Jean Torrens

Partner

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contact

Office: Calgary

Main: (403) 693-4342

Fax: (403) 508-4349

Education & Qualifications

  • Alberta Bar (2007)
  • Saskatchewan Bar (1995)
  • LLB with great distinction (Saskatchewan, 1994)
  • BA with great distinction (Saskatchewan, 1990)

Jean Torrens has extensive experience acting for management in drafting personnel policies and employment contracts, conducting collective bargaining and collective agreement administration, advising on discipline and terminations, and defending wrongful dismissal claims, human rights and labour board complaints, and grievance arbitrations.

  • Represented companies in several sectors, including mining, construction, industrial, retail, oil and gas, transportation, and food services in wrongful dismissal trials and appeals.
  • Represented several medium to large-sized businesses in grievance arbitrations and human rights complaints.
  • Conducted collective bargaining on behalf of employers in food services, technology, research and development, mining and non-profit sectors.
  • Represented mining company in OH&S hearing and appeals.

Jean helps companies respond to serious occupational health and safety incidents. She has appeared as counsel before Courts, arbitration boards, federal and provincial labour relations boards, human rights tribunals and occupational health and safety tribunals.

She is a regular presenter at conferences and seminars on drug and alcohol testing, duty to accommodate issues, collective bargaining trends, violence and harassment in the workplace, and workplace safety. Jean is a former sessional lecturer in Civil Procedure at the College of Law, University of Saskatchewan.

  • Chair, Labour & Employment (South) Section, Canadian Bar Association
  • Member, Legal Affairs Committee, Human Resources Association of Calgary
  • Former Director, Human Resources Association of Calgary
  • Top 10 Employment Law Developments General Counsel Should Know, Alberta General Counsel Association (October 15, 2015)
  • Centre for Labour-Management Development (Fall 2015)
    • Accommodation Remedies
    • Discipline and the Disabled Employee
    • Medical Questions
    • Post-Discharge Evidence
  • Managing Difficult Accommodation Issues in the Workplace, SMHRT Presentation (May 29, 2015)
  • “OHS Investigations and the Law,” MLT’s OHS Investigations and the Law Workshop (May 27, 2015)
  • “Weathering the Storm,” Workplace Restructuring, Calgary Exchange Group (April 8, 2015)
  • Severance Trends and Best Practices, HRIA  Annual Legal Conference (March 15, 2015)
  • Centre for Labour-Management Development (Fall 2014)
    • Discipline in the Age of Exploding Technology
    • Human Rights Remedies: From the Traditional to the Creative
    • Work vs. Personal Time
    • A Fresh Look at Workplace Bullying: New Takeaways from Arbitrators
  • HRIA Wood Buffalo/Fort McMurray Chapter  (October 2014)
    • Social Media in the Workplace
    • Attendance Management
    • Duty to Accommodate
  • “Managing Difficult Accommodations,” MLT Managing Difficult Accommodation Workshops (Regina and Saskatoon, September 2014)
  • “Workplace Investigations,” MLT Workplace Investigations Workshops (Calgary and Edmonton, May 2014; Regina and Saskatoon, November 2013; Calgary, Edmonton, Regina and Saskatoon, 2012)
  • “Accommodating Mental Disabilities,” MLT Accommodating Mental Disabilities Workshops (Saskatoon, May 2014; Calgary and Edmonton, January 2014; Regina and Saskatoon, November 2013)
  • The Most Important Developments in 2013: And what they mean for you in 2014, Labour Arbitration and Policy Conference
  • Occupational Health and Safety Update, HRIA Annual Legal Conference (March 10, 2014)
  • Presentations to 2012 Annual Alberta Labour Law Review (Edmonton, November 2012):
    • “Seniority: Can You Take It with You When You’re Transferred?”
    • “Getting Harassment Investigations Right”
    • “Cellphone Use, Parking Records and Hand Prints: New Frontiers of Employee Monitoring”
    • “Carelessness, Negligence and Incompetence at Work: Appropriate Employer Response”
  • “Employment Law Update: Alberta,” Canadian Association of Counsel to Employers Ninth Annual Conference (September 2012)
  • Presentations to 2012 Accommodation Law Conference (Edmonton, April 2012):
    • “Establishing Undue Hardship: What it Takes to Meet the Standard”
    • “Failure to Disclose: How it Affects Entitlement to Accommodation”
    • “Use vs. Addiction: The Critical Distinction”
    • “Accommodating Non-disability Grounds: The State of the Law”
  • “Workplace Investigations,” HRAC Legal Conference (2012)
  • “Social Networking and Computer Privacy,” 2011 Alberta Labour Law Review (Edmonton, October 2011)
  • “Due Diligence and Discipline for Safety Violations,” Occupational Health & Safety Law Fundamentals for In-House Counsel Seminar, LESA (Calgary, 2011)
  • Presentations to Labour Management Studies Conference (Edmonton, November 2010):
    • “Managing Attendance: New Directives From Arbitrators”
    • “Messy Dismissals and Mental Suffering: The Potential for Whopping Damages”
    • “The Evolving Role of Safety in Accommodation: Recent Cases”
    • “Using Post-Discharge Evidence: Effective Strategies for Unions and Employers”
    • “Alberta Labour Relations Board Update”
  • “Accommodating Family Status and Marital Status,” HRAC Legal Conference (2010)
  • “Practical Strategies for Drafting Termination Documents,” Business Immigration Conference, Canadian Institute (2009)
  • “New Frontiers in Accommodation Requests,” Duty to Accommodate Conference, Insight (2009)
  • “Wrongful Dismissal and Constructive Dismissal,” Employment Law Conference, Lorman (2009)
  • “Terminations in a Slowing Economy,” HRAC Legal Conference (2009)
  • “New Boundaries in Workplace Privacy,” Annual Alberta Labour Law Review, Centre for Labour Management Development (2008)
  • “Long-Term Absences: New Directives from Arbitrators and Courts,” Annual Alberta Labour Law Review, Centre for Labour Management Development (2008)
  • “2008 Alberta Labour Relations Board Update,” Annual Alberta Labour Law Review, Centre for Labour Management Development (2008)
  • “Drug and Alcohol Testing in the Workplace,” HRAC Legal Conference (2008)
  • One of the Best Lawyers in Canada – Labour and Employment Law (since 2014)
  • One of Canada’s Leading Lawyers in the Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory – Workplace Human Rights (Management)
  • Lexis-Nexis / Martindale-Hubbell – “CV Peer Review Rated”