Employment Law Conference 2024: Combo

Course Date: May 2, 2024

Full Course Materials
Total: 11h 21min
Total Ethics: 2h 38min
Day 1: Thursday, May 2, 2024
Course Introduction and Land Acknowledgement (9:00 – 9:15)
Genevieve Chang (she/her) — Program Lawyer, CLEBC, Vancouver
Valerie Dixon (she/her) — City of Vancouver, Vancouver
James D. Kondopulos (he/him) — Roper Greyell LLP, Vancouver
The Push for Pay Transparency (9:15 – 10:10)
  • what we can expect from BC's pay transparency legislation in the coming years based on other jurisdictions, including in terms of enforcement and potential expansion 
  • what is the effectiveness of pay transparency legislation in achieving its stated objectives
  • how counsel can assist their clients in complying with the broad in scope (but light on detail) obligations that BC's Pay Transparency Act imposes on employers 
Kristina Draskovic (she/her) — Harris & Company LLP, Vancouver
Victoria Merritt (she/her) — Dentons Canada LLP, Vancouver
What Every Employment Lawyer Must Know About Immigration Law (10:10 – 11:05)
  • recruitment practice involved for immigration applications (such as LMIA) and employment considerations
  • practical hiring considerations for foreign workers and impact on employment contract and other hiring practice
  • immigration compliance for employers that employment lawyers must be aware of and best practice tips
  • Foreign Worker Protection Act and recent case law that employment and immigration lawyers must know about
  • ethical considerations for immigration scenarios involving foreign workers

Jenson K. Leung (he/him) — Kane Shannon & Weiler LLP, Vancouver
Jae-Yeon Lim (she/her) — Harris & Company LLP, Vancouver

