Day One: Tuesday, November 21, 2023

10:15 EST

45 min
Norm Keith

The Legal Framework: Prevent & Manage Discrimination, Bullying, Harassment & Violence

Norm Keith, Partner, KPMG LLP

  • The challenge for employers
  • Human rights law
  • Emerging issues in OHS legislation & regulations
  • Privacy expectations and “laws” and respect in the workplace
  • The Criminal Code in your compliance program
  • New Federal Harassment & Violence Prevention Regulation – Should we all conform to the higher standards required of federally regulated employers?
  • Internal versus external investigators – cost considerations
  • Legal requirement for a workplace H&V hazard assessment
  • New mandatory elements of an employer’s H&V policy and training
  • Intake of complaints and protection of privacy & dignity
  • New requirements for investigators and investigations
  • Resolution options, preserving evidence and litigation
  • Providing support to employees affected by harassment and violence

11:00 EST

45 min
Brianne Layden

Identifying Risk Before Violence Occurs: Best Practices in Violence Risk / Hazard Assessment

Brianne Layden, Protect International

When should you be concerned about the risk of violence in the workplace? How do you prioritize cases? What immediate actions should you take? This session will cover:

  • The nature of violence and violence risk
  • What constitutes a risk assessment?
  • Triaging of cases
  • Identifying warning signs and implementing immediate actions
  • Approaches to violent risks
  • Tools and protocols to assess risk/hazards
  • The importance of conducting a “threshold” assessment prior to referring the file for investigation
  • Are there other options if you don’t meet the threshold?

11:45 EST

45 min
Stuart Rudner

Complaints Against C-Suite Executives: Conducting a Proper Investigation While Managing Reputational Damage

Stuart Rudner, Rudner Law

When an allegation of harassment arises against a leading executive, it can send the company into a tailspin. HR leaders can panic if they are not prepared. Topics include:

  • The power dynamic, trust and equity issues
  • Developing a “Relationships at Work” policy that is pragmatic and useful
  • Written policies around disclosure of relationships
  • The need for comprehensive disciplinary procedures laying out steps that should be taken if a C-Suite individual commits an act of misconduct
  • Contract provisions to provide employers with tools and rights to allow for investigation
  • Is termination always necessary?
  • Is termination always appropriate?
  • Considerations in recruiting executives who reflect organizational values
  • Why witnesses and complainants don’t report
  • The need for training for executives

12:30 EST

60 min


14:15 EST

45 min
Dara Marcoccia Leigh Gross Patricia Phillips Nitin Pardal

Best Practice: Meeting Your Obligations for Employees Experiencing Domestic Violence

Dara Marcoccia, Vice President, People Experience and Chief Human Resources Officer, Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre

Leigh Gross, Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre

Patricia Phillips, Manager, Occupational Health and Wellness, Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre

Nitin Pardal, Legal Counsel, Employment and Labour Relations, Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre

Employers have an obligation to ensure a safe workplace for all including the prevention of Domestic Violence. This session will cover the vital role the workplace plays in protecting an employee from domestic abuse, ensuring the safety of all and providing resources to support leaders, the team and the individual experiencing abuse.

  • Employer’s legal obligations regarding domestic violence
  • Risk assessments
  • Strategies to manage incidents of domestic violence
  • Resources to support leaders, individuals experiencing abuse and the team

15:00 EST

15 min


15:15 EST

75 min
Sharad Kerur

Building Your Conflict Management Competencies

Sharad Kerur, CEO, Resolution Pathways

How do people respond when they find themselves in conflict situations? What triggers drive negative conflict?  Can you learn to turn negative into productive conflict? The answer is a resounding YES!

  • Improving one’s conflict competencies through a behavioural lens
    What constitutes constructive vs. destructive  (active vs passive) reactions?
  • Examining the “hot-buttons” that influence behaviours,
  • channel conflict from negative stressful situations to positive stress-free ones

16:30 EST

End of Day One

Day Two: Wednesday, November 22, 2023

10:15 EST

45 min
Ozlem Yucel

Front Line Responsibility to Prevent Discrimination, Harassment, Bullying & Violence

Ozlem Yucel, Partner, Turnpenney Milne LLP

  • The supervisor’s duty to enforce workplace harassment policies
  • The higher standard imposed on supervisor’s
  • Why office culture is not an excuse
  • Supervisor’s duty to intervene
  • Supervisor’s personal liability for their bad behaviour
  • Need to consider the possibility of lesser forms of discipline
  • Leading cases

11:00 EST

45 min
Margaret-Marie (Meg) Steele

Mental Health: When Do We Accommodate? When Do We Discipline or Terminate?

Margaret-Marie (Meg) Steele, Senior Legal Counsel, Legal Services, Innovative Client Services Department, City of Ottawa

  • The evolving definition of workplace violence
  • The relationship between mental health and workplace violence
  • Investigating potential threats
  • Determining when a comprehensive threat assessment is required
  • Accommodating employees who have threatened violence
  • Accommodation obligations when disability is addiction-based
  • What are the signs of addiction?
  • What to do if you suspect there is an addiction problem
  • When is drug and alcohol testing permissible?
  • Options available for accommodating addiction disorders

12:30 EST

60 min


13:30 EST

45 min
Courtney Betty

Do Micro Aggressions Amount to Discrimination or Harassment?

Courtney Betty, JD, Founder and Senior Partner, Betty’s Law Office Professional Corporation

Organizations must recognize that Micro Aggressions have been seen as Death by a 1000 paper cuts. In many cases the Micro Aggressions cumulatively form the basis of a Discrimination and Harassment claim. Micro Aggressions come in many forms including sexism, racism and an insensitivity to an individual’s culture in the work environment.

This session will deal with how to deal with behaviours that are considered microaggessions.

14:15 EST

75 min

Bullying vs. Harassment: Is There a Difference and Why Does It Matter?

Luiza Vikhnovich, Partner, Sherrard Kuzz LLP

While often grouped together, harassment and bullying are quite different in severity, impact on others and how and where they are handled This session provides what you need to know to manage each appropriately:

  • Definitions
  • Types of bullying – OH&S and due diligence – possible civil claims
  • Difference between strong management and bullying
  • Harassment- discrimination based on prohibited grounds of discrimination in Human Rights Codes and Commission proceedings

15:30 EST

15 min


16:30 EST

End of Day Two