Vancouver Criminal Law

OUR LOCATIONS:

Vancouver: 604 685 8889
Richmond: 604 370 3050
Surrey: 604 593 8580
Victoria: 250 384 0100
Kelowna: 250 860 2766
Fort McMurray: 780 750 7588

Facebook

Twitter

Copyright 2016 Acumen Law Corporation.
All Rights Reserved.

Call 24 Hrs

604 685 8889

Call Us For Free Consultation

Facebook

Twitter

Search
Locations
 

FAQ Employer and Employee Law

Frequently asked questions about Employment Law by Vancouver Employment Lawyer Jason Koshman, experienced counsel recognized for his knowledge of Employer and Employee Law.

I have to lay off some of my employees because business is down. Do I have to pay each of them a severance package?

A proper hiring letter or written employment contract will often prescribe what happens when an employer wants to end an employment relationship.

If there is no hiring letter/written employment contract, the law implies a term of reasonable notice. An employer can provide reasonable notice or alternatively payment instead of the notice. The payment is often referred to as “severance pay”. The amount of reasonable notice is determined based on common law and takes into consideration the length of employment, position held, salary, age and other factors.

In BC, all employers are governed by the Employment Standards Act, and must provide a minimum required amount of notice or pay in lieu. The Act only prescribes minimum requirements that an employer must meet and does not relieve the employer from common law requirements.

I am hiring new employees. Should I have an employment contract for each employee?

The employment relationship is governed by the law of contract. Employees and employers can therefore, subject to certain limitations, define their relationship clearly in a hiring letter or written employment contract.

Although contracts are enforceable when not reduced to writing, it is a wise practice to have a hiring letter or written employment contract for each employee setting out key items such as salary, benefits, title, termination, and a host of other critical conditions of employment.

If there is ever a dispute at a later date, a hiring letter or written employment contract places the parties in a far better position to define the issues and resolve them.

I was served with an application that was filed by a trade union to represent my employees. What does this mean?

A trade union has applied to represent employees in your business and to act as their spokesperson in relation to all employment related matters.

If the application is granted by the BC Labour Board, a Certification Order will be issued and you will be required to negotiate a collective agreement with the union and deal with the union in relation to all your employees.

Certification applications can be dismissed by the Labour Board on a number of grounds including bargaining unit inappropriateness, fraudulently obtained employee signatures, and other objections.

If you are served with an application for certification, it is important that you obtain legal advice as soon as possible.

One of my employees came to me and said that a co-worker is harassing another employee. The employee says the harassment consists of racial and sexual comments. What should I do?

Harassment in the workplace is a serious issue that must be addressed by an employer as soon as it is brought to their attention.

Failure to address it can result in significant damages, embarrassment, and liability for the employer.

Harassment related to things such as race, sex, religion, disability and other grounds is illegal under Human Rights legislation. In addition, many businesses have workplace policies dealing with harassment that include complaint, investigation, and resolution processes.

If allegations of harassment have occurred at your workplace, determine if there is a corporate policy with a process for resolving these types of issues. Take complaints seriously. Investigate them while maintaining confidentiality. Refrain from any form of retaliation. And implement remedial measures.

Prevention, such as education, anti-harassment workplace policies, and training are key to preventing workplace incidents and ensuring you meet your legal obligations.

A WorkSafe BC inspector has scheduled an inspection of my business and wants access to all areas, do I have to let the inspector on the property?

Yes. The Workers Compensation Act allows Officers of the Board access to workplaces for inspections.

An officer of the Board may enter a workplace, including a vehicle, vessel or mobile equipment, and conduct inspections for the purpose of

1. preventing work related accidents, injuries or illnesses,
2. ascertaining the cause and particulars of a work related accident, injury or illness or of an incident that had the potential to cause a work related accident, injury or illness,
3. investigating a complaint concerning health, safety or occupational environment matters at a workplace, or
4. determining whether there is compliance with health and safety requirements

An employer is entitled to ask the officer to produce his/her credentials and to confirm their identity prior to the officer exercising his/her duties.

If a private residence is located on the work site and is not used for work purposes, access to the private residence can only occur if consent is given or a warrant to search the residence has been granted.

The company I am working for is downsizing and they have offered me a severance package. Should I accept it?
You should have an experienced employment lawyer review the offer and your particular circumstances. The law takes into account several factors in determining the appropriate amount of notice/compensation an employer is required to give to an employee when they wish to terminate the employment relationship without “just cause”.

An employment lawyer can assist you in assessing the severance offer and advise you of your options. Sometimes the severance package offer can be negotiated upwards with the employer. Additional matters such as reference/recommendations letters and outplacement counseling are also matters that can be negotiated in your favour

The company I am working for is downsizing and they have offered me a severance package. Should I accept it?

You should have an experienced employment lawyer review the offer and your particular circumstances. The law takes into account several factors in determining the appropriate amount of notice/compensation an employer is required to give to an employee when they wish to terminate the employment relationship without “just cause”.

An employment lawyer can assist you in assessing the severance offer and advise you of your options. Sometimes the severance package offer can be negotiated upwards with the employer. Additional matters such as reference/recommendations letters and outplacement counseling are also matters that can be negotiated in your favour.

What are the minimum employment standards that an employer in British Columbia must adhere to?

The Employment Standards Act of BC sets minimum standards that all employers must follow with respect to their employees. These standards cover areas such as wages, maxiumum hours of work, overtime, statutory holidays, vacations, leaves of absence, special clothing, jury duty, and other key terms of employment.

Except in unusual circumstances, the Act does not apply to employees covered by a collective agreement or those excluded by regulation.

If the employer is regulated federally, such as most banks, airlines, and railways, minimum employment standards are set by the Canada Labour Code Part III.

Other employer and employee law questions:

 

If you have a problem with an employee or you’ve been working for a company for a while and you’ve been fired unfairly, or even if you would simply like more information about your employment law issue, call our office now and Jason Koshman will be happy to speak to you.

He represents employers with their employee issues and employees who have been treated unfairly, so he speaks your language. Give Jason a call.

Criminal Law Firm Acumen Law Corporation answers some of the most common questions put to Criminal Lawyers in Vancouver B.C.