Speakers

Nhi Huynh

Labour and Employment Lawyer and Workplace Investigator

Williams HR Law LLP

Nhi Huynh is a lawyer at Williams HR Law LLP, where she practices in all areas of management-side labor, employment, and human rights law. In her practice, Nhi assists employers with a wide scope of legal issues and enjoys helping clients to navigate alternative dispute resolutions and civil procedures. Along with being committed to resolving disputes, she is focused on equipping clients with tools to prevent disputes. Nhi has presented through the OBA, HRD Employment Law Masterclass (Ontario and Alberta), and Lancaster House on employment contracts and policies; mental health in the workplace; workplace health and safety; and workplace accommodations. Along with presenting to legal and human resources professionals, she has published articles on diversity in the workplace, policies, and new developments with the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board. Nhi is regularly published in the Canadian HR Reporter.

Faduno Ali

Faduno Ali

Senior Advisor at Privy Council Office

Government of Canada

Tara Beaton

Workplace Disability & Learning Solutions Specialist

Tarabeaton.com

Tara Beaton has provided expert guidance to thousands of leaders, managers, specialists, and practitioners in the areas of human resources, disability management, and rehabilitation. Diagnosed at age 49 with ADHD, she now adds her first-person perspectives to her 25 years of professional experience in accommodation, Return-To-Work, diversity, inclusion, accessibility and training. Tara’s speaking engagements have included the Public Prosecution Service of Canada and the Society of Human Resource Managers, and she has developed and delivered programming for 9 post-secondary institutions from coast to coast. Tara is a Certified Disability Management Professional (CDMP) and holds a master’s degree with a focus on critical human resource development.

Lisa Cabel

Lisa Cabel

National Leader, Employment Law

KPMG Law LLP

With almost 20 years of experience, Lisa Cabel was recruited by KPMG Law LLP in 2020 to add labor and employment experience to their legal service offerings. The practice has since grown under her leadership to include additional partners, associates, support staff, and the addition of a pay equity team.

Lisa provides powerful knowledge in human rights law, with a focus on management side labor and employment. She works with a diverse array of clients across all industries, from start-ups and family businesses to large-cap public and private sector employees and companies. She also specializes in and provides legal advice to clients around collective agreement interpretation and negotiation, collective bargaining, employee discipline and terminations, wrongful dismissal claims, health and safety, harassment, and workplace policies and investigations.

Lisa and her team regularly advise clients on issues relating to the legal repercussions of return to office, work from anywhere and hybrid working arrangements arising from the COVID-19 pandemic. She is a trusted adviser to clients relating to labor, employment, human rights, and pay equity and is seen as a practical, solution-oriented lawyer who has a keen sense of business needs as they are balanced with legal compliance. She is a leader in human rights and has published her book Ontario Litigator’s Guide to Human Rights Practice, which is in its second edition, as well as released two significant thought leadership pieces in response to employment issues. She is a frequent conference speaker with expertise in Human Rights, Pay Equity and Bill S-211 relating to Canada’s new Modern Slavery laws.

Glenn French

Glenn French

The Canadian Initiative on Workplace Violence

Mr. French is the President and CEO of the Canadian Initiative, based in Toronto, Canada. Within the mental health field, Mr. French has held many senior administrative and clinical positions within both the private and public sectors. Many of Canada’s leading organizations interested in the safety and wellbeing of their employees have retained him. Established in 1998, the Canadian Initiative is a consultancy that studies trends in workplace conduct within Canada. In addition, they research and catalogue the practices, which organizations and unions are employing to reduce the risk of workplace conflict.

The Canadian Initiative is committed to the sharing of this information with others who are interested in arriving at a better understanding of violence and harassment from a Canadian perspective and what we can do to prevent them. In addition, the Canadian Initiative works with employers to set policies and procedures, conduct organizational risk assessments, as well as, provide a wide range of educational programs for both employees and management. In addition, we conduct workplace investigations. The Canadian Initiative has been showcased on the CBC (The National), CITY TV, CTV, Global Television, within The National Post, Globe & Mail, Toronto Star, MacLean’s Magazine and multiple print dailies across Canada, as well as wide coverage on radio and trade publications, including Public Safety Canada’s Prevention Magazine.

In 2001, the Canadian Initiative partnered with the Federal Government in planning for the first North American conference on workplace violence as part of the North American Agreement on Labour Cooperation, including both United States and Mexico. Mr. French was invited to address the 9th Global Conference on Occupational Health and Safety sponsored in part by the World Health Organization held in Merida, Mexico where he tabled his most recent paper entitled “Towards a Global Standard for Workplace Conduct”. He has also been an invited speaker for such organizations as the American Federation of Labour, Osgoode Law School and the Canadian Human Rights Commission to name but a few.

