In 1998 the Law Society of Manitoba adopted the following policy statements:
1. Men and women full participate in the legal profession regardless of age, disability, race, religion, marital or family status or sexual orientation.
(a) There is an absence of systemic barriers to entry to and practice within the profession to persons who are members of groups against whom discrimination is prohibited by law.
(b) Lawyers will treat with respect the dignity and worth of all persons and shall treat all persons equally, without discrimination on the basis of any of the grounds noted in the Code of Conduct.
2. Legal services are reasonably available to the public at a reasonable cost.
In order to carry out these policies, the Law Society of Manitoba has made a commitment to develop and make available model workplace policies and creative programs and services to assist members of the profession in identifying and removing barriers to entry to and practice within the profession.
The Law Society of Manitoba has prepared the following:
Guidelines and Model Policy on Alternative Work Schedules
Model Policy on Maternity-Parental Leave
Model Policy on Respectful Workplace
Model Policy on Accommodation
Best Practices for Employment Interviews
In preparing the guidelines and model policies, the Society reviewed and considered several policies recommended by other Canadian Law Societies and American Bar Associations. These policies have been adapted for Manitoba and it is recognized that they may require further adaptation by individual law firms and employers to meet their own needs. For example, some firms may wish to incorporate the provisions of the Respectful Workplace Policy and Accommodation Policy into one document. The guidelines and model policies are therefore offered as a tool to assist law firms and employers as they implement workplace changes. The Society recommends their adoption and implementation by law firms and other employers of lawyers in Manitoba.