizational growth. Vanessa has over 15 years of progressive experience in human resources management. She has held numerous HR roles in both Canadian and global organizations within various industries. Vanessa is currently responsible for overseeing all aspects of People & Culture within Hazelview Investments and its subsidiaries, including strategic planning, organizational development, leadership development, talent acquisition/management and total rewards. As an HR professional, mental health is top of mind for Vanessa and she is a Board Member for the Institute for Advancements in Mental Health. 

Paula-Allen
Paula Allen

Global Leader and Senior Vice-President, Research and Total Wellbeing

Paula Allen is the Global Leader, Research and Total Wellbeing and a Senior Vice- President at LifeWorks. She manages the research agenda for LifeWorks, which includes primary research, exploratory data science, research collaborations and meta-analyses. Given her focus on industry leading research, Paula also leads LifeWorks’ thought leadership and is co-chair of the organization’s product and innovation strategy.

Paula completed undergraduate and graduate degrees at the University of Toronto in psychological research and neuropsychological testing and clinical intervention. She has more than 20 years of experience relating to workplace research, product development and operational leadership that spans the range of EFAP, workplace learning, attendance and disability management and health and benefits consulting.

Paula is a sought-after speaker by organizations, national media and at conferences for her knowledge and expertise in current issues and the future direction of health, wellbeing, productivity and related risk management.

Paula is focused on current and emerging issues impacting health and productivity, and related costs. Her scope includes all areas of wellbeing i.e. social, physical, financial and mental. She is a well-recognized expert in all areas of workplace mental health, learning strategies, disability management and drug plan management. She also designed and led the most comprehensive employer response to the H1N1 pandemic and is currently LifeWorks’s business response and resource lead for the COVID-19 pandemic.

Paula is a member of the Women’s College Hospital’s Board of Directors, the Virtual Learning Advisory Board consulting to the public sector’s post-secondary on-line learning strategy, and the International Women’s Forum. In addition, she is a Civic Action Diversity Fellow mentor, serves on the Board of Directors of the Canadian Club of Toronto, and on the Guiding Council and ESG task force of One Mind@Work. Paula was also Co-chair of Civic Action’s Champions Council on workplace mental health, a member of the Income Security Working Group, which provides advice to the Ontario government on issues relating to disability and income support and she sits on several research and strategy advisory boards that address issues ranging from e-mental health solutions to substance abuse in the workplace.

Gamble, Kellie
Kellie Gamble

Director, HR Services, St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton

Kellie has extensive knowledge in labour relations, having directly negotiated multiple provincial and national collective agreements with some of Canada’s largest building trade unions in the construction industry. In the context of labour and employee relations, she has a well-rounded understanding of business, human resources, economics and legislation. This has contributed positively towards negotiated improvements and positive human resources services.

In each of her roles, Kellie has expertly engaged stakeholders and industry partners in a bid to support best practices and leadership opportunities to improve labour opportunities for unionized workers. Kellie is a proven relationship builder, negotiator, and collaborator; she demonstrates a genuine interest in people and the organizations she represents. These interests are the cornerstone to her ability to relate to the business and union leaders of today.

She completed a bachelor’s degree of Arts in Labour Studies from McMaster University and resides in Burlington, Ontario. She has school aged mini-negotiators aged 9 and 7, who have happily returned to school this fall as she continues to support the hospital in its response to COVID-19.

Carissa-Tanzola
Carissa N. Tanzola

Partner, Filion Wakely Thorup Angeletti LLP

Carissa Tanzola is a partner at Filion Wakely Thorup Angeletti LLP and represents unionized and non-unionized employers in all areas of labour and employment law. In addition to regularly providing advice with respect to employment contracts, discipline, terminations, labour disputes and grievances, Carissa has expertise in workplace accidents and injuries, occupational health and safety, worker’s compensation, disability management and accommodation, human rights and workplace issues being pursued in multiple jurisdictions.

Carissa is an experienced litigator, investigator and former Vice Chair of the Workplace Safety and Insurance Appeals Tribunal. She provides proactive, practical and cost-effective legal advice, while always being mindful of business objectives.

Carissa is a co-author of the Employer’s Guide to Ontario Workplace Safety and Insurance (Carswell) and regularly speaks, writes and teaches on timely labour and employment issues for industry groups and legal organizations. She was twice the Chair of the Ontario Bar Association Labour and Employment Section and is an Ontario Representative for the Canadian Association of Council to Employers’ Health and Safety Committee. She volunteers with Pro Bono Ontario’s Free Legal Advice Hotline and with community legal projects such as the ROSA project (reference material for victims of harassment and assault in the workplace). Carissa is ranked in the Canadian Lexpert® Directory for 2021 and has also been named to the RefertoHer list, a prestigious listing of experienced female litigators to whom work can be confidently referred.

