Kristen Pennington maintains a dynamic practice in privacy, data protection and employment law.  She assists emerging and established companies across a range of industries, including manufacturing and technology, and provides insights into Canada’s distinct laws in these disciplines to support businesses entering or investing in the Canadian market.

As a Certified Information Privacy Professional / Canada (IAPP), Kristen counsels clients on a wide variety of privacy and data security issues, including cross-border transfers of personal information, preventing and responding to data breaches, and evaluating the privacy law implications of new products, services, technologies and initiatives.  She helps clients develop robust privacy compliance programs, including policies governing employees’ handling of personal information, data subject rights requests and vendor management, and frequently drafts privacy policies, cookie banners, consent forms, acceptable use policies and privacy and data protection terms in an array of commercial agreements.

Working with employers, Kristen advises on employee privacy issues, including conducting background checks, developing employee privacy policies, collecting employees’ personal information during a pandemic, and selecting and engaging payroll and other service providers who handle employees’ personal information.

Experienced in all areas of employment law, Kristen advises employers on hiring and dismissals, employment contracts, performance management and discipline, employment policies, and compliance with employment standards and human rights laws.

An experienced litigator, Kristen has appeared before the Ontario Superior Court, the Ontario Court of Appeal, the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal, the Ontario Labour Relations Board, and the Canadian Railway Office of Arbitration and Dispute Resolution, as well as at various mediations. She regularly assists employers with negotiating timely and practical resolutions to wrongful dismissal, constructive dismissal, discrimination, contractor mischaracterization and other employment-related allegations.

An area of particular expertise for Kristen is assisting employers in developing and implementing effective discrimination, violence and harassment policies and programs, and managing workplace complaints. She also provides training on workplace investigations, employee accommodation and management of conflict in the workplace.

Kristen has assisted vendors and purchasers with assessing the employment and privacy law implications of corporate transactions.  She also regularly collaborates with international counsel to advise on the Canadian privacy and/or employment law considerations of multijurisdictional projects.



Representative Matters

Privacy Law Matters

  • Privacy counsel to a leading global fast-food restaurant chain
  • Privacy counsel to the Canadian arm of an international humanitarian organization
  • Drafted Canadian privacy policies for luxury fashion and automobile brands, food services companies, payment solutions providers, IT providers, manufacturers of medical equipment, and various ecommerce platforms
  • Developed a website privacy policy, cookie policy and cookie banner for a renowned European fashion house
  • Assisted a multi-entity human resources and benefits organization with the development of a Canadian privacy compliance program
  • Assisted an international welding supply company with the development of a Canadian privacy compliance program
  • Assisted a large North American manufacturer and retailer of footwear with developing a privacy compliance program involving the cross-border transfer of employee personal information
  • Assisted a paper and packaging company with strategic data breach reporting and notification advice
  • Assisted a medical device manufacturer with responding to an inadvertent disclosure of customers’ personal information

Employment Law Matters

  • Successfully appealed trial court’s decision with respect to the dismissal of an employee who engaged in sexual harassment in Hucsko v. A.O. Smith Enterprises Ltd., 2021 ONCA 728
  • Assisted a board of directors with managing, investigating and responding to sensitive workplace harassment and discrimination complaints involving senior leadership
  • Acted for a transportation company with respect to the dismissal of an employee involved in a high-profile fatal accident
  • Assisted an international software company with its entry into the Canadian market, including establishing template employment agreements and compensation plans, and implementing mandatory employment policies
  • Assisted a US-based workplace technology company with its entry into the Canadian market, including hiring a Canadian workforce
  • Assisted a UK-based developer of cybersecurity software with its entry into the Canadian market, including establishing template employment agreements and hiring policies
  • Go-to employment counsel to a variety of manufacturers, including manufacturers of packaging solutions, pet products, industrial pumps, and life sciences products
  • Go-to employment counsel to a variety of engineering and engineering consulting firms
  • Go-to employment counsel to leading not-for-profit organizations, including cultural centres, national health research funders, health promotion organizations, and political research centres
  • Acted for a variety of employers in wrongful dismissal and human rights disputes, including leading payment card, cannabis, construction, software, security solutions, and not-for-profit organizations

