Oakville & Mississauga Employment Lawyers Advising Employers and Business Owners
Employees are one of a business’ greatest assets and, often, can also be the source of the most significant liability. Navigating the complex web of responsibilities employers have towards employees can be overwhelming. Before hiring any employees, business owners should consult with a knowledgeable employment lawyer to understand potential risks and liabilities, proactively prepare for meeting their obligations, and ensure they are compliant with these obligations throughout the course of the relationship. Business owners should also consider regularly touching base with their lawyer to ensure strong relationships with employees are maintained and to avoid legal pitfalls that may threaten the continued success of their business venture.
At Bader Law in Oakville, we have been advising business owners on employment law matters for over a decade. We help businesses of all sizes and across all sectors. Our clients range from small family-owned services companies to medium-sized software, technology, manufacturing, and industrial service enterprises with more than one hundred employees and annual revenues exceeding $50 million across multiple jurisdictions. We are proud of the long-lasting relationships we have built with many businesses for whom we act as in-house counsel on employment issues providing timely and practical legal advice to human resource professionals and business owners.
Employment Standards in the Workplace
Most workplaces in Ontario are governed by the Employment Standards Act (ESA) which creates a minimum floor of rights and standards for things such as pay, vacation time, emergency and other leaves, working hours, and overtime. Employers must adhere to these standards or face significant legal and financial liability.
The ESA provides minimum standards only. Employers are able to develop their own policies, procedures, and practices to provide better standards than those which are outlined in the Act.
Human Rights in the Workplace
Ontario’s Human Rights Code guarantees employees and prospective employees equal rights and opportunities at work without discrimination. Most Ontario employers must adhere to the human rights standards that are outlined in the Code and have the primary obligation to make sure that their workplace is free from discrimination and harassment.
- Accommodating employee illness and disability;
- Ensuring that the hiring process does not discriminate against job candidates based on any protected ground;
- Ensuring that workplace harassment is promptly addressed; and
- Responding to any complaints about discrimination and harassment.
Health and Safety in the Workplace
The Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) provides a framework to keep most Ontario workplaces safe and healthy. It sets out various duties that employers have in furtherance of this goal and outlines rights that workers can exercise where there is a potentially hazardous situation.
Employer obligations include:
- Taking all reasonable precautions to protect the health and safety of workers;
- Ensuring all protective gear and equipment provided to workers is maintained in good condition;
- Developing occupational health and safety policies, including policies addressing harassment and violence in the workplace; and
- Posting copies of the OHSA and any relevant explanatory material in visible areas in the workplace.
Worker rights that employers should be aware of include:
- The right of a worker to know about dangers and hazards in the workplace;
- The right of a worker to be trained about dangers and hazards in the workplace; and
- The right of a worker to refuse unsafe work.
Bader Law: Helping Business Owners Ensure Compliance with Employment Standards in Oakville & Mississauga
The highly knowledgeable employment lawyers at Bader Law regularly assist business owners and entrepreneurs in complying with their legal and financial obligations towards employees and workers and managing possible risk and liability. We can advise on stand-alone issues as they arise or be on-call to regularly guide and advise you throughout the lifetime of your venture. Contact us online or at (289) 652-9092 to learn what we can do for you and your business.