As the Law Society of Ontario (LSO) highlights the importance of equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) — and there’s a growing awareness of the need to tackle sexual harassment in the workplace — training for lawyers and paralegals is more essential than ever before, says Toronto human rights and employment lawyer Bay Ryley.
While Ontario’s Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) mandates workplace training on sexual harassment, the LSO now requires members of the legal profession to also complete three hours of EDI instruction by the end of 2020.
“Everyone’s talking about sexual harassment and misconduct in every industry — whether it’s law, entertainment, advertising or sports. This is a problem everywhere. With its EDI policy, the law society is trying to address a number of things to make typically excluded groups of people feel safer and more respected in the workplace,” says Ryley, founder and president of Ryley Learning.
While training and other requirements are in place under the OHSA and the LSO, the #MeToo movement has made it clear that employers “need to have a strategy for dealing with workplace sexual harassment and misconduct. If you’re a legal workplace, all your employees must have training. It’s a human resources best practice for employee engagement,” she tells AdvocateDaily.com.
As originally published on Advocate PR Ltd.