You are on page 1of 3

STUART E.

RUDNER

TEL: 905.415.6767
or 416.595.8672
FAX: 905.415.6777
EMAIL: srudner@millerthomson.com
W EB: www.millerthomson.com
TWITTER: CanadianHRLaw

HAS YOUR ORGANIZATION HAD AN


HR CHECK-UP LATELY?

Why Do You Need an HR Checkup?

Every employment relationship is governed by a combination of documents, legislation, and implied


rights. These establish the rights and obligations. If an issue is not addressed in writing, the law will
impose terms which may not be in the employer’s best interests. Organizations should ensure that
they do not miss the opportunity to put terms in place that will allow them to operate efficiently while
minimizing liability.

Many organizations fail to use strategic agreements and policies, often allowing themselves to have
obligations implied into the relationship. Why just play the game when you can make up the rules?

How Can We Help You?

We work with new and existing clients in order to make sure that their core HR documents, such as
policy manuals, employment agreements and dismissal packages, are up to date and provide them
with maximum flexibility and protection. Here are some of the things we look at:

Policies and Procedures


Organizations should:

1. Have a policy to deal with any issue of concern to the organization.

2. Use clear and unambiguous language - avoid vague terms such as “reasonable” where
possible.

3. Ensure that the policy complies with the applicable legislation in each jurisdiction where there
are employees. (one size does not necessarily fit all)

4. Update the policy as technology and society changes (no one had a policy that referenced
social networking sites four years ago…).

5. Monitor behaviour as appropriate to ensure compliance.

6. Communicate the policy regularly.

(a) Make sure all employees & managers are aware of the policy and any changes. .
(b) Post it (hard copy and/or electronic) somewhere accessible.
(c) Append it to the employee training manual or to employment agreements.
(d) Have employees sign-off that they have reviewed the policy on a regular basis.
(e) Have regular reminders (information sessions, distributions / redistributions).
(f) Ensure that employees understand the concerns and reasons for the policies.

7. Provide training where appropriate to staff and managers.

8. Be clear about the consequences of breaching the policy. Warn employees that they may be
disciplined up to and including termination.

9. Respond immediately and thoroughly to abuse by imposing appropriate discipline.

Particularly with respect to use of technology, it is critical to update policies regularly and monitor
usage. Technology is constantly changing, and policies must be considered and adopted to address
the risks and concerns that evolve.

Employment Agreements
Organization should:

1. Have every employee sign an employment agreement.

2. Make the agreement the offer of employment, rather than introducing it after the individual has
accepted the job.

3. Include clauses to address

(a) Duties and responsibilities


(b) Hours of work
(c) Vacation
(d) Salary, bonuses, and other forms of compensation (retaining as much discretion as
possible to avoid claims for automatic increases, guaranteed bonuses, and the like)
(e) Compensation & benefits
(f) Confidential information
(g) Privacy issues
(h) Ownership of information
(i) Conflicting obligations / Not breaching obligations to former employers
(j) Restrictive covenants
(k) Notice of dismissal
(l) Policies and procedures
(m) Discipline
(n) Eligibility to work in Canada
(o) Conditions of offer (reference check, background check, etc.)

4. Renew agreements regularly / confirm ongoing enforceability

5. If no agreement is in place, introduce one at an appropriate time (promotion, salary increase,


etc)

Give us a call, or send an email, so we can discuss how our firm can help you. What do you have to
lose?

2
About Stuart Rudner and Miller Thomson LLP

Since 1957, Miller Thomson LLP has advised management in all aspects of labour
relations and employment law. Members of our Labour and Employment Law Group
frequently provide advice regarding the interpretation of employment legislation
governing employment standards, human rights, pay equity, employment equity,
occupational health and safety, pensions, workers’ compensation and labour relations.
We are also regularly retained to assist employers in responding to union organizing
campaigns, allegations of unfair labour practices, picketing and strikes.

In addition, our lawyers appear frequently on behalf of clients before boards of arbitration, arbitrators, the Canada
Industrial Relations and the Ontario Labour Relations Boards, human rights boards of inquiry, Workplace Safety &
Insurance Board and other federal and provincial administrative agencies. We represent employers before the Courts
in connection with the review of decisions of administrative tribunals, wrongful dismissal actions, regulatory
prosecutions and to secure civil remedies such as injunctions.

Knowing the applicable laws is often the easier part of our job. The challenge is to apply legal principles in a cost
effective, practical and strategic way to accomplish our client’s objectives. Over the years, our commitment to
personal service and responsiveness to the needs of our clients has fostered long-term relationships based on trust,
confidence and results.

Stuart is a Partner in the Labour & Employment group at Miller Thomson LLP, practicing out of the Toronto and
Markham offices. He was called to the Bar of Ontario in 1999 after obtaining his law degree at Osgoode Hall Law
School. Prior to law school, Stuart obtained a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) degree at McGill University, where he
majored in Industrial Relations.

Stuart’s counsels and represents clients at all stages of the employment relationship, from the initial offer of
employment to the termination of the relationship. He helps clients to create effective employment policies, practices
and agreements, and he represents his clients before courts, mediators, and tribunals. In 2008, he appeared at the
Supreme Court of Canada on behalf of the Human Resources Professionals of Ontario in a case that is widely-
regarded as the most important employment law case of the last decade.

Stuart speaks and writes extensively on employment law and litigation topics. He

· authored the Employment and Labour chapter of Business Laws of Canada

· authored the Employment Law chapter of Carswell’s Canadian Precedents of Pleadings (soon to be
released)

· is writing a book on the law of summary dismissal in Canada

· provided the legal review of ClearSite’s Company Handbook Toolkit (and is their recommended employment
lawyer)

· chairs Osgoode’s Annual Employment Law Conference

· responds to reader questions in the Ask an Expert column of Canadian Employment Law Today

· contributes regularly to the Canadian Human Resources Reporter, Canadian Employment Law Today,
Globe & Mail, National Post, Law Times, Lawyers Weekly and other publications

· speaks at programs put on by organizations including the Human Resources Professionals Association, the
Ontario Bar Association, the B.C. Human Resources Management Association, Toronto HR Professionals
Association, the United Way and the Law Society of Upper Canada

· has been interviewed on television, radio and in print on employment law issues.
Stuart has been repeatedly named in Canadian HR Reporter’s Employment Lawyers Directory (a Comprehensive
Directory of the Top Employment Law and Immigration Law Practitioners in Canada).

4331420.1