Zaheer Lakhani

Zaheer Lakhani

Partner

Lakhani Campea LLP

Zaheer Lakhani is a partner at the boutique law firm Lakhani Campea LLP, which specializes in
employment law, workplace investigations and litigation services. Called to the Bar in 1998,
Zaheer advises and represents various sized employers as well as individuals in a variety of
areas such as human rights, including disability and accommodation; wrongful dismissal claims;
employment standards compliance and litigation, and general strategic HR advice.

Zaheer is frequently sought out to provide third party investigation services for various
employers including municipal clients, school boards, and Canadian Universities. In the spring
of 2020, his investigation involving the conduct of an elected school board trustee was
referenced in various news media including the Ottawa Citizen, CBC, Toronto Star and the
Globe and Mail.

Zaheer has also appeared as a guest on CBC Radio and Radio Canada to discuss
discrimination and toxic workplaces and he has delivered presentations on a variety of legal
updates on behalf of various chapters of the Human Resource Professionals Association
(HRPA), the HRPA’s annual conference, as well as the Ontario Municipal Human Resources
Association (OMHRA) Spring and Fall Conference.

Oliver Lam

Oliver Lam

Labour and Employment Lawyer & Workplace Investigator

Williams HR Law LLP

Oliver is a lawyer and workplace investigator at Williams HR Law, where he practices in all areas of management-side labor, employment, and human rights law. Oliver provides legal advice to clients in all areas of labor, employment, and human rights law. He provides strategic advice to both unionized and non-union employers on a variety of issues, including employment agreements and policies, accommodation and disability management, terminations, occupational health and safety, wrongful dismissal and constructive dismissal litigation, collective bargaining, and workplace investigations and reviews. Oliver has provided advice to organizations in a wide range of industries, including non-for-profit, financial services, professional services, manufacturing, information technology and hospitality.

Melissa Mustafa

Melissa Mustafa

Associate Lawyer

Lakhani Campea LLP

Melissa Mustafa is an associate lawyer at Lakhani Campea LLP, a boutique law firm located in Oakville, Ontario which specializes in employment law, workplace investigations and litigation services. Melissa’s practice includes wrongful dismissal litigation, human rights applications, advising on termination packages, drafting employment agreements, workplace investigations and human resources training, labor disputes and collective bargaining.
Originally from Australia, Melissa relocated to Canada in 2014 after completing her law degree and articling at a full-service firm in Sydney. Melissa was called to the Ontario Bar in June 2017. Melissa is an active volunteer with Lawyers Feed the Hungry, Pro Bono Ontario’s Free Legal Advice Hotline and South Asian Women in Law. She is also a mentor with TMU’s Law Practice Program. Melissa has spoken about and delivered training on various employment law topics.

Diane Rudakenga

Diane Rudakenga

Senior Human Resources Advisor, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada

Richard D. Sharpe

Richard D. Sharpe

Director (OPS/EX3), Black Equity Branch, Centre for People, Culture and Talent Treasury Board Secretariat

Ontario Public Service

Joel Smith

Joel Smith

Partner

Williams HR Law LLP

Joel is a partner with Williams HR Law, where he practices management side labor, employment and human rights law. He provides legal and strategic advice and training to both unionized and non- unionized employers in all areas of labor and employment law. Joel also represents employers before various courts, boards and tribunals. Joel regularly presents before employers and human resources professionals. Joel has presented to the Human Resources Professionals Association, including at the HRPA’s Annual Conference, Annual HR Summit and Annual HR Law Conference, as well as the Toronto Entrepreneurs Conference, the CPA Ontario Association, various chambers of commerce across Ontario and other industry associations. Joel’s writing is frequently published in labor & employment law and human resources publications, including Canadian Employment Law Today, HR Reporter and HR Professional magazine.

Robert Zhu

Robert Zhu

Director of Outreach, Diversity, and Inclusion

Liberal Research Bureau of the House of Commons

Robert Zhu is a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion specialist with extensive experience in driving cultural changes and managing diverse teams. He is currently the Director of Outreach, Diversity, and Inclusion at the Liberal Research Bureau of the House of Commons. In this role, he supports the well-being of political staffers in federal ministers’ offices and Liberal MP offices, as well as supporting Liberal Members of Parliament’s work in building a more diverse, more equitable, and more inclusive Canada.