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Strategic Use of Contracts, Policies & Procedures

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ROI Corporation, Veterinary Education Today: Business Bootcamp

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Strategic Use of Contracts, Policies & Procedures

  1. 1. www.rudnerlaw.ca 416.864.8500 | 905.209.6999 ROI Corporation Vet Bootcamp February 28, 2020 Strategic Use of Contracts, Policies & Procedures Stuart Rudner stuart@rudnerlaw.ca 416.864.8501 Presented by: Prepared for:
  2. 2. www.rudnerlaw.ca 416.864.8500 | 905.209.6999 Disclaimer The user is authorized to use this presentation for the user’s own needs only, and is not authorized to make copies thereof for sale or for use by others. This presentation is not provided for the purpose of providing legal advice. Every situation is unique and involves specific legal issues. If you would like legal advice with respect to the topics discussed in this presentation, or any Employment Law matter, we would be pleased to assist you. 2
  3. 3. www.rudnerlaw.ca 416.864.8500 | 905.209.6999 True or False? ● every employee has a probation period during which they can be dismissed without notice or cause ● severance is one month per year of service ● employees can agree to average their hours over several weeks instead of accruing overtime weekly ● employees paid by annual salary don’t get overtime ● part-time employees get the same vacation, holidays, etc. as full time employees 3
  4. 4. www.rudnerlaw.ca 416.864.8500 | 905.209.6999 Mistake: Risky Hiring Practices ● luring people away from secure jobs → increased severance ● knowing too much can be costly! ○ Human Rights Code - be aware of protected grounds ● misrepresentation / bad faith ● not having a contract in place 4
  5. 5. www.rudnerlaw.ca 416.864.8500 | 905.209.6999 Human Rights in Hiring Process Avoid human rights issues ● cannot discriminate on protected grounds ● you don’t want to know more than you have to ● use social media but ○ risk of inaccurate information ○ take everything with a grain of salt ○ risk of stumbling on inappropriate information (e.g. race, age, disability) ○ protect yourself 5
  6. 6. www.rudnerlaw.ca 416.864.8500 | 905.209.6999 Mistake: Not using employment agreement for every employee ● every employee has a contract ● if you don’t set the terms, many (employee friendly) terms will be “implied” ● having them sign when they start is too late - no consideration ● using offer letters first ● tailor contract to role ● consider terms like restrictive covenants ● avoid ambiguity ● maintain discretion ● ensure it is legally compliant & effective 6
  7. 7. www.rudnerlaw.ca 416.864.8500 | 905.209.6999 Why Use Contracts and Policies? ● increase rights & flexibility ● control costs ● increase Certainty - Reduce Need for Lawyers (especially at termination) ● protect corporate interests ● restrict post-employment conduct ● govern your workplace! 7
  8. 8. www.rudnerlaw.ca 416.864.8500 | 905.209.6999 Termination Clauses ● enforceable if done properly ● avoid uncertainty of “reasonable notice” & reduce dismissal costs ● use clear language ● don’t go below employment standards ● use saving clause Example: A 65 year old Office Manager has worked with the same clinic for over 30 years with slim chances of re-employment Written Contract: As little as 8 weeks’ pay No Written Contract: Potentially 24+ months’ pay 8
  9. 9. www.rudnerlaw.ca 416.864.8500 | 905.209.6999 Employment Agreements Partial Checklist 9 ✓duties (maintain flexibility) ✓compensation and benefits (maintain flexibility) ✓restrictive covenants ✓termination ✓probation ✓no conflicting obligations ✓hours of work ✓vacation / holidays ✓acceptance of policies ✓conflict of interest ✓expenses ✓social media ✓use of personal devices Customize!
  10. 10. www.rudnerlaw.ca 416.864.8500 | 905.209.6999 Make the Contract Enforceable Best practice: ● no verbal offers of employment ● the contract is the offer ○ not hired until they sign ● avoid emails like “welcome aboard” until then ● allow opportunity for independent legal advice ● provide consideration for changes ● review contracts regularly to ensure they reflect current state of law 10
  11. 11. www.rudnerlaw.ca 416.864.8500 | 905.209.6999 What about Current Staff? Two ways: 1) consideration in exchange for signing new contract; or 2) providing notice 11
  12. 12. www.rudnerlaw.ca 416.864.8500 | 905.209.6999 Mistake: Paying an employee as a “contractor” Employee: ● contract of service ● part of the organization / team ● set hours ● subject to review, oversight & discipline ● entitled to protections of employee Independent contractor: ● contract for services ● in business for themselves ● no right to direct, oversee, or review ● no set hours ● no payroll taxes or ESA entitlements ● risk: CRA penalties, Ministry of Labour violations, etc. 12
