As customer service-based employers with diverse and varied workforces, businesses in the hotel and hospitality industry face a unique set of challenges in the labour and employment law context.
Emond Harnden understands those challenges. Our lawyers have a long-standing and extensive practice in this industry. We are immersed in and up-to-date on the specific issues that face hotel and hospitality industry owners and operators. We strive to become an extension of our clients’ management teams and to provide strategic support and guidance in an efficient and cost effective manner. Hotel and hospitality industry owners and operators can rely on our legal team to be accessible, responsive and committed.
Our clients include hotels, restaurants, fast-food establishments, breweries, golf and country club owners and operators, private member clubs, conference and event centres, wedding and special event venues, catering businesses, and hotel and hospitality industry owner/operator Associations. Emond Harnden’s combined 30 years of providing representation and advice to this diverse group of employers has given us a unique understanding of the complex issues that are common within the industry.
We take a practical and proactive approach to assisting our hotel and hospitality industry clients in providing legal advice and representation in the following areas:
Employment & Labour Relations
- Management representation during certification drives, collective agreement negotiation and interpretation, labour arbitration, labour board proceedings, and managing labour disruptions such as strikes and lockouts;
- Management representation in civil employment litigation, including negotiating and structuring termination packages and defence of wrongful dismissal claims;
- Management representation before all levels of the civil courts as well as Boards and Tribunals, including the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal, Labour Relations Board, Workplace Safety and Insurance Board, Workplace Safety and Insurance Appeals Tribunal, Pay Equity Commission, and Pay Equity Hearings Tribunal;
- Compliance with ever-changing employment standards legislation, including the legal treatment of gratuities and employee entitlements to overtime, vacation and termination pay;
- Compliance with human rights obligations, including the duty to accommodate employees with disabilities, and avoiding and/or defending claims of discrimination or harassment, whether as an employer or as a service provider; and
- Compliance with pay equity, developing and implementing pay equity policies and plans and on-going maintenance obligations.
- Providing advice and guidance regarding progressive, attendance management, hiring, and terminations;
- Drafting employment contracts that define the employment relationship and limit the employer’s liability, including complex compensation structures;
- Developing and implementing a variety of programs and policies for the workplace whether required by legislation or simply best practices for hotel and hospitality industry employers, with respect to employee social media use, privacy (including video surveillance), dress codes, drugs and alcohol, providing accessible customer service, accommodation, and workplace violence, harassment, sexual harassment and discrimination;
- Developing and/or delivering training programs, within both unionized and non-unionized environments, to senior executives, managers and front-line supervisors on labour relations, human resources and employment law issues including, for example, conducting effective workplace investigations, managing in a unionized environment, violence and harassment, and preparation for collective bargaining; and
- Addressing the particular challenges of ensuring employee safety under the Occupational Health and Safety Act and compliance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act in the hotel and hospitality industry.
We offer interactive training sessions tailored for Hotel and Hospitality Industry employers and Industry Associations on emerging employment and labour issues, upon request.