Employment Practices -Risk Management Update
The risk of litigation from current or former employees is an exposure that comes with operating a business and having staff. In recent posts we have advised how employment law is constantly evolving and becoming more complex. There are many reasons for this including new legislation, changing demographics, increasing diversity of our population and workforce, the evolution of employment law and a steady stream of interesting decisions including the following:
Discrimination due to family status – the final word?
“In a just-released decision, the Federal Court of Appeal has confirmed that the ground of discrimination due to family status under the Canadian Human Rights Act includes parental obligations which engage a parent’s legal responsibility for a child, such as childcare obligations. But fear not employers – parental choices such as voluntary family activities will not trigger similar claims of discrimination due to family status….”
As you can see from the above referenced case and others the definition of what constitutes discrimination continues to change, as do other areas of employment law, and it is important for employers to manage this risk by constantly updating their employment practices (i.e policies, procedures and documentation), retaining knowledgeable legal counsel and hiring and retaining a well qualified human resources manager and or team. Another risk management strategy is for employers to purchase a well structured and broad employment practices liability insurance policy to help pay for defence costs and any settlements or judgments awarded against an employer. Employment practices liability insurance policies not only provide coverage for allegations of discrimination, but also extend to cover wrongful dismissal, sexual harassment, constructive dismissal, employment related misrepresentation, breach of oral or written employment contract, wrongful failure to employ or promote, wrongful discipline, invasion of privacy, wrongful demotion, defamation, wrongful infliction of emotional distress, wrongful deprivation of a career opportunity etc.
To learn more about recomended changes in employment practices and employment practices liability insurance speak to an ALIGNED Insurance Advocate or connect with us at www.alignedinsurance.com