  13. 13. www.rudnerlaw.ca 416.864.8500 | 905.209.6999 Policies Required ● Workplace Harassment and Violence (OHSA) ● Workplace Health and Safety (OHSA) ● Accessibility Policies (AODA) Recommended ● Human Rights / Workplace Discrimination ● Attendance and Absences ● Vacation ● Drugs and Alcohol ● Social Media and Use of Tech 13 What else is relevant to your workplace? Your Workplace, Your Rules
  14. 14. www.rudnerlaw.ca 416.864.8500 | 905.209.6999 ● some policies are legislatively required ● others will give you additional rights ● cannot discipline for not following rules that don’t exist ● must communicate & train ● monitor, apply and discipline Mistake: Not keeping policies up to date (or having any) 14
  15. 15. www.rudnerlaw.ca 416.864.8500 | 905.209.6999 Customization!!! It is CRUCIAL that you customize the Handbook to suit your individual workplace ● make sure that the Handbook makes sense for your workplace ○ if a policy does not apply, it should be removed or changed ○ terminology should reflect your workplace ○ policies should reflect your processes! ○ add policies as needed to govern your workplace ● not “one size fits all” 15
  16. 16. www.rudnerlaw.ca 416.864.8500 | 905.209.6999 Implementing Policies ● publicize policies ● train all employees ● monitor behaviour ● discipline offenders ● update regularly ● incorporate into employment contracts 16
  17. 17. www.rudnerlaw.ca 416.864.8500 | 905.209.6999 Training Mandatory training requirements: ALL WORKERS must receive training on: ● Occupational Health and Safety Awareness Training for Supervisors and Employees ● Workplace Health and Safety Training ● Workplace Harassment and Violence Training ● Training on the AODA and the Human Rights Code 17
  18. 18. www.rudnerlaw.ca 416.864.8500 | 905.209.6999 Health and Safety The Company is required to: ● provide training on policies; ● advise employees of hazards in the workplace; ● provide training on safety equipment and safe operating procedures; ● take all reasonable precautions to keep employees safe; ● post copies of the OHSA and certain posters in the workplace. 18
  19. 19. www.rudnerlaw.ca 416.864.8500 | 905.209.6999 Workplace Harassment and Violence Employers are required to provide “information and instruction” to all workers on their Workplace Harassment and Workplace Violence Policy The training will be different for each employee ● supervisors and managers need to know how to recognize and address issues of workplace harassment and violence ● anyone who will conduct investigations of complaints need to be trained on how to conduct a proper investigation 19
  20. 20. www.rudnerlaw.ca 416.864.8500 | 905.209.6999 Workplace Harassment and Violence - Training Your training should include: ● what is workplace harassment (including sexual harassment), and how to recognize it; ● what is workplace violence; ● how and to whom to report an incident of workplace harassment or violence; ● how you will investigate and deal with an incident or complaint of workplace harassment or violence; and ● how you will report the results of the investigation to the complainant and respondent. 20
  21. 21. www.rudnerlaw.ca 416.864.8500 | 905.209.6999 Posting Requirements Employers required to post in conspicuous location within workplace: ● the Employment Standards in Ontario poster ● the OHSA “Prevention Starts Here” poster ● a copy, in full, of the OHSA ● the Health and Safety Policy ● the Workplace Violence and Harassment Policies ● the WSIA “In Case of Injury” poster 21
  22. 22. www.rudnerlaw.ca 416.864.8500 | 905.209.6999 Mistake: Mishandling Requests for Accommodation ● never dismiss accommodation requests out of hand ○ even if they are unusual ● have clear policy & standard process ● understand what you can/cannot request ● don’t be scared to push back where appropriate 22
  23. 23. www.rudnerlaw.ca 416.864.8500 | 905.209.6999 Mistake: Failure to investigate harassment ● investigation required even if no formal complaint ● or “victim” tells you not to ● investigation must be impartial ● conclusion must be reached ● do not ignore concern or rush to judgment 23
  24. 24. www.rudnerlaw.ca 416.864.8500 | 905.209.6999 Procedures Can Save You ● Address issues such as ○ Accommodation ○ Harassment ○ Discipline ○ Investigations ● so everyone understands the process 24
  25. 25. www.rudnerlaw.ca 416.864.8500 | 905.209.6999 Questions? 25
  26. 26. www.rudnerlaw.ca 416.864.8500 | 905.209.6999 THANK YOU! Feel free to contact us if we can be of assistance. We’d be glad to speak with you. 416.864.8500 905.209.6999 www.rudnerlaw.ca info@rudnerlaw.ca 100 Allstate Parkway Suite 600 Markham, ON L3R 6H3 26 ➢Follow our blog at rudnerlaw.ca/blog ➢Check us out on LinkedIn, FaceBook, and Instagram ➢Tune in to Fire Away, our monthly online show ➢View our videos on our YouTube channel ➢Listen to our podcasts ➢To receive regular Employment Law updates and keep on top of what we are up to, sign up for our newsletter at rudnerlaw.ca/newsletters

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