8:00am - 12:00pm
Is your business following HR best practices when it comes to employee accommodation & human rights to prevent legal challenges? Do you want to learn more about Discrimination, Duty to Accommodate, Duty to Maintain Employment, Family Status Discrimination & Disability? The Art of Accommodation - As the employment & human rights law landscape continually evolves, staying informed about new rules and requirements is crucial for employers. Given the upcoming changes in WorkSafeBC and the rising instances of discrimination, harassment, and other human rights claims, we are tailoring our annual seminar to address these pressing topics. Our Employment & Labour Group is delighted to announce The "Art" of Accommodation - Human Rights & Avoiding Discrimination seminar this winter, dedicated to helping you navigate the complexities of employee accommodations.
Chris Drinovz is a Partner at KSW Lawyers and the founder and leader of the Employment & Labour Group. His calling is to excellence through the mastery of his craft and tireless dedication to his clients. He is described as hard-working, trustworthy, and genuine. His strong analytical mind (grounded in a mathematics background) and passion for writing and language make him a force to reckon with.
Chris works with business leaders and union and non-union organizations to solve workplace legal problems and achieve long-term solutions that align with his client’s values. He is a dedicated advisor and an experienced courtroom advocate with a track record of success.
There is no workplace issue that Chris will not help with. His expertise covers the entire life cycle of the employer/employee relationship: drafting and advising on employment contracts and workplace policies, conducting workplace investigations, WorkSafeBC and occupational health & safety, dismissal planning advice and severance packages, negotiation and mediation of employment disputes, injunctions to protect confidential information or enforce non-solicits or non-competes, and representation in wrongful dismissal, employment standards, or human rights complaints. Chris also advises employers on staying non-union and helps his union clients with certification, bargaining, labour relations matters under the collective agreement, and grievance arbitrations.
Chris is comfortable navigating the many different arenas of workplace law: all levels of provincial and federal court, the Labour Relations (BC) and Canada Industrial Relations Board and administrative tribunals such as the Human Rights Tribunal, Employment Standards Tribunal, Workers Compensation Appeal Tribunal (WCAT), and Social Security Tribunal. Chris has also successfully challenged administrative decisions through judicial reviews and appeals.
Chris was recently recognized as 5-Star Employment Lawyers, "Best Employment Lawyer and Law Firm" across Canada in 2023 by the prestigious Canadian HR Reporter. He was also a Repeatedly Recommended lawyer for Vancouver Leading Practitioners - Employers in the 2021 and 2023 Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory, and in 2022, he was a Business Person of the Year Finalist at the Business Excellence Awards by Surrey Board of Trade.
Chris is a strong believer in community and giving back to the profession. He serves as the President of the Greater Langley Chamber of Commerce and on the Policy Review Committee of the BC Chamber. He is also the Chair on the Executive of the Employment Law Section of the Canadian Bar Association BC. He is regularly sought after for speaking engagements and seminars.
In his free time, Chris can be found skiing on the slopes of Whistler, powerlifting in his garage, listening to Miles Davis, or playing the drums for “Lost & Loaded” a cover band of legal professionals that pretend to be rockstars.
Meet Mike Weiler, a seasoned legal professional serving as senior counsel in the Employment & Labour Group at KSW Lawyers (Kane Shannon Weiler LLP). With over 45 years of dedicated practice in employment, labour, and human rights law, Mike brings a wealth of expertise to the table. His specialization includes labor law, providing invaluable assistance to unionized employers in Labour Relations and Union Advice. Mike's extensive experience extends to areas such as governance, shareholders' rights, and corporate defenses. Throughout his distinguished career, he has represented a diverse range of clients, including employers, management, executives, and senior employees.
With a keen understanding of the intricacies of the legal landscape, Mike emphasizes the importance of judgment in navigating the ever-evolving world of employment law. His approach goes beyond a mere understanding of the law; it involves the art of anticipating and addressing the potential ripples of actions taken in the present. As Mike aptly puts it, "When you throw a rock in the pond, you cannot simply look at the splash zone—you must anticipate and consider the ripples." His commitment lies not only in resolving immediate issues but also in helping clients anticipate and respond to future challenges.
Mike's extensive courtroom experience includes regular appearances before arbitrators, the B.C. Labour Relations Board, the Canada Industrial Relations Board, the B.C. and federal Employment Standards Branch and Tribunals, and the federal and provincial Human Rights Tribunals and commissions. He is also well-versed in handling cases before the BC Supreme Court.
Mike serves as general employment counsel for numerous local small and mid-sized Fraser Valley and Vancouver businesses, offering a practical and pragmatic approach to planning and dispute resolution tailored to the unique needs of each client.
Jenson Leung and his team assists clients with all labour, employment and long-term disability matters, working with clients in a range of industries including cannabis, AI, recruitment and technology companies.
