Day One: Tuesday, March 26, 2024

10:45 EDT

60 min
Robert Zhu

Accommodation in the Context of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Robert Zhu, Director of Outreach, Diversity, and Inclusion, Liberal Research Bureau of the House of Commons

  • Discuss the intersection between duty to accommodate and DEI work
  • Engage in collaborative dialogues with employees to find individualized accommodation plans that lead employees to success
  • Assess the needs of employees using intersectional lens
  • Highlight the need of effective accommodation to create an inclusive workplace

11:45 EDT

60 min
Margaret-Marie (Meg) Steele

New and Notable Cases: A Look at Recent Developments in the Law of Accommodation

Margaret-Marie (Meg) Steele, Senior Legal Counsel, City of Ottawa

  • Examine and synthesize recent legal developments in accommodation
  • Research and analyze key rulings, distilling complex legal concepts into accessible summaries for a diverse audience, facilitating a nuanced understanding of the dynamic landscape of accommodation law
  • Authorize a detailed report highlighting emerging trends and implications from recent cases

12:45 EDT

45 min


13:30 EDT

60 min
Glenn French

Accommodating the Embittered Employee Our Next Workplace Challenge

Glenn French, The Canadian Initiative on Workplace Violence

  • Implement a proactive conflict resolution strategy, mediating and resolving disputes to foster a more harmonious work environment
  • Develop and execute a targeted employee support program
  • Spearhead training initiatives for managers and teams

15:30 EDT

60 min
Tara Beaton

Juggling Minds: Diverse Executive Functions at Work

Tara Beaton, Workplace Disability & Learning Solutions Specialist,

  • Assess how different executive functions, such as planning, decision-making, and problem-solving, interact in complex workplace scenarios
  • Determine which executive functions are most critical for specific tasks and allocate resources accordingly to optimize productivity
  • Continuously adjust and refine executive function strategies to meet evolving demands and challenges in a dynamic work environment

Day Two: Wednesday, March 27, 2024

11:30 EDT

60 min
Richard D. Sharpe

Addressing Workplace Bullying and Harassment: Creating a Respectful Environment

Richard D. Sharpe, Director (OPS/EX3), Black Equity Branch, Centre for People, Culture and Talent Treasury Board Secretariat, Ontario Public Service

  • Establish a comprehensive anti-bullying and anti-harassment policy
  • Conduct regular awareness and sensitivity training for all employees
  • Encourage open communication channels for reporting incidents
  • Promptly investigate all reported cases with diligence and fairness
  • Enforce strict consequences for perpetrators in line with the policy

12:30 EDT

45 min


13:15 EDT

60 min
Joel Smith Oliver Lam

Disability Management and Accommodation

Joel Smith, Partner, Williams HR Law LLP

Oliver Lam, Labour and Employment Lawyer & Workplace Investigator, Williams HR Law LLP

  • Consider what the duty to accommodate employee disabilities entails, particularly within a unionized environment
  • Highlight legislation and common collective agreement terms relating to disability management
  • Discuss what medical information can be requested, and strategies to obtain it
  • Explore the topic of mental health accommodation
  • Examine real-world case studies demonstrating best practices in disability management

14:15 EDT

60 min
Zaheer Lakhani Melissa Mustafa
Case Study

Frustration and the Accommodation Process

Zaheer Lakhani, Partner, Lakhani Campea LLP

Melissa Mustafa, Associate Lawyer, Lakhani Campea LLP

  • Define the legal doctrine of frustration as it relates to employees who are unable to complete the bona fide occupational requirements of their role
  • Describe how the doctrine of frustration intersects with the duty to accommodate
  • Detail what employers need to know before relying on the doctrine of frustration
  • Identify pitfalls in the process of claiming frustration
  • Confirm employer obligations under the Employment Standards Act, 2000 in situations involving frustration

15:15 EDT

60 min
Adrienne Fanjoy

Navigating the Boundary: Distinguishing Between Wants and Needs in Accommodation Requests

Adrienne Fanjoy, Lawyer, Nelligan O'Brien Payne LLP

  • Assess the legitimacy of accommodation requests through careful evaluation
  • Differentiate between essential needs and discretionary wants
  • Engage in open dialogue with individuals seeking accommodations
  • Prioritize accommodation solutions based on genuine needs
  • Educate both employees and employers on the distinction between wants and needs in accommodation requests

Pre-Conference Workshop: Monday, March 25, 2024

13:00 EDT

180 min
Diane Rudakenga Bibigi Haile Faduno Ali Keitha Cowie
Pre-Conference Workshop

Stress and Mental Health in the Workplace

Diane Rudakenga, Senior Human Resources Advisor, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada

Bibigi Haile, Strategic Advisor, The Beauvoir Group

Faduno Ali, Senior Advisor at Privy Council Office, Government of Canada

Keitha Cowie, Senior Project Analyst, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada

Embracing Every Mind: A Journey to Advocacy in Mental Health and Inclusion

Diane Rudakenga’s presentation, “Embracing Every Mind: A Journey to Advocacy in Mental Health and Inclusion,” promises to be a transformative experience that explores the intersections of identity, mental health, and workplace inclusivity. Through her own narrative as a Neurodivergent African-Canadian woman and mother, Diane will delve into the heart of mental health advocacy, neurodiversity, and Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging (DEIB). She will share insights from her extensive background in psychoeducation, positive psychology, and human-centric leadership. This empowering session promises to illuminate the complexities of mental health support, advocating for inclusive and supportive environments.

PANEL DISCUSSION: Navigating Workplace Wellbeing: An Intersectional Approach to Stress and Mental Health

In this session, our esteemed guest speakers will explore the complexities of stress and mental health in the workplace, each contributing their unique expertise. The discussion aims to illuminate the multifaceted nature of these issues, offering attendees a comprehensive understanding from various perspectives. Our goal is to provide practical tools and strategies to foster an inclusive wellbeing culture within organizations.