Human rights complaints have become one of the most litigated issues. The Supreme Court of Canada has recently ruled on key cases in this area and provided much needed guidance to employers on these issues.

We provide advice on human rights legislation, represent employers against human rights complaints, and assist clients in drafting workplace policies to avoid such complaints and to create a process in order to deal with the complaints as they arise.  We have been invited to provide seminar presentations on the duty of accommodation by a leading national seminar provider in Calgary, Toronto, Ottawa and Halifax.

Development of Workplace Policies and Procedures

In order to be able to deal with workplace problems as they arise, it is critical that proper policies and procedures be in place. Policies provide assistance in both the investigation and the resolution of the complaints of improper conduct. The Firm regularly assists its clients in developing and implementing programs and strategies to deal with these issues.

We have experience in the preparation and implementation of workplace policies which deal with the following issues:

  • attendance management and access to medical information;
  • alcohol and drug testing for safety-sensitive positions, and
  • duty of accommodation.

We have also been engaged by major corporations to perform compliance audits of human resource policies with legislative and regulatory requirements.

Representation before Ontario and Federal Human Rights Tribunals

The Firm provides guidance and representation to employers as soon as a complaint is filed with the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario or the Canadian Human Rights Commission. We view the initial response to the complaint as the critical stage in the process and our goal is to have the complaint dismissed at the earliest opportunity through effective written advocacy.

If the complaint is not resolved at an earlier stage, we represent employers before the Ontario, Nunavut and the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal.

Workplace Violence and Harassment

Occupational health and safety and human rights legislation impose strict obligations on employers to ensure that its workplace is free from violence and harassment. The Firm provides clients with a number of tools and resources to assist in ensuring compliance with their obligations:

  • We assist in the development of policies, procedures and training programs;
  • In conjunction with third party consulting firms, we conduct risk assessment audits to ensure that all legislative requirements are met;
  • We provide investigation services in respect of complaints of workplace harassment and violence to large employers across Canada.

We provide training and educational seminars to employers and supervisors, providing them  with a clear understanding of what constitutes workplace violence or harassment, what steps they must take to prevent the violence/harassment, and what processes are to be in place where a complaint arises.  The training session is educational for both management staff who will have to address complaints and the employees who may be the complainant or the subject of the complaint.