News

Julie Menten Joins Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction’s Board of Directors

July 2018

The Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction (CCSA) has announced the appointment of Julie Menten to its Board of Directors. Julie joins 12 other members who are either appointed by the Governor in Council or recruited from a variety of sectors to support CCSA’s mandate of reducing the harms of alcohol and other drugs on Canadians.

Prior to becoming a lawyer, Julie was a psychotherapist and clinician for over a decade, serving as a child protection social worker on an Aboriginal Family Services team and as a clinician with the Centre for Children and Families. “Ms. Menten’s expertise working with youth and families is a significant addition to our Board,” said CCSA Board Chair Vaughan Dowie. “Substance use issues involving youth and families are a key focus for CCSA.”

A champion for mental health, Julie also serves as Chair of the Advisory Committee for the Canadian Mental Health Association’s National Bottom Line Conference and is a Board member of the Canadian Mental Health Association, North and West Vancouver Branch.

About the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction

The Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction was established in 1988 by an Act of Parliament with all-party support to provide national leadership in reducing the harms of alcohol and other drugs on Canadians.

Roper Greyell Welcomes New Associate, Jordan Michaux

July 2018

We are pleased to welcome Jordan Michaux to the firm.

Born in Vancouver and raised in Nelson, Jordan graduated from the University of Victoria’s Faculty of Law in 2013. After a clerkship at the B.C. Supreme Court he practiced for two years at a large regional employment and labour law firm in Toronto before returning to B.C.

A member of the International Association of Privacy Professionals, Jordan has made privacy his primary area of focus and looks forward to contributing his expertise in this area. He is pleased to have found a professional home at Roper Greyell both because of the firm’s strong privacy practice and a culture he describes as “energetic, young, talented, and intentionally creative.”

Learn more about Jordan here.

 

Roper Greyell Welcomes New Associate, Raema Quam

June 2018

We are pleased to welcome Raema Quam to the firm.

Raema graduated from the Juris Doctor program at the University of British Columbia in 2017. Prior to pursuing her law degree, Raema employed her undergraduate degree in social work to assist clients in the not-for-profit sector. Her love of travel took her around the globe for several years as she developed a broad range of experience in understanding and working with diverse organizations in the public and private sectors, primarily in the areas of organizational management and leadership development.

Called to the B.C. Bar in May, 2018, Raema was attracted to Roper Greyell by “its sterling reputation as the standard-bearer for employment and labour law in British Columbia.”  She is enjoying the benefit of being part of a team that is not only of the highest calibre professionally but also personally.

Gregory J. Heywood Wins 2018 Harry Rankin, Q.C. Pro Bono Award

June 2018

On June 23, the Canadian Bar Association, BC Branch (CBABC), honoured Gregory J. Heywood with the 2018 Harry Rankin Q.C. Pro Bono Award. This annual award recognizes outstanding contributions by a member in the area of pro bono work.

A champion of pro bono culture, Greg serves as RG’s Pro Bono Chair and has been involved with Access Pro Bono since 2001. Over the past 17 years, Greg has represented a number of low-income individuals with employment issues; often securing significant judgements or settlements for clients who would otherwise have been unaware of their rights due to the fact that they could not afford legal representation. Greg is also a key fundraiser for Access Pro Bono’s annual event, Pro Bono Going Public. Year after year, Greg raises between $8,000 and $10,000, the most funds raised by an individual by significant margin.

In 2010, Greg joined North Shore Search and Rescue, as an advisor to the Board of Directors, and has been NSR’s pro-bono legal counsel since 2012. Over the past six years, Greg has provided leadership and guidance and has been praised by Michael Danks, NSR Team Leader as ‘a valued friend, advisor and mentor who is available 24 hours a day.’

Greg is a tireless advocate for pro bono legal services and continues to mentor and encourage young lawyers to give back to the community. Congratulations, Greg!

Employment Law Alliance Newsletter, June 2018

June 2018

Roper Greyell is proud to be the exclusive representative of the  Employment Law Alliance (ELA) in British Columbia. The ELA is the largest network of labor and employment lawyers worldwide. This monthly publication is a vehicle by which ELA firms can provide timely legal information to global clients.

Click here to read the June issue.

Employment Law Alliance Newsletter, May 2018

May 2018

Roper Greyell is proud to be the exclusive representative of the Employment Law Alliance (ELA) in British Columbia. The ELA is the largest network of labor and employment lawyers worldwide. This monthly publication is a vehicle by which ELA firms can provide timely legal information to global clients.

Click here to read the May issue.

BC Statutory Leaves: The Times They Are A-Changin’

May 2018

Bill 6, the Employment Standards Amendment Act 2018, passed third reading in the BC Legislature and will come into force on royal assent. The bill amends the following statutory leaves under the Employment Standards Act (the “ESA”):

PREGNANCY LEAVE (Section 50)

– An expecting mother may now commence pregnancy leave up to 13 weeks prior to the expected birth date (up from 11 weeks).

– An employee who requests leave after giving birth to a child is now entitled to 17 weeks of leave (up from 6 weeks).

