Difficult Questions: Moving Beyond COVID


DATE – Wednesday, May 11, 2022

TIME – 11:00 AM PDT



Difficult Questions: The Impacts of Covid-19 on Precarious Employment

Recorded Date: March 30, 2022

Speakers: Glenn French, Jennifer Mak & guests

Covid-19 has exacerbated longstanding systemic issues and injustices both within our communities and our workplaces. These impacts are particularly salient for members of marginalized communities who, due to systemic oppression, are often caught in cycles of precarious employment which many of us fail to recognize.

The pandemic has spotlighted the issues and inequities that marginalized workers experience and endure on a daily basis. However, as the pandemic persists and attention to these issues begins to dwindle, with contingent work on the rise, workers in precarious employment relationships continue to be marginalized and exploited.

To access the recording of this webinar, please click here.

Private Pain and Public Risk: Addressing Domestic Violence in the Workplace

Recorded Date: June 2, 2021

Speaker: Glenn French

Historically domestic violence, also referred to as intimate partner violence, was treated as a private matter, rarely discussed openly, and certainly not at work. Rarely did one’s personal life intersect with work that we would think that someone’s private pain could become a public risk – until now.

To access the recording of this webinar, please click here.

When Equality Doesn’t Cut It – Part 1: How to Bring an Equity Lens to Workplace Violence Prevention.

Recorded Date: October 6, 2021

Speakers: Jennifer Mak and Glenn French

Over the last year, due partly to the Covid-19 pandemic, many longstanding social, health, and employment inequities and human rights issues impacting marginalized communities have taken center stage. More than ever, employees have a working knowledge of workplace issues, such as violence, harassment, and discrimination, including their rights and the rights of others.

To access the recording of this webinar, please click here.

When Equality Doesn’t Cut It – Part 2: How to Bring an Equity Lens to Workplace Violence Prevention.

Recorded Date: October 13, 2021

Speakers: Jennifer Mak and Glenn French

This recording will help participants gain an understanding of how to apply an equity lens to preventing and resolving issues of workplace violence. Workplace violence can take several forms and is identified as one of the fastest-growing occupational concerns in Canada. Historically, violence has been thought of as a physical act or threat; however, the term now includes bullying and harassment, which we know can be just as debilitating to the victim.

To access the recording of this webinar, please click here.


During this pandemic, there has been ongoing talk about returning to the “norm.”

The majority of those who have been advocating for this return have been the ones to benefit from the status quo. That is, they are the ones who have been permanently and gainfully employed throughout the pandemic with the option of working from the comfort and safety of their homes and provided with protections which include paid sick days.

However, the “norm” is built on systemic barriers that subject marginalized groups to employment and health inequities. Such groups, particularly racialized, women, and migrant workers in sectors such as healthcare and food manufacturing, are precariously employed without living wages and without protections.

The Decent Work and Health Network recently published the report “Prescription for a Healthy Pandemic Recovery: Decent Work for All.” Based on interviews with frontline health workers and medical evidence from before and during the pandemic, this report provides recommendations for improving working conditions as a public health imperative.

Join us on Wednesday, May 11 at 11:00AM PDT for a discussion with two members of the Decent Work and Health Network:

Dr. Jesse Mclaren photo

Dr. Jesse McLaren is an emergency physician and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at UofT.

Deena Ladd is one of the founders and Executive Director of the Toronto Workers’ Action Centre. The Workers’ Action Centre organizes to improve wages and working conditions with low-waged workers, women, racialized and immigrant workers in precarious jobs that face discrimination, violations of rights and no benefits in the workplace.


Glenn French Headshot

Name: Glenn French

Title: President & CEO

Company: Canadian Initiative On Workplace Violence 

LinkedIn: Glenn French 

Glenn French is the President and CEO of the Canadian Initiative on Workplace Violence, based in Toronto, Canada. Within the mental health field, Glenn has held many senior administrative and clinical positions within both the private and public sectors.

Established in 1999, the Canadian Initiative is a consultancy that studies trends in workplace conduct within Canada. In addition, they research and catalogue the practices, which organizations and unions are employing to reduce the risk of workplace aggression. The Canadian Initiative is committed to the sharing of this information with others who are interested in arriving at a better understanding of violence from a Canadian perspective and what we can do to prevent it. In addition, the Canadian Initiative works with employers to set policies and procedures, conduct organizational risk assessments, assess individual threats. as well as, provide a wide range of educational programs for both employees and management.

Jennifer Mak - Human Rights and Equity Strategist

Name: Jennifer Mak

Title: Human Rights & Equity Strategist

LinkedIn: Jennifer Mak

Jennifer Mak has helped organizations prevent workplace discrimination, harassment, and violence and build and maintain equitable, inclusive, and healthy work environments through the promotion of human rights and equity. As each organization is a unique entity that is constantly evolving, Jennifer works closely with organizations to develop and implement strategies that are unique to their needs.

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