Employment Law Conference 2018

Course Date: May 3, 2018

Total: 12h 17min

Day 1: Thursday, May 3, 2018

Welcome and Introduction

Implementation of New Employment Contracts with Existing Employees 

  • a review of what courts have considered a fresh consideration
  • reasonable notice, implementation of a bonus scheme or incentive pay, increased remuneration, more vacation pay, or greater responsibilities
  • best practices

Sean T. Pihl, QC — Pihl Law Corporation, Kelowna 
Adrienne N. Staley — Pihl Law Corporation, Kelowna 


Employment Injunctions 

  • the applicable threshold test serious question v. strong prima facie case
  • what is irreparable harm in employment cases
  • important balance of convenience factors
  • practical tips on bringing and defending injunctions, including preparation of affidavits

Andrew Nathan — Borden Ladner Gervais LLP, Vancouver 
Steve M. WinderBorden Ladner Gervais LLP, Vancouver 

#WhatDidYouJustSay: The Uses and Abuses of Social Media in Employment Law 

  • introduction to Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and blogs in the employment law context
  • uses of social media: recruitment, screening, #metoo, monitoring and privacy issues
  • abuses of social media: employee abuses—discipline and just cause termination; employer abuses—expectations of privacy
  • what can you do about it? Responsibilities of employers and mitigation of risks—defamation and other liability risks, policies & enforcement, third party involvement

Adrienne Atherton — Civic Legal LLP, Vancouver
Courtenay MercierReed Pope Law Corporation, Victoria 

Lunch with Featured Speaker: The Sharing Economy and Implications For Employment Law 

Geoff Mason — Kent Employment Law, Vancouver
Professor Kenneth Thornicroft — Peter B. Gustavson School of Business, University of Victoria, Victoria 

Investigating Sexual Misconduct In Workplaces

  • sexual misconduct in workplaces and #metoo — the new context
  • employer obligations: when and why to investigate
  • investigation best practices including:
    • who should conduct the investigation and how to protect privilege
    • terms of reference/retainer for an investigation
    • after the investigation—communication, privacy, and remedial measures
    • safeguarding procedural fairness and addressing confidentiality, and the role of counsel in the investigation process
    • trauma informed investigation practices
    • thorny issues that arise in sexual misconduct investigations (anonymous complaints, uncooperative parties, similar fact evidence)
  • legal pitfalls and flawed investigations
  • the broader context — Canadian experience and a comparative approach to other jursdictions

Valerie S. Dixon — Miller Thomson LLP, Vancouver
Sandra F. GuarascioRoper Greyell LLP – Employment and Labour Lawyers, Vancouver
Martin SheardTevlin Gleadle Curtis Employment Law Strategies, Vancouver 


A Reference Point For References and Reference Letters: Recent Developments and Legal And Practical Considerations 

  • review of law regarding the provision of references and reference letters
  • whether an employer has a legal obligation to provide a reference
  • whether liability may result out of giving a negative reference
  • claims of defamation arising out of references
  • effect of providing or refusing to provide a reference on an employee's entitlement to notice at common law, right to damages, and duty to mitigate
  • direction in which the law may be moving with respect to references and reference letters
  • role which references and reference letters can play in settlement negotiations and agreements

James D. Kondopulos — Roper Greyell LLP – Employment and Labour Lawyers, Vancouver
Matthew LarsenFasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP, Vancouver 

The Overtime Game — Select Issues in Working Past the Clock

  • legal overview of provincial, federal, and common law rules on overtime
  • sepcific issues with overtime (travel, cell phone use, and class actions)
  • best practices and issue spotting for plaintiff's counsel
  • best practices for defendant's counsel

Richard E. Press — DLA Piper (Canada) LLP, Vancouver
Melissa Vander Houwen — Moore Edgar Lyster, Vancouver 

Reception at Chewies Steam & Oyster Bar, Coal Harbour, Hosted by: 


Day 2: Friday, May 4, 2018


Developments In Employment Law Aggravated Damages Claims for Psychiatric Damage

  • review of Saadati v. Moorhead, SCC 28 and implications
  • cost v. benefit of using medical experts in these claims
  • lay evidence required if no expert is utilized
  • practical reasons to plead or not plead aggravated damages claims
  • WCB-related issues

Blair W. Curtis — Tevlin Gleadle Curtis Employment Law Strategies, Vancouver 
Christopher R. ForgusonChris Forguson Employment Law, Vancouver
Thomas A. PosyniakHarris & Company LLP, Vancouver 


Issues in Mitigation

  • principles relating to mitigation in employment law
  • review of Brake v. PJ-M2R Restaurant Inc., 2017 ONCA 402, which revisits the duty to mitigate
  • implications of this case

David D. McWhinnie — Tevlin Gleadle Curtis Employment Law Strategies, Vancouver
Nicole Toye — Harris & Company LLP, Vancouver 

Money For Nothing: Legal Strategies To Make Settlement Dollars Go Further 

  • effective strategies and the legalities behind structured settlements for income tax and employment insurance purposes, including:
    • retiring allowances
    • reimbursement of legal fees
    • reimbursement of mitigation expenses
    • general damages, aggravated damages, and punitive damages—when are they appropriate and how are they viewed by Service Canada and the Canada Revenue Agency?
    • compensating the employee-shareholder and buying back shares in privately held corporations
    • employer contributions to RRSPs and other tax-deferred savings schemes
    • are contractors treated differently?
    • compensation in lieu of reinstatement (in human rights cases)
    • interest payments
    • can a claim be made for loss of a capital asset (for designated professionals)?

David M. Brown — Kent Employment Law, Kelowna 
Riley Burr — Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP, Vancouver 

Networking Lunch

The Trials and Tribulations of a Virtual Workplace 

  • legal and practical issues of telecommuting
  • lessons learned from the perspectives of both the employer and employee

Sandra Carter — Valkyrie Law Corporation, North Vancouver 
Emily McClendon — Valkyrie Law Corporation, North Vancouver 

Employment Standards Update 

  • organizational overview
  • trends in employment standards across Canada
  • BC data and facts, employment standards statistics
  • little known facts about the ESA/Employment Standards Branch
  • director's "tips" for employment law counsel and HR professionals

Bill C. Boyte, LLB, LLM — Executive Director, Ministry of Labour – Employment Standards Branch, Victoria 


Family Status — The Status of the Family Status Test 

  • review of the test set out in Health Sciences Association of British Columbia v. Campbell River and North Island Transition Society, 2004 BCCA 260 ("Campbell River")
  • how Stewart v. Elk Valley Coal Corp, 2017 SCC 30 impacts Campbell River 
  • how Campbell River has been treated before and after Stewart v. Elk Valley Coal Corp, 2017 SCC 30
  • review of the test for family status in other jurisdictions
  • how the test applies to employees' obligations to their parents

Erin Brandt — Kent Employment Law, Vancouver
Richard Savage — Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP, Vancouver 

Just Cause, Just 'Cuz

  • key cases
  • analysis and trends
  • effects on practice

Gradin D. Tyler — Mathews, Dinsdale & Clark LLP, Vancouver 
Cameron R. Wardell — Mathews, Dinsdale & Clark LLP, Vancouver 

Closing Remarks