Our Team

Carissa N. Tanzola

T: 416.408.5523
F: 416.408.4814
E: ctanzola@filion.on.ca

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Janet Ockerse
T: 647.797.4435
F: 416.408.4814
E: jockerse@filion.on.ca

  • Call to the Bar, Ontario - 2008
  • University of Ottawa, Bachelor of Laws
  • University of Western Ontario (Western University), Bachelor of Arts (Hons)

Carissa N. Tanzola

Executive Summary

Carissa joined the firm in 2019 as a partner.

Carissa practices in all areas of labour and employment law. Her prime focus areas are workplace accidents and injuries, disability management, occupational health and safety, human rights, and investigations.

Prior to joining the firm, Carissa spent almost a decade practicing labour and employment law at another Toronto boutique firm and served as a Vice-Chair at the Workplace Safety and Insurance Appeals Tribunal (WSIAT) from 2017 to 2019.

Carissa has extensive experience investigating workplace accidents, defending employers against Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) charges, and advising and representing employers when they participate in coroner inquests. She also has experience assisting clients with disability management, including with wrongful dismissal litigation, grievance arbitration, human rights complaints, and compensation issues.

Carissa has worked with clients in all industries and sectors and is well versed in all aspects of workplace compensation claims management, including appeals to the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board and WSIAT. She has also dealt extensively with workplace compensation account management, including rating analysis and classification appeals.

Carissa has been an active member of the Ontario Bar Association, Labour and Employment Section Executive, since 2009. She was Chair of the section in 2014/15.

Memberships and Professional Affiliations

  • Law Society of Ontario
  • Ontario Bar Association
  • The Canadian Bar Association
  • Canadian Association of Counsel to Employers (CACE)

Selected Publications, Presentations and Media Mentions

Employer’s Guide to Ontario Workplace Safety and Insurance, Carswell (2018 Edition), Co-Author

“Spotlight on Compulsive Behaviour: The duty to accommodate gaming, gambling, sex addiction, and more”, Lancaster House, June 9, 2020, Moderator

“Righting Wrongs: Extraordinary remedies for egregious cases”, Lancaster House, May 7, 2020, Moderator

“Remote Labour Arbitrations”, Ontario Bar Association, April 20, 2020

“Expertly Done: The Use of Expert Witnesses in Health and Safety Matters”, Canadian Association of Council to Employers (CACE), April 17, 2020, Moderator

RESCON’s WSIB Symposium 2020: Update on Accreditation and Rate Framework Review, March 3, 2020, Presenter

“Mental Health in the Legal Workplace: An essential guide for lawyers and paralegals”, Lancaster House, December 12, 2019, Moderator

"Chronic Mental Stress Claims: What is the Interaction Between the WSIAT and Human Rights Regimes?", 8th Human Rights Summit, Law Society of Ontario, December 3, 2019, Presenter

“Accommodating Poorly Understood Medical Conditions: A guide for employers and unions”, Lancaster House, November 14, 2019, Moderator

“Effective Management of Disability Accommodation Issues”, Faculty Bargaining Services (FBS) 2019 Annual Conference, November 7, 2019, Presenter

RESCON's 2019 Symposium: Addressing Mental Health in Construction, November 7, 2019, Presenter

“Workplace Accommodation: Navigating Evolving Legal Considerations”, 30th Annual  Schedule 2 Employers’ Group Conference, October 22, 2019, Presenter

"Inclusive Job Design and Policies To Protect Psychological Safety and Prevent Legal Liability", Osgoode Professional Development's Certificate Program in Workplace Mental Health Law, October 21, 2019, Presenter

2019 Annual Workplace Safety and Insurance Conference, Lancaster House, October 1, 2019, Co-Chair

“WSIB and WSIAT files”, Introduction to Workplace Safety and Harassment Law and Investigations, Ontario Bar Association, September 12, 2019, Presenter

“Disability and Accommodation: Foundational cases and recent developments”, Lancaster House, September 10, 2019, Moderator

“On or Off the Hook: Dealing effectively with insurance claim denials and employer liability issues”, Lancaster House, June 20, 2019, Moderator

“Interplay between the WSIA compensation for chronic mental stress and the Code”, Annual Update on Human Rights Program, Ontario Bar Association, May 29, 2019, Author and Presenter

“Chronic Mental Stress Claims: Examining the current response of arbitrators, courts, and workers’ compensation boards”, Lancaster House, May 28, 2019, Moderator

“WSIB Accounts: Analyzing the information and thinking outside the box”, FWTA Client Seminar, March 20, 2019, Presenter

“WSIB Claims: Active management to achieve actual results”, FWTA Client Seminar, January 31, 2019, Presenter

“When are WSIA Benefits Set off against Wrongful Dismissal Awards”, Law Society of Ontario, Six-Minute Employment Lawyer, June 21, 2018, Author and Presenter

“Down and Out or Up and About?: What's considered permissible activity on sick leave”, Lancaster House, May 15, 2018, Moderator

“Medical Notes, Specialist Reports and IMEs: Employee privacy vs. the employer's right to know”, Lancaster House, April 19, 2018, Moderator