Business Assistance Scenario: Accessing Legal Guidance to Ensure Compliance


The Background

For the last three years, Keenan has owned and operated a small coffee shop, offering craft coffee and other beverages, as well as baked goods. His staff has grown to eight total—six part-time employees and two full-time employees. When he can find time, Keenan has been working on the development of an Employee Handbook. Though it’s in the early stages, with only a handful of policies ready to go, he’s feeling good about taking initiative to ensure that all his employees will soon have a formalized source of guidance for general employment procedures.

The Problem

One morning, Brigette, one of Keenan’s part-time employees, leaves the coffee shop on her break to visit a nearby convenience store. On her walk back, she trips on uneven pavement and fractures her ankle. Brigette informs Keenan that she will be off for at least a few weeks but will stay in touch regarding her recovery and return. Keenan is relieved that her injury wasn’t more serious but realizes that not only does he not yet have a formalized Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) policy—he doesn’t really know what legal implications there are for him as the employer in this situation. He’s never had an employee be injured this seriously before, and this incident is particularly complicated, since Brigette was on break and outside of the workplace at the time.

The Solution

Because Keenan has business assistance services through Arete, he’s been using policy templates from The Healthy Business Bookmark (HBB) for the Employee Handbook he’s working on. He visits the site and is thrilled to find sample templates related to OHS and workplace accidents, which he downloads to add right away. Since he still has legal questions about the incident, he uses the Service Request Form on HBB to request a call from a legal professional who can provide the guidance he’s looking for.

The Outcome

Keenan speaks to a professional who’s able to share general insight regarding workplace health and safety laws, which gives Keenan a better understanding of his legal requirements as an employer. Between the helpful call and the addition of the right policies and procedures to the Employee Handbook, he’s feeling relieved and more prepared for both preventing and managing workplace incidents in the future.



Resource Connection

If you have access to HBB through your provider, check these resources out today!

  • Guide for Developing Organizational Policies and Employee Handbooks
  • Workplace Accident Investigation Checklist Sample
  • Occupational Health and Safety Policy Sample


Note: This fictional scenario is inspired by real business issues that can be solved through Arete’s Acumin® Business Assistance Program and is not associated with any Arete client or the testimonial provided above.

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