As we often advise our clients and attendees at conferences, the hiring process is fraught with risk from the employer’s perspective. Although you are simply attempting to expand or improve your team, we see the hiring process as a critical juncture during which the terms of the legal relationship between you and the new employee are established, as well as a time where you can easily expose yourself to discrimination claims.

As we discussed in the contracts page, every employee in Canada has a contract of employment. However, in many cases, the contract is verbal and includes many terms that are implied by law and are there for the benefit of the employee. The best time for an employer to protect their rights is when they make an offer of employment: done properly, a contract can be used to increase flexibility while also reducing costs and obligations.

However, even those organizations that choose to implement contract of employment often do it badly and end up with a contract that is not worth the paper it is printed on. We can help you through this process to ensure that your contracts are enforceable and strategic.

At the same time, employers often inadvertently expose themselves to liability for human rights claims by making decisions based upon grounds that are prohibited by human rights legislation, or simply appearing to do so. For example, they might learn that a candidate is undergoing cancer treatment, or trying to have children. When they subsequently choose another candidate for perfectly legitimate reasons, the unsuccessful candidate can make an allegation that the real reason for the decision was a prohibited ground, and the onus then falls on the organization to disapprove that, which can be quite difficult. Savvy individuals also realize that it costs little or nothing to file a human rights complaint, and that even if they are unsuccessful, the organization will not recoup its legal fees. As a result, organizations often choose to pay some money to settle rather than incur the costs of defending an un-meritorious claim.

We love to talk about Strategic HR, and much of that starts at the hiring stage. We can work with you to establish a process that will set you up for success and insulate you from claims.