Toronto Employment Lawyer for Dispute Prevention and Resolution

Conflict can arise in the workplace for a variety of reasons and can escalate quickly if not addressed in a timely manner. For employers, conflict with employees can have a negative impact on the workplace, affecting productivity, employee morale, and even public perception. For employees, conflict at work is mentally taxing and may lead to resignation or termination, creating uncertainty in terms of one’s income and career prospects. For all parties, conflict left unaddressed can lead to costly and time-consuming litigation.

Haynes Law Firm in Toronto works with both employees and employers to manage conflict effectively and efficiently. Paulette Haynes, the firm’s founder, is a seasoned employment lawyer who has devoted her career to the practice of employment and labour law. She is dedicated to delivering proactive and effective legal solutions to workplace disputes and is intensely passionate about achieving a successful outcome for her clients.

Haynes Law Firm offers both preventative guidance to de-escalate conflict before it becomes unmanageable, as well as proactive strategy and advocacy in a variety of dispute resolution methods. The firm works with both employers and employees to provide elite representation in the following dispute resolution methods:

Dispute Prevention and Mitigation

Resolving potential conflict early on is the best way to avoid costly disputes and mitigate risk for employers and employees. A healthy employer/employee relationship is mutually beneficial for both parties. Employers avoid the expense of hiring a replacement, and employees avoid the stress of seeking new employment. Resolving disputes quickly and amicably mitigates the risk of litigation for employers and ensures employees maintain their seniority and financial certainty, neither of which is guaranteed if they seek alternate employment.

Paulette Haynes and the team at Haynes Law Firm work with employers and employees to design custom-tailored solutions to reduce or eliminate conflict in the workplace. Paulette regularly provides advice on draft communications and policies aimed at avoiding or resolving conflict and represents parties in dispute resolution processes to address issues as informally as possible.

Pre-Litigation Strategy

Resolving conflicts through early intervention is always Plan A. Meticulously preparing for litigation at the outset should Plan A become untenable is Plan B. From the moment Paulette begins working with a client, both Plan A, resolving disputes before they escalate, and Plan B, developing a sound litigation strategy are set in motion. Working in tandem, Plan A and Plan B serve to strengthen one another and often result in an early resolution of the matter. If the matter proceeds to trial, the early trial preparation is a huge advantage and offers a significant leg-up on the opposing party.

Paulette’s goal is to achieve a positive result for every client. Preparing for every possibility from the beginning ensures her clients are positioned for success at any stage of a workplace dispute.

Alternative Dispute Resolution

Mediation and arbitration are forms of alternative dispute resolution methods. Both offer certain advantages over litigation. Each process is highly customizable and typically more expeditious and cost-efficient than a trial. Additionally, alternative dispute resolution methods allow for greater privacy and confidentiality regarding the outcome.

Employment Mediation

Mediation provides parties with a forum to resolve disputes with the guided assistance of a trained mediator. A mediator acts as a neutral third party and facilitates discussion to identify solutions to resolve conflict. A mediator does not impose a decision or render a judgment. The goal of mediation is for the parties to reach an agreement on their own terms, which the mediator then records. Parties can attend mediation with or without counsel; however, legal representation is strongly advised to ensure entitlements and rights are protected. Further, any agreement resulting from the mediation must be reviewed by a lawyer before it can be executed. 

Employment Arbitration

Arbitration is a hybrid between litigation and mediation. Arbitration is a private and customizable process that is procedurally similar to a trial. In an arbitration, the trier of fact is an arbitrator, who renders a binding decision on the parties. Some employment contracts specify that disputes must be resolved through arbitration, precluding either party from initiating litigation. Given the trial-like procedures involved in arbitration, such as discoveries, written submissions, examinations and cross-examinations, legal representation for all parties is recommended. 

Employment Litigation

Litigation offers the most fulsome potential for damage awards, particularly in contrast to claims heard before a tribunal. In situations where communications have completely broken down or the parties are at a stalemate, litigation may be the only realistic option for resolution.

Paulette Haynes is a formidable litigator with a persuasive and engaging courtroom presence. She has nearly three decades of experience litigating employment matters and has appeared before all levels of court in Ontario and the Federal Court of Canada. Paulette is also a highly regarded legal studies professor with many years of experience teaching litigation and advocacy courses at the post-secondary level. Paulette is a compelling advocate and is deeply passionate about achieving the best possible outcome for every client in every case.

Employment Tribunals

Administrative law tribunals are public bodies created to manage specific disputes. There are several bodies dedicated to the resolution of both labour and employment conflict, including:

  • Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario
  • Workplace Safety and Insurance Board
  • Workplace Safety and Appeals Tribunal
  • Canadian Human Rights Commission
  • Ontario Labour Relations Board
  • Social Benefits Tribunal

Tribunals can be an effective and efficient way to resolve a workplace conflict, particularly regarding human rights or workplace safety claims. Tribunals are cost-effective, as there are generally minimal fees involved; however, tribunal awards offer significantly less compensation than litigation.

It’s important to carefully consider the most appropriate venue for pursuing a claim since initiating a claim in one precludes the other. In other words, once a complaint is filed with an administrative tribunal, the option to pursue a civil remedy in court is lost, and vice versa. At Haynes Law Firm, Paulette and her knowledgeable team determine the best forum for each dispute and provide skilled representation and advocacy accordingly.

Contact Haynes Law Firm in Toronto for Highly Effective Dispute Resolution Representation

Haynes Law Firm offers practical and effective dispute resolution solutions to both employers and employees. Instead of a single-minded approach with litigation as the goal, Paulette Haynes thinks outside of the box, providing strategic solutions to resolve disputes in the early stages before they escalate beyond the point of repair. Whether in the courtroom or the boardroom, Paulette provides confident and adept advocacy, representing clients on either side of the employment line. To discuss how the employment law team at Haynes Law Firm can assist you, please contact them online or by phone at 416-593-2731.