Ottawa partner Karen Jensen named Canada’s first federal pay equity commissioner

Press release September 2019

Global law firm Norton Rose Fulbright announced today that its Canadian employment and labour chair, Ottawa partner Karen Jensen, has been appointed by the Government of Canada as its first-ever federal pay equity commissioner. 

Her mandate within the Canadian Human Rights Commission, which begins on October 16, is to provide direction for the administration and enforcement of the Pay Equity Act. The legislation, designed to reduce the gender wage gap in federally regulated workplaces, is expected to come into force in 2020.

A respected litigator, Jensen has represented clients in both official languages in human rights, constitutional, administrative and labour and employment law matters before all levels of courts and tribunals for more than 25 years.

Jensen joined the firm in 2010 from the University of Ottawa, where she was the assistant dean of the Faculty of Law and taught dispute resolution. Prior to holding that position, she was a full-time member of the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal where she adjudicated and mediated complex human rights disputes in both official languages.  Earlier in her legal career, Ms. Jensen acted for unions and employees in human rights, labour and employment disputes.

Charles Hurdon, Norton Rose Fulbright’s managing partner in Canada, commented:

“Karen is making history, stepping into a new, meaningful role where she will be able to participate in the advancement of gender equity in this country. There is no doubt that she will make a consequential contribution, and we wish her all the best in her mandate.”

Jensen has been named as a top lawyer in a number of foremost legal rankings, including as an Acritas Stars “Independently rated lawyer” in 2019, a Top 13 Female Acritas Star in 2018 and by Chambers as a leading practitioner nationwide. She was also recently recognized by her peers by being elected fellow of the U.S. College of Labor and Employment Lawyers.

For further information please contact:

Caroline Arbour, Editorial Advisor

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