As groundbreaking new law continues to emerge from human rights tribunals, arbitration boards and courts across Canada on hot-button—and often headline-grabbing—issues, our Human Rights Practice Group provides clients with the strategic, practical advice they need to respond to the unique challenges of this area on all fronts.
Whether in respect of new protections of discrimination or developing new solutions-based approaches to existing problems, our team understands the nuances necessary to both achieve and maintain compliance—and minimize your risks.
Our expertise extends from the private sector to the public sector, including education law, fire services, police services, social services and municipal or provincial government. We understand the context and culture of each individual organization and sector, and the importance reputational risk plays in managing human rights matters.
We assist in risk management for employers by:
- providing management with human rights training to ensure they understand their obligations, thereby improving the work environment and minimizing risk
- assisting in the development and implementation of human rights policies and practices including internal complaint procedures, accommodation plans and attendance-management programs
- offering training workshops on accommodation in the workplace, attendance management, sexual harassment investigations and conducting other workplace investigations
Our in-depth knowledge of the provincial and federal human rights processes means we are often successful at having a complaint dismissed at the preliminary stages of the process, without the need for a hearing. Should a complaint proceed, we have extensive experience acting as counsel for our clients during all phases of human rights proceedings including the mediation process through litigation to the appellate courts.
Our practice is not limited to employment-related complaints—we have the depth and breadth of expertise to represent clients in service- and accommodation-related complaints from, for example, students, customers, tenants, residents and other members of the public. Further, we offer effective solutions by:
- thinking “outside the box” to obtain resolutions and, where feasible, to have a complaint dismissed at the preliminary stage rather than proceeding to a hearing
- assisting clients in achieving practical and effective resolutions to human rights complaints, to reach a satisfactory conclusion for all parties
- vigorously litigating, where appropriate, on behalf of employers charged with human rights complaints