Mitchell-Smith
Mitchell Smith

Partner, Brauti Thorning LLP

Mitchell is a civil litigator who litigates a wide variety of employment and commercial disputes. Mitchell has argued cases in all levels of civil court in Ontario including complex motions, trials, appeals and judicial reviews. He frequently litigates wrongful competition matters between employers and employees and corporate competitors and has expertise in the law of restrictive covenants (non-competition and non-solicitation), breach of confidentiality and fiduciary duties, and shareholder oppression disputes between corporate executives and companies.

Mitchell also has significant experience in injunctions, including labour injunctions, Mareva injunctions and Anton Pillar orders. His areas of expertise include arbitration commercial, litigation and litigation fraud, labour and employment law, professional and fiduciary liability, civil litigation, and defamation as well as freezing orders, extra-ordinary civil remedies and civil appeals.

Jeffrey-Mitchell
Jeffrey Mitchell

Partner, BLG

Jeff has a broad labour and employment practice, serving as “go-to” external counsel to a wide variety of organizations. He advises on issues such as discipline and dismissals, human rights issues (including discrimination and harassment) and workplace investigations and the HR implications of workplace restructuring. He also provides guidance on the sales and acquisitions of businesses, employment standards and occupational health and safety and employment policies. He also provides training for clients on all aspects of labour and employment law.

In non-unionized work environments, Jeff acts for employers in high-stakes employment-related litigation, such as wrongful dismissal claims, restrictive covenant injunction proceedings and human rights applications. Jeff drafts and advises on employment contracts, including non-competition, non-solicitation and confidentiality agreements. He also provides strategic guidance for proactive union prevention and real-time assistance during union organizing drives. For employers in unionized workplaces, Jeff litigates significant cases, including grievance arbitrations, picketing injunctions and proceedings before the Ontario Labour Relations Board. He advises on collective agreement interpretation issues, such as contracting out and terminations/layoffs. He also offers expertise on collective bargaining, advising on strategic approaches, drafting proposals, and acting as a spokesperson for clients during negotiations.

Jeff brings with him experience in a wide variety of industries, including retail, manufacturing, information technology, professional and financial services, wealth management and the public sector. Across these fields, he has experience in defending constructive/wrongful dismissal claims, including just cause cases. claims involving negligent misrepresentation and claims involving disabled employees and for disability benefit, as well as allegations of harassment/discrimination, and claims for post-employment bonuses, denial of overtime pay and loss of pension benefits. He has also acted as counsel at arbitrations related to drug and alcohol policy issues and advised on labour and employment issues arising from the sale of a business. Furthermore, he has acted on injunctions involving the restraint of former employees from competition and solicitation, defended against claims by trade unions involving the sale of business/related employer conducted collective bargaining and provided strategic advice regarding unionization.

Jeff is also a member of the Ontario Bar Association and author of “Canadian Outlook for 2013,” (white paper for the Bureau of National Affairs) and of “Wrongful Dismissal Claims and Summary Judgement,” Employment Law Manual. Additionally, he has been a speaker on “The State of Collective Bargaining,” at Ontario Public Transit Association’s Northern Regional Conference in October 2016. He has also been a speaker at an HRPA webinar titiled “Update on Non-Competition and Non-Solicitation Covenants,” in June 2016.

Cedric-Lamarche
Cédric Lamarche

Partner, Singh Lamarche LLP

Cédric Lamarche is a partner at Singh Lamarche LLP. He provides bilingual legal representation in French and English to employees and employers on all aspects of employment law including wrongful dismissals, constructive dismissals, human rights, harassment, employment standards, contract interpretation, overtime pay, and severance packages. He has appeared before the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, the Divisional Court, the Federal Court, the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario, the Ontario Labour Relations Board, the Public Service Grievance Board of Ontario, the Ontario College of Teachers’ Discipline Committee, and the Health Professions Appeal and Review Board.

Cédric received his LL.B. from the University of Ottawa and was called to the bar in 2008. Prior to forming Singh Lamarche LLP, he worked at a national Bay Street firm and a boutique employment law firm. 

david-whitten
David Whitten

Partner, Whitten & Lublin PC

David A. Whitten is a highly sought after lawyer with expertise in employment law and is a senior partner at Whitten & Lublin, a Toronto-based employment law firm focussing on the strategic resolution of complex workplace issues and challenges for both employers and employees. David specializes in advising clients on constructive dismissal in the workplace.

