The employment relationship is governed by a web of legislation, common-law, or contracts. Sometimes it’s all three. It’s a complicated area that’s difficult to navigate if your life doesn’t focus on law or human resources.
Resolute Law Group has a long history of assisting employers and employees to understand their rights and resolve their disputes. We do not handle issues relating to collective bargaining or unions, as this is a very specialized area.
Our employer practice is restricted to advising small and medium-sized businesses with a footprint in Western Canada. We advise employers on how to set up employment contracts and obligations to employees and contractors even if you haven’t opened your doors. Our experience goes right through to termination, retirement and post-dismissal covenant enforcement.
Employment. Sounds like a lot of work – here’s what we can do.
Workers who consult us work everywhere from small shops to multi-nationals. Workers come to us to see if their employment contracts are fair before they enter them, to learn what their rights are in a contract, or to obtain fair compensation when they’ve been wrongfully fired.
Our experience is broad and includes:
- Analysis of severance packages.
- Determining if a wrongful or constructive dismissal has occurred;
- Negotiating settlements between employers and workers;
- Providing opinions on the legality and validity of employment contracts;
- Navigating challenging situations such as workplace harassment;
- Handling breaches of employment contracts for things like confidentiality of information;
- Applications for injunctive relief after the theft of company assets or private information.
Frequently asked questions
Here are some typical questions our clients have:
WHAT IS WRONGFUL DISMISSAL?
An employer is required either to provide “notice”, or have just cause when an employee is terminated. If an employer fails to provide reasonable notice of a worker’s dismissal or establish “just cause”, the employee can bring a wrongful dismissal claim.
WHAT IS “JUST CAUSE”?
An employer can dismiss a worker for a variety of things, but the most common are:
- Failing to show up for work;
- Showing up drunk or high;
- Stealing things;
- Failing to correct incompetent behaviours or failings which have been pointed out;
- Horseplay, inappropriate behaviour or harassment;
- And many more!
HOW DO I KNOW IF A SEVERANCE PACKAGE IS FAIR?
There are literally dozens of factors that play into whether a package is reasonable or fair. Every person, every company, and every industry is different. It is in your best interest to have a severance package reviewed by a lawyer in advance.
WHAT IS HARASSMENT?
Harassment can take many forms. Generally speaking, it is the improper conduct by one person directed towards others that is offensive or harmful and which the harasser knew would be perceived as harmful or offensive.
This is very general, however. Harassment can take many forms, including physical intimidation, bullying, ostracizing or inappropriate sexual touching behaviour or comments.
If faced with an allegation of workplace harassment, it is in your best interest to speak with a lawyer before agreeing to anything, signing any document, or writing anything in response.
CAN RESTRICTIVE COVENANTS BE ENFORCED?
Employment contracts often spell out post-termination behaviour that workers can’t engage in, but these are often overly broad, or outside industry customs. Often, workers take information with them that they’re not supposed to, and an employer may take an approach that’s too aggressive or too soft under the circumstances.
Having an understanding of a variety of solutions – from a reminder to suing someone – means that rights are protected, obligations are enforced, and a clear path ahead exists for everyone involved.
WHAT IS “LABOUR LAW” AND HOW IS IT DIFFERENT FROM EMPLOYMENT LAW?
If your employment situation includes a collective agreement or you deal with a union, your relationship and likely your problem falls under a specialized area known as “Labour Law”.
If your issue involves a collective bargaining agreement or a union, you will most likely want a lawyer that specializes in that area.
Call us at (587)-392-5825 and we can help you find someone.