BREAK (11:05 – 11:20)
The Effect of Incoming Amendments to the Canada Labour Code on Federally Regulated Employers (11:20 – 12:10)
  • what are the incoming amendments, contained in the Budget Implementation Act, 2018 No. 2, SC 2018, coming into effect in February 2024:
    • the "Notice Period" amendments; and 
    • the "Statement of Benefit" amendments
  • the significance of the differences between analogous provisions under the BC Employment Standards Act and the Canada Labour Code with the incoming amendments
  • the impact the amendments on drafting termination provisions in employment contracts for federally regulated employers
Micah Goldberg (he/him) — Watson Goepel LLP, Vancouver
Sean Tevlin
(he/him) — Tevlin Gleadle Curtis Employment Law Strategies, Vancouver
LUNCH (12:10 – 1:45) with Featured Speaker: View from the Bench (at 1:00 – 1:45)
The Honourable Justice Alan M. RossSupreme Court of BC, Vancouver
Derek FrenetteAlexander Holburn Beaudin + Lang LLP, Vancouver
Mentoring the Next Generation of Lawyers (from Mentor's and Mentee's Perspective) (1:45 – 2:30)
  • why mentorship matters—focus on CBA Wellness Report
  • how to be an excellent mentor
  • how to get the most out of mentorship relationship
  • findings an effective mentor
Jessica Forman (she/her) — Forte Workplace Law, Surrey
Fiona Wong (she/her) — Overholt Law LLP, Vancouver
BREAK (2:30 – 2:45)
Interacting with WorkSafeBC—A Primer (2:45 – 3:30)
  • this presentation will provide an overview of how to interact efficiently and effectively with WorkSafeBC in a number of common employment related interactions
    • internal review and appeal—identifying when you can seek review, appeal, or other internal remedies and how to do so effectively
    • obtaining information/evidence—how to efficiently seek required document production from WorkSafeBC
    • occupational health and safety enforcement—the progressive enforcement system set out under the Workers' Compensation Act (the "Act"), the binding policy that applies, and what this looks like in practice
    • subrogation/litigation bar—the unique nature of the litigation bar and subrogation right under the Act
Johanna Goosen (she/her) — Senior Manager, Litigation, WorkSafeBC, Richmond
Case Law Update (3:30 – 4:30)
  • key cases
  • analysis and trends
  • effects on practice
Jeffrey Bastien (he/him) — Dentons Canada LLP, Vancouver
Menachem Freedman (he/him) — HHBG Lawyers, Vancouver
Eleni Kassaris (she/her) — Dentons Canada LLP, Vancouver
Lia Moody (she/her) — HHBG Lawyers, Vancouver
Reception (Pan Pacific Hotel) (4:30 – 6:00), hosted by:
Day 2: Friday, May 3, 2024
Welcome (9:00 – 9:05)
Valerie Dixon (she/her) — City of Vancouver, Vancouver
James D. Kondopulos (he/him) — Roper Greyell LLP, Vancouver
Legal Obligations when Quitting (9:05 – 10:00)
  • what constitutes a resignation at law?
  • can a resignation be rescinded before acceptance and does the employer have to indicate acceptance?
  • what is a "wrongful resignation"?
  • retirement declarations and their connection to resignations—is a retirement different that a resignation?
  • resignation clauses in written agreements—issues to watch out for:
    • ability for the employer to speed up the departure (with or without pay)—is it a dismissal if the employer tries to shorten the notice given by the employee?
    • the enforceability of a resignation notice requirement that is excessive
    • bonus payout issues
Kimberly D. Darling (she/her) — Kent Employment Law, Kelowna
Simon Kent (he/him) — Kent Employment Law, Surrey
Freedom of Expression within and Beyond the Workplace (10:00 – 11:00)
  • this presentation will explore the ability of employees to engage in acts of expression within or outside of the workplace, on topics related or unrelated to the workplace, and how employees and employers alike can navigate such expression 
  • specific topics will include the applicability of Charter rights, the Human Rights Code's protections of political belief and prohibitions on hate speech, and an employee's right to expressive activity as contrasted with an employer's ability to regulate on- and off-duty conduct or terminate employment as a result of such activity
  • decisions within and out of BC will be explored to not only provide an overview of current jurisprudence, but also where it may be headed in the coming months and years
Madeline Lusk (she/her) — Harris & Company LLP, Vancouver
David Penner (he/him) — Harris & Company LLP, Vancouver
Catherine Repel (she/her) Clark Wilson LLP, Vancouver
BREAK (11:00 – 11:15)
Federal or Provincial? First Nations as Employers (11:15 – 12:10)
  • differences between Canada Labour Code and the Employment Standards Act, and why certainty on jurisdictional issues matters, particularly to the issue of enforceability of termination clauses in employment agreements
  • jurisdictional analysis applicable to First Nations as employers with a focus on the Canada Industrial Relations Board's decision in Schlesiger v. Tsleil-Waututh Nation (February 8, 2023)
  • how the analysis in Schlesiger and the general presumption that employment is provincially regulated unless the employment relates to a federal head of power raises interesting considerations in the context of a modern treaty nation like Tsawwassen First Nation
Mary N. Childs (she/her) — General Counsel, Tsawwassen First Nation, Tsawwassen
Lou Poskitt (she/her) Cooperwilliams Truman & Ito LLP, Vancouver
Glen Stratton (he/him) — Ascent Employment Law Corporation, Vancouver
LUNCH (12:10 – 1:10)
Neurodiversity in the Workplace: Implications for Employment Lawyers (1:10 – 2:00)
  • overview and definition of key concepts: neurodiversity, neurodivergence
  • tension between emerging social context and disability/accommodation legal framework in place 
    • accommodations for neurodivergent employees 
    • barriers
  • harassment and discrimination: legal framework (s. 13, BCHRC) 
  • opportunities and best practices 
Tonie Beharrell (she/her) — Southern Butler Price LLP, North Vancouver
Andi Sheasby (they/them) Southern Butler Price LLP, Vernon
BREAK (2:00 – 2:15)
Lawyers as Employers—Recent Updates to Our Professional Code of Conduct (2:15 – 3:00)
  • in July 2023, the Code of Professional Conduct for BC was updated to add commentary about our duties as lawyers not to discriminate, harass or sexually harass anyone
  • while the commentary covers duties to clients and others, much of it is geared towards our obligations as employers and colleagues
  • our presentation will review these updates and highlight the key considerations for lawyers as employers
  • we will also bring some perspective from the Law Society on issues such as complaints, disciplinary action, and training or policies that lawyers can take or implement to address these concerns
Sarah Conroy (she/her) Staff Lawyer, Intake & Early Resolution, Law Society of BC, Vancouver
Christie Gilmour (she/her) — Forte Workplace Law, Surrey
Multi-faceted Proceedings: Litigating Workplace Claims in Multiple Forums (3:00 – 3:55)
  • proper venues for each type of common claim we deal with as employment and human rights counsel
  • how to work with the very different limitation periods in each venue (legally and strategically)
  • how to organize which claim(s) to mediate first and why (and if mediation is a good strategy in the first place)
  • instances where it is appropriate to seek stays/deferrals of proceedings, and the process to do so 
  • how to navigate document disclosure when litigating in multiple forums
  • considerations around remedies when dealing with multi-faceted litigation in multiple venues
Sebastian Chern (he/him) — Howard Employment Law Corporation, Vancouver
Richard B. Johnson (he/him) — Ascent Employment Law Corporation, Vancouver
Closing Comments (3:55 – 4:00)
Valerie Dixon (she/her) — City of Vancouver, Vancouver
James D. Kondopulos (he/him) — Roper Greyell LLP, Vancouver