5 Things To Know about Fair Treatment at Work: Contracts, Harassment, Discrimination and more
Most people simply want to be treated with fairness, dignity and respect at work. This blog summarizes five things you can do to make sure this happens including discussion on harassment, discrimination, employment contracts and severance packages.
1. A fair employment contract. If you apply for a new job then you will almost certainly be asked to sign an employment contract. These contracts are drafted by the employer’s lawyer and generally take away your rights. The good news is that these written job offers are often not a “take it or leave it” proposition and you may be able to negotiate changes to the original offer. Click here for a blog on negotiating changes to a written offer of employment. Our lawyers review many employment offers every year. We can usually review a job offer and provide you with our comments within an hour.
2. No workplace harassment. Employers have a statutory obligation to prevent workplace harassment and to investigate any workplace harassment complaint you file and provide you with the written outcome of the investigation. Click here to read what can happen when an employer fails to address workplace harassment. We review an organization’s workplace harassment policy and complaint procedure and provide advice and strategy to employees who wish to file a complaint.
3. No workplace discrimination. Employers have a statutory obligation not to discriminate or harass you on the basis of 16 personal characteristics including your gender, age, race, place of origin, and disability. If you disclose a disability and request accommodations, an employer must generally do so unless it results in undue hardship. Click here to read what can happen when an employer fails to accommodate an employee. Depending on whether you are employed or not you can file a complaint under an internal complaint process or file an application with the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal. We advise many employees on their rights under the Ontario Human Rights Code each year including many disabled employees.
4. A reasonable work/life balance. There are legal restrictions on the number of hours an employer can schedule you to work. Generally, you cannot be forced to work more than 8 hours a day without your permission. There are exceptions. If you decide to work more than 44 hours a week then you are generally entitled to be paid overtime pay. Again there are exemptions. Click here to read more about when you may be entitled to overtime pay. Many salaried employees do not understand that they are entitled to overtime pay in addition to their salary. Many so called “managers” are entitled to overtime pay and do not meet the managerial exemption under the Employment Standards Act.
5. A fair severance package. Often when your employment has been terminated your former employer will offer you a severance package. Most people just want to know whether it is fair. Our lawyers have reviewed thousands of severance packages. Click here for a blog on how we determine whether your severance package is fair or not. It usually takes our lawyers about an hour to review your employment contract (if one exists), the severance package and any other relevant documents, explain your legal rights and your legal options, and assess whether the severance package is fair.
Fun Fact: In 2019 the MacLeod Law Firm was again nominated as one of Canada’s top employment and labour law boutiques by the Canadian Lawyer Magazine.
For over 30 years, Doug MacLeod of the MacLeod Law Firm has been advising employees on all aspects of the employment relationship. If you have any questions about harassment, discrimination, contracts or severance packages, you can contact our Barrie and Toronto Employment Lawyers or Doug MacLeod at 416-317-9894 or at [email protected]
Read our other blogs about harassment.
Read our other blogs about discrimination.