Corporate Transactions

  • Provided employment and privacy law advice to an international consulting firm in connection with its entry into the Canadian market through the acquisition of a leading health consulting company
  • Provided employment law advice to HCI Equity in connection with the acquisition by AmerCareRoyal, LLC of McNairn Packaging
  • Provided employment law advice to a publicly-traded payment company in connection with its acquisition of a Canadian fintech firm
  • Provided employment law advice to a private equity firm in connection with its acquisition of an online content removal business
  • Provided employment law advice to a private equity firm and its portfolio company in connection with its acquisition of a manufacturer of animal litter

Speaking Engagements

(Upcoming) PrivSec Global Webinar: Should Society Tolerate Widespread Use of Facial Recognition?

June 29, 2022

Portfolio Management Association of Canada’s Regulatory & Compliance Forum: Privacy & Cybersecurity Hot Topics

May 26, 2022

TerraLex Technology & Digital Business Industry Meeting: Upcoming Changes to Quebec’s Privacy Laws – What Global Companies Need to Know

April 29, 2022

PrivacySec Global Webinar: How to Prevent Misdirected Emails – The Dreaded “Reply-All”, Cc and Wrong Recipient Errors

February 15, 2022

PrivacyRules Webinar: Destination Normal – Canadian Privacy Regulators Address Vaccine Passports

June 17, 2021

Ontario Bar Association Panel: Requesting Proof of COVID-19 Vaccinations from Customers and Clients

March 1, 2021

Ontario Bar Association Panel: Workplace Harassment Investigations

February 24, 2021

HR Insider Webinar: Mandatory Vaccination Policies – Enforceable or a Shot in the Dark?

February 10, 2021

Terralex Data Privacy Day Series: The Rise of Privacy Torts in Canada

January 28, 2021

Ontario Bar Association Panel: Mastering Summary Judgment Motions

October 27, 2020

Association of Certified Forensic Investigators’ Annual Conference: Handling Harassment Investigations – How to Minimize Workplace Disruption & Legal Liability

May 26, 2020

Glendon College: Glendon Grads Address Canada @ 150

September 23, 2017
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News


Media Mentions

  • Ontario court ruling shows zero tolerance in sexual harassment case,” The Alan Carter Radio Program, Toronto 640 News (April 22, 2022)
  • Kristen is a regular contributor to a variety of leading employment and privacy law publications, including Employment Law Today, Employment Law Bulletin, Labour Notes, Canadian Employment Safety and Health Guide, Canadian Corporate Counsel, In-House Defense Quarterly, Internet and E-Commerce Law, and Canadian Privacy Law Review.
  • Kristen has also been interviewed and quoted by a variety of news sources nationwide, including The Globe and Mail, Metro News, CTV, Global News, Yahoo and CBC’s The National.

Community Involvement

  • Mentor in the Glendon College Mentorship Program
  • Judge at the Lloyd Dean Moot, hosted by the Windsor Chapter of the Black Law Students’ Association (2022)

Directorships & Affiliations

  • Ontario Bar Association, Privacy Section
  • Canadian Craft Brewers Association, Associate Member
  • International Association of Privacy Professionals, Member

Education & Admissions

2015
Called to the Ontario bar
2022
Certified Information Privacy Professional / CanadaInternational Association of Privacy Professionals
2019
Intensive Trial Advocacy Program York University, Osgoode Hall Law School
2014
JDUniversity of Toronto, Faculty of Law
2011
Honours BA, Canadian StudiesYork University, Glendon College

Publications

Insights (33 Posts)

Featured Insight

Privacy Reform is on the Table Once More: Canada Introduces the Digital Charter Implementation Act, 2022

New federal privacy legislation has been introduced. If passed, Bill C-27 will materially change the legal landscape for privacy and data protection in Canada.