PARENTAL LEAVE (Section 51)

– A new mother is now entitled to up to 61 additional consecutive weeks of unpaid parental leave immediately after her 17-week pregnancy leave.  Overall, a new mother is now entitled to up to 78 weeks in total (18 months).

– A non-birth parent and adopting parent is now be entitled to up to 62 consecutive weeks of unpaid parental leave (up from 37 weeks).  This leave must begin within 78 weeks after the birth of the child or after the child is placed with the parent.

– These proposed amendments align BC’s parental leave benefits with the recent changes to the federal Employment Insurance Act which provide parents with up to 18 months of federal employment insurance benefits.

COMPASSIONATE CARE LEAVE (Section 52.1)

– Compassionate care leave is available to an employee who must care for a family member who is terminally ill and has a significant risk of death within 26 weeks.

– Compassionate care leave will increase from 8 weeks to 27 weeks.  It will remain an unpaid leave.  The leave now ends on the last day of the week that is the earlier of the passing of the family member and 52 weeks from when the leave commenced (up from 26 weeks).

LEAVE RESPECTING DISAPPEARANCE OF CHILD (Section 52.3) – new addition

– This is a new addition to the legislation which provides a parent whose child (under 19 years old) disappears as a result of crime with up to 52 weeks of unpaid leave.  This leave is not available for an employee who is charged with a crime resulting in the disappearance of his or her child.  The leave must be taken as one unbroken, continuous period of time subject to employer consent otherwise.

– The unpaid leave may end on the earlier of the date on which the child is found dead; the date on which the circumstances indicate it is no longer probable that the child’s disappearance is a result of crime; the date the employee is charged with a crime resulting in the disappearance of his or her child; or 14 days after the child is found alive.

LEAVE RESPECTING DEATH OF CHILD (Section 52.4) – new addition

– The ESA’s general bereavement leave already entitled an employee to take up to 3 days of unpaid leave on the death of an immediate family member, which included the death of a child.  This new leave specifically deals with the death of a child and allows an employee to take up to 104 weeks (2 years) of unpaid leave following the death of a child (under 19 years old), unless the employee is charged with a crime resulting in the death of his or her child.  This leave must be taken as one unbroken, continuous period of time subject to employer consent otherwise.

CONCLUSION

Overall, these amendments, which broadly reflect legislative changes recently made in Ontario, provide BC employees with some of the most generous leave entitlements in the country.

If you have any question at all regarding the above, please do not hesitate to contact Roper Greyell LLP. Individual lawyer contact information can be found at ropergreyell.com.

While every effort has been made to ensure accuracy in this summary, you are urged to seek specific advice on matters of concern and not to rely solely on what is contained herein. The summary is for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice

Employers, This is How to Build a Case for Dismissal with Cause

April 2018

Financial Post contributor and senior partner of Levitt LLP, Howard Levitt explores a recent Supreme Court of British Columbia decision, Manak v. Workers’ Compensation Board of British Columbia, featuring Roper Greyell lawyer, Maggie Campbell who represented the employer.

Below are Howard Levitt’s six lessons to employers on building a case for cause:

1. Define the core values: Confidentiality was of central importance to the functioning of the Board and, in particular to her role. Manak signed a covenant and undertaking underscoring its significance.

2. Be patient in an investigation: The employer took the time to interview witnesses. It also interviewed Manak twice. This process ensured that she was afforded a full opportunity to respond to the allegations and evidence and to commit her to a position.

3.  Take detailed notes of the investigation: Considering that the trial of a case may take place years after an investigation and terminations and the inevitable fading of memories over time, the notes assume critical significance for assessing credibility.

4. Obtain signed statements: In this case, Kuss had a dim memory of some of the relevant conversations, but the statements with her confirmation proved persuasive to the court.

5. Put specific allegations to employee: In this case, the employer was also able to rely on the grounds of lack of candour because it had confronted Manak with the allegations and she persisted in her denials.

6. Give the employee reasonable time to consider the offer: While the court ultimately upheld the settlement, it was critical of Worksafe for giving only a 24-hour ultimatum, which it described as “a short fuse.”

Read Howard Levitt’s complete article here.

Click here to learn more about Maggie Campbell.

Ten Roper Greyell Lawyers Listed in the 2018 Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory

April 2018

We are pleased to announce that ten of the firm’s lawyers were recognized as leading employment and labour law practitioners in the 2018 Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory.

Join us in congratulating the following Roper Greyell lawyers:

Thomas A. Roper Q.C
Delayne Sartison Q.C
Kim Thorne
Gregory J. Heywood
Gavin Marshall
Gabrielle Scorer
Sandra Guarascio
Michael Wagner
James D. Kondopulos
2017 Rising Star Finalist, Jennifer Devins

Click here for the complete directory

About the Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory

Published since 1997, the annual Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory profiles leading practitioners across Canada in over 60 practice areas and leading law firms in over 40 practice areas.

Employment Law Alliance Newsletter, April 2018

April 2018

Roper Greyell is proud to be the exclusive representative of the Employment Law Alliance (ELA) in British Columbia. The ELA is the largest network of labor and employment lawyers worldwide. This monthly publication is a vehicle by which ELA firms can provide timely legal information to global clients.

Click here to read the April issue.

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