Carol VandenHoek is a partner in Miller Thomson's Guelph office and has over 20 years of experience in employment law, litigation including estate matters, agriculture law, and child protection law. Carol’s emphasis on creative solutions is paired with her strong advocacy skills before the court and tribunals. Carol earned her law degree at the University of Toronto, and in 2009 completed her Masters of Law in Labour Relations and Employment Law. Carol also holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of Toronto.
Carol acts for employers, and her practice focuses on human rights, discrimination and accommodation, employment standards, discharge, discipline, wrongful dismissal, and policy development and implementation. Carol also conducts workplace investigations including investigations for harassment, violence, and bullying complaints.
Carol acted as outside counsel for the local Children’s Aid Society for approximately 14 years undertaking extensive courtroom advocacy including trial and appellate work. Carol is a panel member for the Ontario Office of the Children’s Lawyer acting for children in custody, access, and child protection matters before the courts.
In Carol’s estate litigation practice she advises on estate disputes ranging from will challenges to power of attorney disputes and matters involving the Public Guardian and Trustee of Ontario. Carol has specialized training in adult guardianship dispute resolution.
Carol has a national leadership role in agribusiness and food at Miller Thomson, working with lawyers in the Firm’s 12 offices across Canada. Carol advises agricultural clients, including producers, processors, agri-businesses, and non-government agricultural organizations on a broad range of topics. Carol often assists agricultural clients in interpreting government policies and procedures and rules and regulations, particularly in regard to managing the relationships between various government agencies and funders.
Carol provides a wide range of additional services to her clients, including:
Employment law: advising employers on agreements, contracts, policies, disciplinary matters, discharges, terminations, human rights, employment standards, wrongful dismissals, harassment, and related investigations.
Human rights: appearing at the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal and advising employers on human rights-related matters.
Litigation: advocating before all levels of court including motions and trials.
Workplace safety: advising on Occupational Health and Safety Act matters and defending employers in relation to charges.
Trust and estate litigation and dispute resolution: advising and advocating on a range of issues from will disputes to passing of accounts.
Carol is also a frequent speaker on employment law topics.
- Co-author of “Canada” chapter and publication co-editor (with Eric Johnson), Getting the Deal Through – Agribusiness, Law Business Research, 2019, 2020
- Co-author of “Canada” chapter and publication co-editor (with Wendy Baker), Getting the Deal Through – Agribusiness, Law Business Research, 2017, 2018
Carol speaks regularly to employer and HR groups and presents in house seminars and webinars. Highlights include:
- Keynote Speaker at the RLB HR Conference – Key Employment Law Cases, October 2019
- Presentation at the Ontario Agri Business Conference, “Canada Labour Code Amendments”, September 2019
- Presentation at the Wellington Law Association Conference, “Cannabis and Employment Law”, May 2019
- Presentation at the Guelph Chamber of Commerce, “Cannabis in the Workplace”, May 2019
- Presentation at the Entrepreneurs Organization (EO) Southwest Ontario, “Issues in Recruitment and Retention”, April 2019
- Presentation at the Guelph and District HRPA Occupational Health and Safety Update, January 2019
- Presentation at RLB Chartered Accountants at their seminar “2nd Annual Legislative Update”, September 2018
- Presentation at Innovation Guelph, “Marijuana in the Workplace”, June 2018
- Presentation at the Guelph Chamber of Commerce, “The Buzz: Marijuana in the Workplace”, May 2018
- Legal Issues in Recruitment, HRPA Grand Valley Chapter, March 6, 2018
- Miller Thomson Employment Law Update Webinar, “Answers to Your Questions About Bill 148”, February 12, 2018
- Keynote Speaker Flowers Canada Ontario Annual General Meeting, January 2018
- Miller Thomson Employment Law Update Webinar Series, 2017 and 2018
- Guest Speaker RLB Charter Professional Accountants on Bill 148 Information Seminar For Small Business, November 2017
- Employment Agreements: Best Practices for Employers, Ontario Agri Business Association, April 20, 2017
- Miller Thomson’s 2017 Labour Relations & Employment Law Conference, “Accommodation Obligations: Expansion and Exposure for Employers”, April 6, 2017
- Panel Member Human Rights in the Workplace: Gender , HRPA Guelph and District Chapter, January 19, 2017
- Miller Thomson Labour and Employment Seminar, Critical Issues for Employers, 2015 and 2016
- Miller Thomson Employment Law Update Webinar Series, 2015 and 2016
- EMC (Excellence in Manufacturing Consortium), Employment Law Legal Updates, 2015 and 2016
- Social Media and Cyber Challenges, Grand Valley HRPA November 2015
- The Do’s and Don’ts of hiring and recruitment, Grand Valley HRPA November 2015
- Employment Law Update, Ontario Agri-Business Association, March 2014
- Update on Health and Safety Law for Employer, Guelph and District Home Builders Association March 2014
- Social Media and Employment Law, HRPA Guelph & District Chapter, March 2012
- Pastors, People and Protection—Employment Law Issues in Church Settings for FEB Central, Cambridge, June and October 2011
- Compliance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA), The Canadian Institute’s Forum on the Duty to Accommodate, April 2011
- Employment Law Lunch and Learn, Guelph Chamber of Commerce, March 2011
- Cyber Challenges, Grand Valley HRPA, February 2011
- Managing Employment Risks and Protecting the Organization, National Conference Canadian Society of Club Managers, October 2010
- New Rules on Civil Procedure: What Every HR Professional Should Know, Osgoode Professional Development, April 2010
- “Employment Equity in Canada: The Legacy of the Abella Report,” C.L.L.R. Vol. 41, No. 2
- “Proposed Expansion of Employer Obligations: New Workplace Sexual Harassment Laws,” Labour and Employment Communiqué, December 2015
- “The Trend to Higher Damage Awards at the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal: Employer’s Beware,” July 2015
- “Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act: The Next Ten Years,” Labour and Employment Communiqué, March 31, 2015
- “Gender Equality and Comparative Constitutional Law,” C.L.L.R. Vol. 35, No. 3&4
- Deputy Judge, Central West Region, 2018-present
- Committee Member, Legal Aid Ontario Hamilton-Kitchener District Area Appeals 2010-2018
- Director, Elora Festival 2005 – 2008
- Past President, Wellington Law Association
- Director, Guelph Arts Council, 2003- 2005
- Secretary/Director, Wellington-Dufferin Learning Foundation, 1999- 2003
- Director, Hospice Wellington, 1997- 2000
- Member, Ontario Bar Association
- Member, Guelph Chamber of Commerce
- Member, Ontario Agri Business Association
Bar admissions & education
- Ontario Bar, 1996
- LL.M. (labour relations and employment law), Osgoode Hall Law School, York University
- LL.B., University of Toronto
- B.Sc., University of Toronto
- Certificate in Alternative Dispute Resolution, York University