What sets David A. Whitten apart is his abiding belief in fairness. He holds that the most productive and successful work environments are those in which both the employer and employees are treated with respect. This ethical standard makes him a compelling advocate in negotiations or in court and an opponent to be reckoned with.

David also places great stock in flexibility and finding solutions through negotiated resolution. However, he is also a tenacious litigator. He has appeared before all levels of court in Ontario and a range of tribunals, including: The Ontario Labour Relations Board, Ontario Human Rights Tribunal, The Workplace Safety and Insurance Board and Workplace Safety and Insurance Appeals Tribunal.

For private and public sector employers, he has provided knowledgeable counsel on a broad range of issues, including: constructive dismissal, workplace safety, and insurance, employment standards, human rights, hiring, terminations, involuntary and voluntary buyouts, and common law obligations in Canada.

While David advises employees at all levels, he focusses on issues specific to the C-Suite. He is broadly experienced at crafting and negotiating executive employment and compensation agreements; severance packages; non-competition and non-solicitation contracts, as well as agreements related to post-employment obligations; incentive plans stock options; bonus compensation, and fiduciary obligations. David has developed a specialized approach to dealing with constructive dismissal in the executive suite that has assisted his clients to recover millions of dollars in severance.

David also has a proven talent for addressing commonly unforeseen downside issues when drafting and negotiating executive employment agreements. He has earned a reputation for defending business leaders embroiled in conflicts with their Board of Directors or other executives, or who face leadership issues, or who are facing performance-related criticism from shareholders.

In 2013, Lexpert named David A. Whitten as a litigator to watch in its US Guide to Leading Cross-border Lawyers. Since 2015, David has been named by Lexpert as a repeatedly recommended leading practitioner for both employers and employees. He also co-authored “HR Manager’s Guide to Independent Contractors in the Workplace” which was published by Carswell.

james-heeney
James Heeney

Partner, Heeney Vokey LLP

James Heeney is a partner at Heeney Vokey LLP. He provides advice to both employers and employees on all areas of employment law. James is driven to create a firm that focuses on integrity and attention to detail but which also provides advice which is cost effective and timely. He works diligently to ensure his clients make strategic and educated long term decisions. 

His employer side practice focuses on providing strategic daily advice and litigation support. He assists clients with employment agreements, policy manuals, terminations and human rights issues. James also has significant experience advising clients on drafting and litigating breaches of restrictive covenants. 

In respect of the employee side of his practice, James routinely advises clients on issues relating to executive compensation, employment contracts, terminations and human rights. 

James is an experienced workplace investigator having performed investigations in respect of all areas of employment law. James has experience performing complex investigations in both the unionized and non-unionized workplaces in which there is a need for both thorough and timely reporting. Before founding Heeney Vokey LLP, James gained valuable experience practicing at a large national firm as well as a boutique employment law firm. James graduated from Queen’s University, and was called to the bar in 2004. Upon graduating from Queen’s James was awarded the prize for overall academic achievement, as well as the Law Society’s Award of Excellence. James was named by the Canadian HR Reporter, a national employment law magazine, as a leading employment lawyer in Toronto. 

James has significant experience performing speaking engagements, seminars and writing articles. James has spoken on all areas of employment law and workplace investigations on behalf of the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Federated Press and the Learning Forum amongst others. He has gained a successful reputation and has proven his skills in creating and facilitating employment law seminars in an understanding and comprehensive format which has resulted in invitations to speak at several organizations annual conferences. 

James has written numerous articles for several employment law forums and has published articles with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation which may be found at cbcnews.ca with respect to the area of employment law. 

Kris_Tierney_1_2020-08-31
Kris Tierney

CHRP, CHRL, Vice President, Human Resources and Learning

Kris’s approach as an executive leader is to achieve results by creating outstanding workplaces where people & culture are strategic priorities. She is a passionate and skilled business executive with 15 years’ experience leading HR in hi tech, high growth companies in automotive and financial services where she served as a trusted people and culture strategist, advisor and business partner to the C-Suite.

Kris started her career in hospitality where she held various leadership and management positions. For more than 20-years, Kris has served as a valued member of senior and executive leadership teams, where her skills in HR, leadership, strategy, and culture were honed and her passion for business and human resources were developed. She is periodically called upon by media, conferences and academia to contribute her experience and perspectives as an HR and business leader.

