We are delighted to announce that we have expanded and adapted our Employment Law expertise to offer three new services to better assist employers in managing their workplaces in compliance with workplace laws and regulations. The new service areas include workplace investigations, management training, and workplace audits.
Under occupational health and safety legislation, employers are required to provide healthy and safe work environments, and to conduct investigations into incidents and complaints of misconduct, including workplace harassment and sexual harassment. Employers have been subjected to increased scrutiny by Courts and Tribunals for failing to properly investigate workplace incidents, exposing them to significant liability. It can be difficult for an employer to discern where and when an investigation is required. It is also difficult for an employer to know how to conduct an investigation that is not likely to be challenged as biased, unprofessional, or flawed.
Where there are allegations of serious misconduct, hiring an impartial, third-party investigator to conduct an objective and prompt investigation is strongly advised. If an employer decides to conduct an internal investigation for less serious allegations, seeking external legal advice and support throughout the investigation can be invaluable.
Our employment lawyers are certified workplace investigators. Both Maria Tassou and Kate Bresner completed the Workplace Investigations Training and Certificate Program and are certified by the Human Resources Professionals Association. We can be retained to conduct external, impartial investigations of complaints in the workplace regarding sexual harassment, workplace harassment, violence, bullying, discrimination, hostile work environments, and breaches of workplace policy. We can also be retained to provide coaching, support, guidance and advice to employers conducting internal investigations, to ensure that their investigations are legally defensible.
The objective of an investigation is to provide an employer with reliable information and the facts needed to determine whether allegations are substantiated, and what actions to take based on those findings. We can also provide customized post-investigation training for the workplace, particularized to address gaps in knowledge or compliance identified through the investigation process.
We are also taking our knowledge and expertise directly to your workplace with our management seminars and training programs. Whether your workplace is large or small, unionized or non-unionized, our management training covers a broad spectrum of workplace and employment law issues relevant to your workplace.
Management training can be customized to match the particular needs and budget of your workplace. We can attend your workplace to train your leadership team, management and staff on the discrete topics that are most significant to your organization. Alternatively, employers and business owners are encouraged to attend our internal management training seminars with your management and staff. Whether your team attends our regular management training at our offices, or we come to you, educating your leadership is instrumental in avoiding potential liabilities and minimizing risks.
Our employment law management seminars and training programs are approved by the Human Resources Professionals Association ("HRPA"). This means that human resources professionals will receive continuing professional development ("CPD") hours from the HRPA by attending our sessions. Detailed information about which training programs are eligible for CPD hours and the number of eligible hours will be provided before the sessions.
In 2020, we will host management training sessions on the following topics:
- Occupational Health and Safety Act Compliance
- Privacy in the Workplace
- Best Practices: Terminating Employees
Refer to Pallett Valo's website and social media updates for more information about when sessions will be held, or contact one of our employment lawyers below to schedule personalized training for your workplace.
A workplace audit identifies gaps in compliance and areas where your workplace may be exposed to liability. We review workplace policies and procedures, and other key employment-related documents, such as contracts and termination letters, to ensure that employers are compliant with workplace laws and regulations. A workplace audit will also ensure that your workplace is engaging in best management practices to reduce risk and ultimately save you time and money by avoiding common pitfalls.
Workplace audits can be customized to your workplace, focusing on a limited concern, or can entail a widespread review of employment-related documents. For example, a workplace audit may include:
- A workplace policy audit, designed to identify whether your workplace has the policies in place that are required by law, whether policies and related procedures are due for revision or updating, and to make recommendations for additional policies that might benefit your workplace.
- A workplace document audit to review key employment-related documents (such as employment agreements, consulting agreements, independent contractor agreements, documents related to the termination of employment, and confidentiality, non-disclosure and non-solicitation agreements), to assess their compliance and enforceability.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.