Norton Rose Fulbright lawyer Karen Jensen will be Canada’s first pay equity commissioner

Labour and human rights law veteran of 25 years appointed to newly created post

Norton Rose Fulbright lawyer Karen Jensen will be Canada’s first pay equity commissioner
Karen Jensen

Karen Jensen, partner at Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP in Ottawa, was appointed by the federal government as pay equity commissioner.

Jensen is the first-ever holder of the position, according to a statement from the law firm, where she is Canadian employment and labour chairwoman.

Her role, which begins on Oct. 16, is to provide direction for the administration and enforcement of the Pay Equity Act, the firm’s statement said. Legislation is expected to come into force in 2020 to reduce the gender wage gap in federally regulated workplaces.

“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,” said Charles Hurdon, Norton Rose Fulbright’s managing partner in Canada. “There is no doubt that she will make a consequential contribution, and we wish her all the best in her mandate.”

Jensen practises in both English and French and worked on cases involving human rights, constitutional, administrative and labour and employment law matters before all levels of courts since joining Norton Rose Fulbright in 2010, the announcement said.

Jensen was previously the assistant dean of the University of Ottawa Faculty of Law and taught dispute resolution, it added. Before that, she adjudicated and mediated disputes as a full-time member of the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal. Jensen was recently elected fellow of the U.S. College of Labor and Employment Lawyers.

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