Kris has achieved the Certified Human Resources Professional (CHRP) and Certified Human Resources Leader (CHRL) designations as awarded by the Human Resources Professionals Association in Ontario, Canada. As a lifelong learner, Kris is thrilled to bring professional development and learning opportunities to the HR community in her role as Vice-President, Human Resources and Learning at the HRPA.

Nathaniel-Marshall
Nathaniel Marshall

Turnpenney Milne LLP

Nathaniel is a lawyer at Turnpenney Milne LLP, practicing in all areas of employment and labour law. Prior to joining the firm, he worked at a prominent, national law firm, as well as a boutique labour and employment firm. Nathaniel has conducted workplace investigations in a range of workplaces, including small, medium, and large enterprises (both unionized and non-unionized), in the public sector, and within large, provincial unions. He has a wide breadth of experience in workplace investigations having conducted investigations relating to sexual harassment, workplace harassment, personal harassment, benefits fraud, discrimination, bullying, workplace violence, and those concerning employer specific Codes of Conduct and workplace policies. He also has significant experience in workplace harassment training and workplace restoration.

Clients regularly turn to Nathaniel to conduct investigations where equity issues are alleged. Nathaniel has investigated allegations of race and gender-based discrimination in the provision of services to the public, allegations of racial discrimination for several large, private employers, and serious allegations of sexual harassment in an Indigenous community in Nunavut.

In addition to conducting workplace investigations, he has appeared as a prosecutor in numerous disciplinary proceedings under the Police Services Act, and counsel in police grievance arbitrations. Nathaniel is also certified by the Toronto Police Service to conduct use of force investigations involving Special Constables. His experience in both labour and employment law, particularly in the police sector, has provided him with a unique skill set compared to other workplace investigators.

Nathaniel is an experienced advocate and has represented clients before the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, the Ontario Labour Relations Board, the Ontario Civilian Police Commission, the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario, and the Workplace Safety and Insurance Appeals Tribunal. He has also been published in the Canadian Human Resources Reporter and Canadian Employment Law Today.

Nathaniel received a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science (Dean’s List) and J.D., both from Dalhousie University, where he was a member of the Indigenous Blacks and Mi’Kmaq initiative.

Düsseldorf, NRW, Deutschland, Business, Arbeit, w46, Werbeagentur. Loft, modern, Büro, Office, Stil
Erin Porter

Partner, Fasken

Erin Porter’s practice is focused on advising and representing employers in labour, employment and human rights matters. With considerable experience in the health care sector, Erin offers strategic and practical advice to her clients. Erin is a member of the Canadian Association of Counsel to Employers, the Ontario Bar Association’s Employment and Labour Division, and the Canadian Bar Association

Erin returned to Fasken after spending more than 11 years as in-house counsel for one of Canada’s largest retirement and long-term care home providers. In her position as Vice President, Legal, she was responsible for providing advice on acquisitions and dispositions, accommodation, employment contracts, terminations and various other workplace matters. Her areas of expertise include labour, employment and human rights, labour relations and collective bargaining, employment advice and litigation and labour mergers and acquisitions.

Erin frequently appears before arbitrators, the Ontario Labour Relations Board, and the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario. Although she is a passionate advocate, Erin also knows the benefit of pursuing a settlement under the right terms and conditions. In addition to her appearance work, Erin also has experience negotiating and interpreting collective agreements, advising regarding union grievances, drafting employment policies and conducting workplace investigations. A former teacher, Erin loves to present and has been a speaker at professional and client-based seminars on topics such as the duty to accommodate, preparing for arbitration, workplace investigations, code of conduct and last chance agreements.

Erin has also published on the “PSLRTA Overhaul in the Health Services Sector” in the Health Law Bulletin, May 31, 2019, and on “Amending the Broader Public Sector Executive Compensation Act” in the Labour, Employment and Human Rights Bulletin, May 14, 2019. Moreover, she is a well-versed public speaker who has presented on a wide variety of topics, including what Canadian employers need to know regarding COVID-19 vaccinations and the workplace, understanding how new developments in relation to COVID-19 impact Ontario’s health care providers and organizations, addressing violence in the workplace and upholding terminations for abuse, tackling drugs and alcohol in safety sensitive workplaces and navigating ethical considerations for in-house counsel.

