Ridout Barron


Human rights concerns: An employer's responsibilities

Under the Alberta Human Rights Act, employers must ensure no discrimination or harassment based on any of the protected grounds is present in the workplace. They must develop procedures and policies that are not discriminatory. In the event of violations of the AHR Act, the employer might be held liable, regardless of involvement in alleged infringements. Employers must address human rights concerns immediately.

If an employee reports an alleged act of discrimination, the employer must promptly launch a thorough investigation. The employer may not disregard any allegations, even if there were no witnesses of the alleged discrimination. If the accusations are corroborated, the employer must take appropriate action, which might include disciplinary steps. Furthermore, policies must be reviewed and amended to prevent repeat incidents -- if necessary.

When a discrimination complaint is made, the employer must ensure the protection of the privacy of all the parties involved. An employee could report such allegations to the Alberta Human Rights Commission or subject to an internal process. Either way, privacy must be protected. Under no circumstance may employers take sides, and they must deal with all procedures with utmost neutrality and confidentiality.

Many employers in Alberta recognize the gravity of their responsibilities concerning the AHR Act. To avoid adverse incidents, they retain the services of an experienced employment law lawyer. Human rights concerns could make or break a company, and how they deal with allegations is crucial. The availability of skilled legal counsel to assist with the legalities when allegations are made could be invaluable.

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Ridout Barron

802 13th Ave SW
Calgary, AB T2R 0L2
Phone: 587-315-8454
Fax: 403-271-8016
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