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Blue J Legal 

The effects from the pandemic in 2020 have brought both novel and challenging employment law shifts, unlike in previous years. As we prepare for the new year, employers will be required to continually monitor and stay informed of new legal developments as they plan to effectively manage their workplace obligations in 2021.

In this three-part legal series, our expert lawyers will address the most pressing employment law and workforce challenges, accommodation updates, health and safety and all the potential impacts employers may face as the pandemic continues to affect organizations.

Session #1: Accommodating Family Status in BC, during a Pandemic

Speakers: Jennifer Kwok & Preston Parsons, Overholt Law LLP


2020 came with a steep learning curve for many employers and human resources professionals. Adjusting to it required a lot of flexibility, and compassion. As we embark into 2021, Jennifer and Preston will speak to the current state of the law in British Columbia and recent decisions regarding the duty to accommodate employees’ family status, as well as posit scenarios to help human resources professionals imagine the types of requests they may face in this area moving forward.

Learning Outcomes:

  • The leading cases;
  • The test employees’ must meet to be successful in a family status complaint;
  • How best to navigate family status accommodation requests; and
  • the ways in which these cases may arise as the pandemic continues to unfold, and after.

Session #2:  Vaccination issues for workplaces in 2021

Speaker: Scott J. Marcinkow, Harper Grey LLP

Learning Outcomes:

  • Can employers require employees to obtain a COVID-19 vaccination?
  • Should employers encourage COVID-19 vaccinations?
  • Can employers require employees to disclose their vaccination status?
  • Can employers treat employees differently if they refuse to get vaccinated?

Session #3:  Termination Options in a COVID World

Speaker: Melanie Samuels, Singleton Urquhart Reynolds Vogel LLP


In this session, you will learn how and when an employer can use layoff provisions in a non-union environment.

Learning Outcomes:

  • What are the laws relating to temporary and permanent layoffs?
  • Should layoff clauses be included in employment contracts?
  • How can employment contracts be amended to add a temporary layoff clause?
  • What benefits are reasonable to offer in exchange for agreeing to a layoff clause?
  • What are the changes affecting COVID-19-related temporary layoffs in BC?

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Course Curriculum

  • 1

    Session #1 | Accommodating Family Status in BC, during a Pandemic | Jennifer Kwok & Preston Parsons)

    • Video - Session 1

    • PowerPoint

  • 2

    Session #2 | Vaccination Issues for Workplaces in 2021 | Scott J. Marcinkow

    • Video - Session 2

    • PowerPoint

    • Handout

  • 3

    Session #3 | Termination Options in a COVID World | Melanie Samuels

    • Video - Session 3

    • PowePoint

  • 4


    • Course Survey