Vanessa-Mian
Vanessa Mian

Chief People Officer, Hazelview

As a leader of strategy and people functions, Vanessa Mian is passionate about tackling complex business, talent and cultural matters to support employees and organizational growth. Vanessa has over 15 years of progressive experience in human resources management. She has held numerous HR roles in both Canadian and global organizations within various industries. Vanessa is currently responsible for overseeing all aspects of People & Culture within Hazelview Investments and its subsidiaries, including strategic planning, organizational development, leadership development, talent acquisition/management and total rewards. As an HR professional, mental health is top of mind for Vanessa and she is a Board Member for the Institute for Advancements in Mental Health. 

Paula-Allen
Paula Allen

Global Leader and Senior Vice-President, Research and Total Wellbeing

Paula Allen is the Global Leader, Research and Total Wellbeing and a Senior Vice- President at LifeWorks. She manages the research agenda for LifeWorks, which includes primary research, exploratory data science, research collaborations and meta-analyses. Given her focus on industry leading research, Paula also leads LifeWorks’ thought leadership and is co-chair of the organization’s product and innovation strategy.

Paula completed undergraduate and graduate degrees at the University of Toronto in psychological research and neuropsychological testing and clinical intervention. She has more than 20 years of experience relating to workplace research, product development and operational leadership that spans the range of EFAP, workplace learning, attendance and disability management and health and benefits consulting.

Paula is a sought-after speaker by organizations, national media and at conferences for her knowledge and expertise in current issues and the future direction of health, wellbeing, productivity and related risk management.

Paula is focused on current and emerging issues impacting health and productivity, and related costs. Her scope includes all areas of wellbeing i.e. social, physical, financial and mental. She is a well-recognized expert in all areas of workplace mental health, learning strategies, disability management and drug plan management. She also designed and led the most comprehensive employer response to the H1N1 pandemic and is currently LifeWorks’s business response and resource lead for the COVID-19 pandemic.

Paula is a member of the Women’s College Hospital’s Board of Directors, the Virtual Learning Advisory Board consulting to the public sector’s post-secondary on-line learning strategy, and the International Women’s Forum. In addition, she is a Civic Action Diversity Fellow mentor, serves on the Board of Directors of the Canadian Club of Toronto, and on the Guiding Council and ESG task force of One Mind@Work. Paula was also Co-chair of Civic Action’s Champions Council on workplace mental health, a member of the Income Security Working Group, which provides advice to the Ontario government on issues relating to disability and income support and she sits on several research and strategy advisory boards that address issues ranging from e-mental health solutions to substance abuse in the workplace.

Gamble, Kellie
Kellie Gamble

Director, HR Services, St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton

Kellie has extensive knowledge in labour relations, having directly negotiated multiple provincial and national collective agreements with some of Canada’s largest building trade unions in the construction industry. In the context of labour and employee relations, she has a well-rounded understanding of business, human resources, economics and legislation. This has contributed positively towards negotiated improvements and positive human resources services.

In each of her roles, Kellie has expertly engaged stakeholders and industry partners in a bid to support best practices and leadership opportunities to improve labour opportunities for unionized workers. Kellie is a proven relationship builder, negotiator, and collaborator; she demonstrates a genuine interest in people and the organizations she represents. These interests are the cornerstone to her ability to relate to the business and union leaders of today.

She completed a bachelor’s degree of Arts in Labour Studies from McMaster University and resides in Burlington, Ontario. She has school aged mini-negotiators aged 9 and 7, who have happily returned to school this fall as she continues to support the hospital in its response to COVID-19.

Carissa-Tanzola
Carissa N. Tanzola

Partner, Filion Wakely Thorup Angeletti LLP

Carissa Tanzola is a partner at Filion Wakely Thorup Angeletti LLP and represents unionized and non-unionized employers in all areas of labour and employment law. In addition to regularly providing advice with respect to employment contracts, discipline, terminations, labour disputes and grievances, Carissa has expertise in workplace accidents and injuries, occupational health and safety, worker’s compensation, disability management and accommodation, human rights and workplace issues being pursued in multiple jurisdictions.

Carissa is an experienced litigator, investigator and former Vice Chair of the Workplace Safety and Insurance Appeals Tribunal. She provides proactive, practical and cost-effective legal advice, while always being mindful of business objectives.

