A huge problem employers face is that there is no one law or single, readily accessible guidebook that explains all of your obligations as an employer. The vast majority of employers’ legal problems with their employees arise from the fact that the employer makes the wrong decision as a result of not knowing the rules or, even worse, consulting one source of the rules (for example, the Employment Standards Act, 2000) and assuming that following the Act will not create liability. The Employment Standards Act, 2000 is just one piece of a complex puzzle of rules and laws that apply to employers.
The truth is that once you hire an employee, you acquire a host of responsibilities and obligations. We are the resource you need to understand those obligations and to help you take steps to reduce your potential liabilities. In our opinion, every employer needs access to a knowledgeable employment lawyer.
We can help you in many ways:
- Reduce your liability for termination and severance by implementing proper employment contracts
- Protect your goodwill and customer base by creating confidentiality and non-solicitation agreements
- Advise you how to conduct investigations into misconduct
- Guide you through the process of disciplining and terminating employees for misconduct
- Assist you in becoming compliant with your statutory obligations as an employer, including mandatory policies and training
- Review or create policies and procedures for personnel
- Assist you in creating termination packages and negotiating with the employee or their counsel
- Respond to and defend claims for wrongful dismissal
- Investigate, respond to and defend claims of harassment, discrimination or other Human Rights complaints.
Our best employment clients are ‘well-trained’. Over the course of their relationship with us, we have taught them to identify the situations for which they need to call to get our advice. They call before the problem gets out of control and we guide them through the process. The result is that these clients spend much less on legal fees than they would if they had waited for the problem to hit the proverbial fan.
Our job is to help you steer clear of the problems that you can avoid and to respond to the ones you can’t.
We help employees in three main areas:
- Termination Advice: If you have been terminated, we will meet with you to discuss your entitlement to a severance package. If you have been provided with a package, we will assess the package to see if your employer is making a fair offer to you. We negotiate fair packages and, when an employer is not willing to be fair, we assist employees in suing their former employers for wrongful dismissal.
- General Employment Advice: If you have been offered a job and presented with an employment contract to sign, we will review that contract for you and advise you of the implications of signing the contract. Occasionally, those contracts can be revised through negotiation so that they are fair to both sides.
- Constructive Dismissal: If you are faced with a constructive dismissal situation at work, we will advise you of the options that you have to address the problem and guide you through the process. A constructive dismissal is not the result of a direct termination but arises from the actions of the employer, making the work environment hostile to the employee. Your employer, by their conduct, is breaking the contract of employment. It could be because of a demotion, a cut in pay or responsibility, harassment or a variety of other reasons.
Our role is to educate you about your rights as an employee and to advise you of your options so that you can make an informed decision as to what course of action you will take. We will help you carry out that course of action. In some cases, your legal fees are a tax-deductible expense.