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Jun 22, 2022
Featured Insight

Taking Control: Proactive Data Breach Preparedness and Responsible Incident Management

Join us on Tuesday, June 21st as members of our Privacy and Technology Groups discuss how your organization can proactively prepare in order to be in control if and when an incident occurs and to take measured and responsible steps to prevent and manage the associated legal and business risks.

Details
Tuesday, June 21, 2022
Featured Insight

Federal Privacy Commissioner Releases Key Recommendations for a New Federal Private Sector Privacy Law

The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada released a summary of its key recommendations for a new federal private sector privacy law in Canada

Read More
May 17, 2022
Featured Insight

Court of Appeal: Single Incident of Sexual Harassment is Cause for Termination

Ontario’s Court of Appeal has upheld the termination of a 30-year employee for cause following a single incident of sexual harassment.

Read More
May 6, 2022
Featured Insight

Data Collection and Protection in the Automotive Sector

Join us on Thursday, April 28, 2022 as members of McMillan's Privacy & Data Protection Group discuss privacy and data protection issues relevant to the automotive industry.

Details
Thursday, April 28, 2022
Featured Insight

Clearview AI Ordered to Comply with Provincial Regulators’ Privacy Recommendations

Canada’s provincial privacy regulators have issued orders against Clearview AI forcing it comply with the
recommendations of a 2020 joint investigation.

Read More
Jan 5, 2022
Featured Insight

Canada Partners with the European Commission to Examine Use of Digital Credentials

Increased standards for digital credentials improve privacy and global functionality - but what does this mean for businesses who use them?

Read More
Dec 7, 2021
Featured Insight

Privacy Commissioner Releases More Guidance for Video Teleconferencing Companies

Video teleconferencing companies face unique cybersecurity and data privacy risks. The OPC has new guidance on how these companies can best address them.

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Nov 3, 2021
Featured Insight

McMillan’s Annual Privacy, Data Protection and Cybersecurity Webinar

Our lawyers will provide an overview of important case law developments, regulatory guidance, upcoming statutory changes, and hot topics in Privacy, Data Protection & Cybersecurity

Details
Wednesday, November 10, 2021
Featured Insight

Alberta Recognizes Privacy Tort of Public Disclosure of Private Facts

The Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench recognized the tort of public disclosure of private facts for the first time; In deciding the recognize the tort...

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Sep 27, 2021
Featured Insight

Is Private Sector Privacy Legislation Looming in Ontario?

Ontario government seeks input on privacy policy proposals, signaling that Ontario private sector privacy legislation may be on the horizon

Read More
Jul 5, 2021
Featured Insight

Canadian Privacy Commissioners Issue Joint Guidance on Vaccine Passports

Commissioners warn that privacy considerations must be “front and centre” as organizations develop and implement vaccine passports in the coming months

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May 25, 2021
Featured Insight

Mandatory Vaccination Policies: Enforceable or a Shot in the Dark? (February 10, 2021)

While mass vaccination hasn’t arrived, employers are already wrestling with what the rules should be as we start to return to a new normal.

Details
February 10, 2021 - 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm EST
Featured Insight

Potential Overhaul of Canadian Privacy Law – Is Your Organization Ready?

Potential Overhaul of Canadian Privacy Law – Is Your Organization Ready?

Details
January 20, 2021 - 11:00 pm to 2:00 pm ET
Featured Insight

International Comparative Legal Guide (ICLG) – Cybersecurity Canada 2021

The International Comparative Legal Guide (ICLG) - Cybersecurity Canada 2021 guide covers common issues in cybersecurity laws and regulations.

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Dec 3, 2020
Featured Insight

McMillan’s Employment and Labour Webinar

This annual workshop addresses significant legal developments and provides practical advice on responding to employee issues.