Carissa is a co-author of the Employer’s Guide to Ontario Workplace Safety and Insurance (Carswell) and regularly speaks, writes and teaches on timely labour and employment issues for industry groups and legal organizations. She was twice the Chair of the Ontario Bar Association Labour and Employment Section and is an Ontario Representative for the Canadian Association of Council to Employers’ Health and Safety Committee. She volunteers with Pro Bono Ontario’s Free Legal Advice Hotline and with community legal projects such as the ROSA project (reference material for victims of harassment and assault in the workplace). Carissa is ranked in the Canadian Lexpert® Directory for 2021 and has also been named to the RefertoHer list, a prestigious listing of experienced female litigators to whom work can be confidently referred.

Mitchell-Smith
Mitchell Smith

Partner, Brauti Thorning LLP

Mitchell is a civil litigator who litigates a wide variety of employment and commercial disputes. Mitchell has argued cases in all levels of civil court in Ontario including complex motions, trials, appeals and judicial reviews. He frequently litigates wrongful competition matters between employers and employees and corporate competitors and has expertise in the law of restrictive covenants (non-competition and non-solicitation), breach of confidentiality and fiduciary duties, and shareholder oppression disputes between corporate executives and companies.

Mitchell also has significant experience in injunctions, including labour injunctions, Mareva injunctions and Anton Pillar orders. His areas of expertise include arbitration commercial, litigation and litigation fraud, labour and employment law, professional and fiduciary liability, civil litigation, and defamation as well as freezing orders, extra-ordinary civil remedies and civil appeals.

Jeffrey-Mitchell
Jeffrey Mitchell

Partner, BLG

Jeff has a broad labour and employment practice, serving as “go-to” external counsel to a wide variety of organizations. He advises on issues such as discipline and dismissals, human rights issues (including discrimination and harassment) and workplace investigations and the HR implications of workplace restructuring. He also provides guidance on the sales and acquisitions of businesses, employment standards and occupational health and safety and employment policies. He also provides training for clients on all aspects of labour and employment law.

In non-unionized work environments, Jeff acts for employers in high-stakes employment-related litigation, such as wrongful dismissal claims, restrictive covenant injunction proceedings and human rights applications. Jeff drafts and advises on employment contracts, including non-competition, non-solicitation and confidentiality agreements. He also provides strategic guidance for proactive union prevention and real-time assistance during union organizing drives. For employers in unionized workplaces, Jeff litigates significant cases, including grievance arbitrations, picketing injunctions and proceedings before the Ontario Labour Relations Board. He advises on collective agreement interpretation issues, such as contracting out and terminations/layoffs. He also offers expertise on collective bargaining, advising on strategic approaches, drafting proposals, and acting as a spokesperson for clients during negotiations.

Jeff brings with him experience in a wide variety of industries, including retail, manufacturing, information technology, professional and financial services, wealth management and the public sector. Across these fields, he has experience in defending constructive/wrongful dismissal claims, including just cause cases. claims involving negligent misrepresentation and claims involving disabled employees and for disability benefit, as well as allegations of harassment/discrimination, and claims for post-employment bonuses, denial of overtime pay and loss of pension benefits. He has also acted as counsel at arbitrations related to drug and alcohol policy issues and advised on labour and employment issues arising from the sale of a business. Furthermore, he has acted on injunctions involving the restraint of former employees from competition and solicitation, defended against claims by trade unions involving the sale of business/related employer conducted collective bargaining and provided strategic advice regarding unionization.

Jeff is also a member of the Ontario Bar Association and author of “Canadian Outlook for 2013,” (white paper for the Bureau of National Affairs) and of “Wrongful Dismissal Claims and Summary Judgement,” Employment Law Manual. Additionally, he has been a speaker on “The State of Collective Bargaining,” at Ontario Public Transit Association’s Northern Regional Conference in October 2016. He has also been a speaker at an HRPA webinar titiled “Update on Non-Competition and Non-Solicitation Covenants,” in June 2016.

Cedric-Lamarche
Cédric Lamarche

Partner, Singh Lamarche LLP

Cédric Lamarche is a partner at Singh Lamarche LLP. He provides bilingual legal representation in French and English to employees and employers on all aspects of employment law including wrongful dismissals, constructive dismissals, human rights, harassment, employment standards, contract interpretation, overtime pay, and severance packages. He has appeared before the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, the Divisional Court, the Federal Court, the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario, the Ontario Labour Relations Board, the Public Service Grievance Board of Ontario, the Ontario College of Teachers’ Discipline Committee, and the Health Professions Appeal and Review Board.

Cédric received his LL.B. from the University of Ottawa and was called to the bar in 2008. Prior to forming Singh Lamarche LLP, he worked at a national Bay Street firm and a boutique employment law firm.