Our employment lawyers represent both employers and employees with respect to wrongful dismissal, constructive dismissal, and human rights complaints. We are available to review your situation and provide you with legal advice based on the particular facts of your case. Please contact us for a consultation with one of our lawyers.
“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
Employers often fail to get any or proper legal advice when entering into employment relationships and are then faced with significant uncertainty and financial exposure on the departure of key employees or when they need to make the difficult decision to terminate an employee.
A clear and properly worded employment contract provides certainty for both employers and employees regarding their obligations during the employment relationship and on termination.
We assist employers of all sizes draft employment contracts that are industry-specific and meet their business needs. We can also assist in drafting non-solicitation and non-competition agreements that will withstand a challenge in the courts and protect your business on the departure of key employees.
A written employment contract should address the following issues:
- What happens when the employment relationship is terminated?
- What are the employer’s severance obligations?
- What are the employee’s confidentiality obligations?
- Who owns the work product created by the employee during his or her employment?
- Is the employee entitled to solicit business from the employer’s customers after his or her employment ends?
- Is the employee entitled to start or join an employer’s business that is a direct competitor of the employer after his or her employment ends?
Employment Terminations, Layoffs, & Wrongful Dismissals
Losing your job can be traumatic and destabilizing for you and your whole family. It is important that you get legal advice as soon as possible after receiving notice of your termination.
What compensation you are entitled to will depend on a number of factors including whether your employer had cause to dismiss your employment, the terms of your employment contract, your length of service, age, position, and the availability of similar employment.
We can assist you in reviewing your termination or severance packages to ensure that you are being fairly compensated. We can also assist in negotiating additional compensation and suing your former employer for wrongful dismissal if needed.
Please feel free to contact our office for an employment law consultation today.
Workplace Discrimination & Harassment
Examples of employment-related discrimination include an employer terminating an employee’s employment because they are on disability leave, failing to promote an employee because of his or her sex or gender, or firing an employee because he or she is past normal retirement age.
If you believe you have been discriminated against in the workplace, we can assist you in filing a complaint with the BC Human Rights Tribunal and in resolving your complaint with your employer.
We are also able to assist employers in drafting clear Bullying & Harassment policies and Employment Equity Programs to ensure your workplace is fair and equitable to all employees and provide a clear set of procedures to address complaints of bullying, harassment, and discrimination when they arise. We can also provide legal advice and representation to employers faced with a complaint in front of the BC Human Rights Tribunal.
Employees in British Columbia are entitled to work in a workplace free from discrimination. The Human Rights Code prohibits discrimination in the workplace on the following grounds:
- Political Belief
- Marital Status
- Physical or Mental Disability
- Sexual Orientation
- Criminal Conviction (If unrelated to employment)
- Place of Origin
- Family Status
Employers are turning to independent investigators to perform workplace investigations as the Human Rights Code, Workers Compensation Act, and Personal Information Protection Act have created a complex regulatory environment for employers.
Employers are being held to increasingly higher standards when it comes to addressing workplace misconduct. Investigations into complaints of workplace harassment, bullying, and discrimination must be conducted quickly, impartially, and confidentially. An employer’s failure to conduct an investigation properly can have serious negative consequences for employers, including the potential for significant financial and legal liability, reputational damage, and low employee morale.
Our team of experienced lawyers can assist your organization in conducting workplace investigations into a variety of workplace complaints and misconduct including:
- Sexual harassment and violence
- Harassment and bullying
- Hostile work environment
- Conflict of interest
- Financial impropriety
- Systemic discrimination
- Policy breaches
- Safety violations
- Workplace violence
- Breach of contract
- Breach of trust
- Racial harassment and workplace discrimination
Catherine has a general litigation practice with a focus on personal injury, construction law, employment law, and commercial litigation.