Most managers or business owners will one day cross the path of an employment lawyer, whether needing to hire one themselves or receiving a letter from one after terminating an employment relationship with an employee.
However, the relationship between employment lawyers and managers/owners need not always be one of conflict and litigation. A healthy business almost always benefits from a proactive and preventative relationship with employment counsel. A good employment lawyer can assist management and owners with the development of legally sound and binding employment contracts. These not only protect the business’s interests, but can also show employees that they are respected and valued if drafted wholistically. Additionally, employment counsel can also help structure executive compensation packages at the birth of a business, or after changes in senior management occur.
In addition to contract support, employment lawyers can assist in the development and drafting of appropriate policies and procedures within the workplace. If created and implemented properly, these policies can offer management further peace of mind relating to potential liability. Importantly, these policies and procedures also act as helpful tools to address workplace inquiries and conflicts that are bound to appear one day.
Of course, if/when litigation does ensue, an employment lawyer is an invaluable tool to provide appropriate representation to management or business owners. Employment law is a complex web of interconnected statutes and common law doctrines that need to be approached cautiously during litigation by well-trained counsel. Hiring counsel without this knowledge and expertise is a risky proposition during any aspect of employment litigation.
In addition to its general complexity, employment legislation is highly driven by the day’s politics, and thus, often changes with the regularly turning tide in Ontario. The courts also periodically adjust their approaches to the common law doctrines found in employment law, especially after a shift in legislation. Needless to say, employment law guidance is hard and needs to be done by those who live it daily.
We take pride in developing longstanding relationships with our clients and providing them with advice on the many issues that can come up in the life cycle of the employment relationship. From recruitment and hiring, to performance management, restructuring, risk assessments, severance and new developments in the law. We enjoy working with clients to provide timely options for navigating the myriad issue that can come up on any given day when managing a workforce. If you think we can help you, please get in touch.