Privileged HR Advice
All employment relationships represent legal contracts between an employer and employee, whether a written agreement exists, or not. Terms and conditions of the contract of employment may be written, implied or expressly imposed by a number of provincial or federal statutes. The employment contract is the most highly regulated legal relationship under the law.
We guide employers to navigate the complexity and dynamic nature of their legal obligations. As lawyers, our advice is privileged and protected from disclosure. We believe in strategic, proactive advice to avoid costly, distracting and potentially damaging litigation.
Our clients value our advice to guide them through complex employee dismissals. We advise employers on employee entitlements to statutory and common law notice of termination, constructive dismissals arising from alterations to the contract of employment and high-risk terminations involving human rights considerations. Our depth of experience permits us to provide proactive and strategic advice to minimize liability and the risk of costly litigation.
The single greatest risk mitigation tool at an employer’s disposal is a valid and enforceable employment agreement. Our clients regularly turn to us to prepare agreements on their behalf in order to minimize liability on termination, protect confidential information and prevent unfair competition once the employment relationship ends. We stay abreast of legislative and common law changes that may impact the enforceability of an employment agreement, particularly clauses seeking to restrict an employee’s rights to notice of termination and severance pay.
Employers operating in Ontario under provincial and federal laws are required to comply with minimum employment standards contained in either the Employment Standards Act, 2000 or the Canada Labour Code. These minimum standards pertain to notice of termination, severance pay, rates of pay, vacation entitlements, leaves of absence and many other facets of the employment relationship. Our lawyers have the necessary experience to ensure that both federally and provincially regulated employers comply with their minimum statutory obligations.
Human rights legislation imposes obligations on employers to accommodate employee needs on key protected grounds such as disability, religion and family status. Employee accommodations short of causing the employer undue hardship must be implemented. We advise employers on their accommodation obligations and help facilitate accommodation measures with minimal operational disruption.