Shields O'Donnell MacKillop LLP


How to Appropriately Identify, Prevent & Address Mental Health, Harassment and Discrimination Issues in the Workplace

People are stressed out these days.  Juggling the demands of work, family, and everything in between is hard for most people.  Employees spend large portions of their time at work and are bringing their personal issues with them.  It is important for employers to recognize this and address these issues appropriately.  Moreover, with the rise of movements like #MeToo, awareness of harassment and discrimination has increased, and the workplace needs to evolve to this changing landscape.   In this session you will learn about the legal framework surrounding mental health, harassment and discrimination in the workplace.  You will learn about workplace mental health statistics and stressors, the employer’s duty to accommodate, and how to deal with medical leaves of absence.  You will also learn about the consequences of workplace harassment, and strategies for managing complaints of harassment, or better yet, preventing harassment and discrimination altogether.


Hendrik is a partner at SOM.  Since joining the firm in 2007, Hendrik has represented individuals and businesses in a wide range of employment and labour disputes, including wrongful dismissal litigation, employment standards complaints, Canada Labour Code unjust dismissal complaints, human rights applications, union grievances, and fiduciary litigation. Hendrik has served as counsel at several trials, appeals, arbitrations, and injunctions. Hendrik advises businesses in a number of sectors, including manufacturing, banking, financial services, health care, publishing, retail, charities, government, and technology.

In addition to his litigation practice, Hendrik is a frequent writer and speaker on employment and labour law matters. Hendrik has authored and contributed to several legal texts, and has written for Canadian Lawyer In House magazine, HR Professional magazine, Canadian HR Reporter, and the Financial Post. Hendrik has presented at the Law Society of Ontario, the Ontario Bar Association, the Institute for Professional Management, the Human Resources Professionals Association (HRPA) Annual National Conference, and at HRPA Chapters across the GTA.  Hendrik is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Toronto Chapter of the HRPA.

Before joining the firm, Hendrik received his law degree from Queen’s University, and clerked for the judges of the Ontario Divisional Court in 2006. Hendrik is from the small Niagara town of Port Colborne, Ontario.

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