Canadian Lawyer InHouse

October/November 2020

Legal news and trends for Canadian in-house counsel and c-suite executives

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FEATURE THANK YOU FOR YOUR NOMINATIONS! On behalf of Canadian Lawyer InHouse, we would like to thank our readers for taking part in the call for nominations for the 2020 Lexpert Rising Stars Awards. We are proud to celebrate exceptional young in-house counsel who have made outstanding contributions to their organizations in their careers thus far. Winners will be celebrated and profiled in a Lexpert ® Special Edition in November. BE PART OF THE CELEBRATION For event information or sponsorship opportunities: risingstarscanada.com Presented by Signature Sponsor Supported by Organized by legislation such as the Human Rights Code and the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, which spells out the need to have a procedure on workplace accommodation needs. The Workplace Safety Insurance Act could crop up if a teacher or other staff member believes they contracted COVID-19 through contact with someone in the school, so Pon is preparing for that possibility. Like all school boards, TDSB is highly unionized, so it is subject to the collective agreements of the union. "Our relationship with the unions also governs how we proceed with a return to school and in fact we have been working very closely with our unionized and non-unionized employee groups," says Pon. Together with her 11-person legal team at TDSB, Pon is also navi- gating privacy issues including the handling of personal information such as medical data and a potential need for contact tracing. Despite all the challenges, Pon says the pandemic crisis presents opportunities for positive change to labour and employment law. "I do hope it translates into some changes in the law or policy or best practices so that, if we ever encounter such a situation again, the transi- tion in and out of pandemic contingency planning will be a lot easier to handle," she says. As an essential service, Air Canada has been in operation throughout the pandemic, although a vast reduction in operations presented many labour and employment concerns. As restrictions ease and flight schedules start to ramp up, Fred Headon, Air Canada's assistant "Employers need to have a comprehensive plan in place that they can share with employees to show that they are taking all of the steps required." Jennifer Koschinsky, Gowling WLG

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