Jenson has extensive experience representing individuals, non-profits and business clients throughout the Lower Mainland. He regularly advises and assists clients in dealing with employment contracts, executive compensation, employee discipline/management, terminations, and long-term disability insurance denials.
Jenson grew up in the Lower Mainland, and graduated from the University of British Columbia with a Bachelor of Arts in 2013. He attended the University of Calgary for his first year of law school then obtained his law degree from the University of Victoria in 2017 after completing the UVic Law Co-op program, where he worked with the Ontario Securities Commission in Toronto and two major Vancouver law firms.
Jenson joined Kane Shannon Weiler LLP since November 2022 in its Surrey office. Prior to joining KSW Lawyers, his past experience included over five years of full-time legal experience in the areas of employment law, insurance defence, regulatory law and civil litigation. He has also managed the closing process for a major commercial real estate transaction. His litigation experience includes assisting with a 2-month long commercial arbitration and acting as lead counsel on wrongful dismissal trials in BC Supreme Court.
Throughout the years, Jenson has volunteered with various organizations including as board member for the Wildlife Rescue Association of BC and a committee member for the Federation of Asian Canadian Lawyers (BC). Jenson has also appeared on TV, radio and podcast interviews and presented at the 2021 CPHR BC & Yukon conference.
Jenson also co-owns a commercial cleaning business with his wife. In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with his dog, meeting new people, scuba diving, and video games.
Alejandra (Ale) Henao is an associate with KSW Lawyers Employment & Labour group with a focus on employment and WorkSafeBC matters. She regularly assists employees dealing with workplace harassment, human rights issues, WorkSafeBC compensation claim reviews and appeals, including disability, pension, vocational rehabilitation and other related matters. She also works with businesses/employers on WorkSafeBC classification/assessment matters and occupational health and safety claims (Prohibited Action Complaints).
Ale’s interest in employment law started with the West Coast Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund (LEAF). She facilitated a program that discussed employment rights, human rights, and systemic discrimination with high school students across the Lower Mainland and in Kamloops. Throughout law school, Ale worked as a Research Assistant for the Justice and Corporate Accountability Project. She also worked as a Program Coordinator for Pro Bono Students Canada, managing a law student program that provides free legal services to organizations and individuals in need. Ale completed her law degree at Thompson Rivers University in 2018 having received the Dean’s Discretionary Award, the Law Foundation of British Columbia Public Interest Award, and the Bill W. Eremko Memorial Award.
Prior to legal studies, Ale obtained her BA in Political Science and Environmental Studies at the University of Victoria. Her focus on Environmental Studies was influenced by the British Council’s Arctic expedition studying fluctuating ocean temperatures and their impact on oceanic biodiversity.
Outside of work, Ale enjoys running, trying to train her pug, Bee, and taking after her mother’s artistic talent in drawing pencil portraits.
Darren and his team assist clients with all Employment Law matters, including wrongful and constructive dismissal claims, just cause dismissals, severance package negotiations, executive compensation and buy-out scenarios, and share issues arising from the termination of employment.
Darren has extensive experience working with individual, business and corporate clients throughout the Lower Mainland, particularly the South Fraser Region, and Alberta. He regularly advises on civil disputes of all varieties, on behalf of both businesses and individuals.
With over a decade of litigation experience, Darren has honed his talents to effectively advance his clients interests, in and out of the courtroom. He understands that in any dispute, there are multiple factors at play which determine a successful outcome for each party. He believes in delivering innovative and practical solutions, tailored to meet the unique legal needs and business objectives of each client.
Darren grew up in the Lower Mainland, and graduated from Bond University with a Juris Doctor, Honours dual degree and is eligible to practice in both Canada and Australia.
Darren joined KSW Lawyers in October 2023 in our South Surrey Office, after working for a large national employment firm. Darren assists both employee and employer clients with employment related matters, as well as assisting individuals with personal injury matters and representing individuals and companies in business/commercial litigation disputes.
Outside of work you can find Darren spending time with his young family or training as an amateur powerlifter in his garage gym.
As a member of the Employment & Labour Law Group at KSW Lawyers, Junki Hong practice focuses on employment law for employers and employees including wrongful dismissals, employment standards, employment contracts and human rights claims. He also advises clients with commercial litigation concerns such as shareholder disputes, lease disputes, contractual disputes and more.
Junki is a natural problem solver with a passion for helping others strategize and find resolutions to whatever issues they face. As someone who speaks not only English but Korean, he is able to assist those who are not as familiar with the English language. As a long-time resident of the Fraser Valley, Junki’s roots started in Coquitlam where he grew up and eventually obtained his Bachelor of Applied Science degree in Engineering Physics (electronics) from Simon Fraser University. As an undergraduate student, Junki worked at a Vancouver-based LED company and fuel cell research lab at SFU. Prior to obtaining his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Victoria, Junki was employed at a nanophotonics software company based in Vancouver.
During his free time, Junki enjoys watching movies, dining out, and spending time with his family in their community.
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