Client Update: Valentine’s Day @ the Workplace
Yellow diamonds in the light
And we’re standing side by side
As your shadow crosses mine
What it takes to come alive
It’s the way I’m feeling I just can’t deny
But I’ve gotta let it go – Rihanna
Office romances are tempting. Sometimes emotions interfere with common sense when it comes to love at the workplace. While a specific workplace romance policy may be difficult to enforce, Valentine’s Day is a reminder to review your Code of Conduct, Harassment and Social Media policies to ensure that a workplace romance does not interfere with business objectives.
CODE OF CONDUCT
At a minimum, your Code of Conduct should:
- State that romantic relationships must not affect the work environment or productivity;
- Require disclosure of superior | subordinate relationships to human resources; and
- Make employees aware of the company harassment policy.
Not all relationships have happy endings. Relationships can be complicated when the relationship crosses from romance to harassment. How do you best respond to a harassment complaint? Ensure your harassment policy is clear, communicated and enforced. The fundamentals of a harassment policy include:
- A clear definition of harassment;
- A complaint process;
- A fair and confidential investigation process; and
- A fair and final outcome mechanism.
SOCIAL MEDIA AND INTERNET ETIQUETTE
Welcome to the World Wide Web of potential sexual harassment claims. Now is as good a time as any to review your social media policy and ensure that something as seemingly innocuous as ‘omg, u look gr8’ does not land you before a human rights tribunal or in a courtroom. Do your social media or Internet policies dovetail with other applicable policies (e.g., harassment, technology and confidentiality policies)? Employers should emphasize that all company policies apply when employees use social media.
Love may not conquer all, but it may conquer a few. Employees must be aware of the rules, procedures and consequences of their romance. While this won’t solve all potential issues of workplace romances, it will assist in setting boundaries to protect all parties involved.
By Sara Espinal Henao Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (“IRCC”) has announced a promising new temporary measure that allows foreign workers to study for a longer duration without a study permit, opening the door for…Read More
By Brendan Sheridan The Government of Canada recently announced a number of aggressive immigration measures to help attract top talent to Canada in high-growth industries in an effort to fuel innovation and drive emerging technologies.…Read More
By Daniela Bassan, K.C. All stakeholders in the legal profession, including litigators, have a shared interest in promoting environmental, social, and governance (ESG) pathways towards building a greener society. It is crucial for litigators to…Read More
By Kimberly Bungay and Colton Smith Since June of 2019, corporations formed under the Canada Business Corporations Act have been required to prepare and maintain a register of individuals with significant control (an “ISC Register”).…Read More
By Kim Walsh and Olivia Bungay Compliance with Russian sanctions goes beyond complying with Canada’s Russia Regulations. Canadian individuals and businesses may be unaware of several other sanctions regimes that apply to them. In conjunction…Read More
By: Joe Thorne, Giles Ayers, and Jayna Green Introduction Prior to June 1, 2023, decisions made by municipal town councils in Newfoundland and Labrador could be appealed to one of four Regional Appeal Boards pursuant…Read More
By Kim Walsh and Olivia Bungay Canadian sanctions targeting Russia in relation to Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine were significantly expanded over the past year. Critical to compliance with Canada’s sanctions targeting Russia, individuals and…Read More
By Kim Walsh and Olivia Bungay Canadian sanctions targeting Russia in relation to Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine were significantly expanded over the past year. The Special Economic Measures (Russia) Regulations impose sanctions on individuals…Read More
David Randell, Sadira Jan, Robert Grant, K.C., Greg Moores, G. John Samms, and James Gamblin The recent tabling of federal legislation is an important step for offshore wind development in the offshore areas of Nova…Read More