Senior Counsel, Pallett Valo LLP
She regularly advises clients on a wide range of employment-related issues, including terminations, disciplinary matters, sexual harassment, human rights concerns, employment contracts, restrictive covenants, and workplace policies.
Maria delivers customized management seminars and training programs to leadership teams, management, and staff on employment-related topics. To protect businesses from potential liability, she also conducts privacy and policy audits to ensure they comply with workplace laws and engage in best management practices.
As a certified workplace investigator, Maria can be retained as an impartial, third-party investigator to conduct efficient, sensitive, and objective investigations into workplace misconduct. These include breaches of workplace policy, allegations of bullying, harassment, sexual harassment, or discrimination. She is also available to provide legal advice and guidance to employers and human resources professionals conducting their own internal investigations.
With extensive experience as a civil litigator and adjudicator, Maria presided over hearings involving a broad range of matters in both the private and public sector.
For five years she was the chair and lead adjudicator of the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board, an adjudicative tribunal. She was also a vice-chair of several other tribunals in Ontario, including the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario, Landlord Tenant Board, Social Benefits Tribunal, and Licence Appeal Tribunal.
As a seasoned adjudicator, Maria has wide-ranging experience eliciting evidence, questioning parties, maintaining confidentiality, and protecting the privacy interests of all parties. She has adjudicated a multitude of claims involving criminal harassment, sexual assault, physical violence, threats, internet crimes, and human trafficking in a fair and impartial manner.
Maria understands the importance of procedural fairness and natural justice. Respectful of social and cultural differences, she acts in a manner that promotes an appreciation for diversity. She has engaged in meaningful outreach and public consultations strengthening stakeholder relations among government agencies, police services, advocacy organizations and the Ombudsman’s office.
She also has experience protecting personal and sensitive information and dealing with third-party requests for information as the designated head of an institution pursuant to the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.
Furthermore, Maria serves as Privacy Officer for the firm. She also heads the Student Committee and the AODA Committee, co-chairs the PV Women’s Network, and serves as a member of the firm’s Diversity Committee.