Details
November 10, 2020 - 11:30 am to 1:30 pm
Featured Insight

Canada’s New Cybersecurity Certification Goes Live

The federal government has launched a voluntary CyberSecure program to help small and medium-sized organizations protect against cybersecurity threats

Read More
Oct 13, 2020
Featured Insight

Mandatory Indoor Face Coverings: What Ontario Employers Need to Know

Mandatory Indoor Face Coverings: What Ontario Employers Need to Know

Read More
Oct 6, 2020
Featured Insight

Ontario Amends Employment Standards Legislation in Response to COVID-19

Ontario passes new protected leave of absence for employees impacted by COVID-19, and suggests COVID-19
cases should be reported as occupational illnesses.

Read More
Aug 5, 2020
Featured Insight

Privacy Penalties – Canadian Competition Bureau Wades Into Privacy Enforcement

Organizations operating in Canada are advised to immediately review their privacy-related policies and marketing to avoid false or misleading representations

Read More
May 26, 2020
Featured Insight

Privacy Commissioner Releases Tips for Secure Videoconferencing

It goes without saying that organizations’ use of videoconferencing is at an all-time high as many businesses have converted to remote work.

Read More
May 5, 2020
Featured Insight

Shedding “Light” on a New Privacy Tort

An Ontario court has recently recognized the privacy tort of "false light publicity".

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Mar 3, 2020
Featured Insight

2019 Year in Review: Privacy, Data Protection & Cybersecurity

Focusing our discussion on significant advancements, findings and key takeaways, we will present a “Year in Review” session that will cover many of the notable developments that occurred in 2019.

Feb 4, 2020
Featured Insight

Inadequate Workplace Harassment Investigation Results in $75,000 Damage Award

A recent decision of the Manitoba Human Rights Commission emphasizes the importance of developing a clear plan at the outset of a workplace investigation.

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Jan 28, 2020
Featured Insight

New Year, New Laws? Canada Sets its Privacy Law Resolutions

A number of recent developments suggest that momentum for significant reform to Canadian privacy and data protection laws is building.

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Jan 28, 2020
Featured Insight

Keepin’ It “Real”: OPC Finds that PIPEDA Applies to Foreign-Incorporated Business

Keepin' It "Real": OPC Finds that PIPEDA Applies to Foreign-Incorporated Business

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Jan 15, 2020
Featured Insight

Sorry Not Sorry: Ontario Decision Highlights “Aggravating Factors” in Sexual Harassment Cases

An Ontario Court has upheld the termination of a 30-year employee with a clean disciplinary record following a single incident of sexual harassment.

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Jan 7, 2020
Featured Insight

Contact Information Posted on Websites Not Necessarily Up for Grabs

Investigation findings of the Office of the Privacy Commissioner highlight issues surrounding the use of personal contact information posted on websites

Read More
Dec 19, 2019
Featured Insight

Ontario Court Suggests Terminated Salespeople are Fish Out of Water

Recent Ontario decision calls into question prior holdings about the transferability of salespersons' skills.

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Dec 16, 2019
Featured Insight

Top of the Class: New Cybersecurity Program to Certify Privacy-Minded Businesses

The federal government has launched a new cybersecurity certification program aimed at helping small and medium-sized businesses protect against cyber threats.

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Aug 14, 2019
Featured Insight

Proposed Digital Charter Could Bring Sweeping Changes to Canadian Privacy Laws

On May 21, 2019, the Canadian federal government released a proposed Digital Charter

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May 23, 2019
Featured Insight

Consent Unnecessary to Disclose Credit File to Statistics Canada

A recent OPC investigation highlights the need to proceed with caution when asked to disclose personal information to a government institution.

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Dec 30, 2018
Featured Insight

Trick or…Breach? PIPEDA’s Breach Reporting Requirements Come Into Force on November 1, 2018

This bulletin provides an overview of the new breach reporting requirements.

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Nov 1, 2018