Employment Law Litigation and Dispute Resolution
McQuarrie Hunter LLP’s employment lawyers offer experienced advice and advocacy on a full range of employment and human rights matters to businesses of all sizes from sole proprietorships to large corporations with hundreds of employees and multiple branch offices.
Our work includes representing employers at all levels of court and before administrative tribunals, such as the Workers Compensation Board (WorkSafeBC) and the Workers’ Compensation Appeal Tribunal, the Employment Standards Tribunal and the Human Rights Tribunal. While we have extensive litigation experience, we also know that litigation is not always the optimal solution in an employment law context. Therefore, we assist our clients to explore and evaluate the suitability of appropriate avenues of conflict resolution, redress or settlement, including arbitration and mediation.
Frequently Asked Employment Law Questions From Employers Include:
- Will my employment agreement stand up in court?
- I have an employee who has been with the company for over 10 years and is not fulfilling their job duties. What are my options?
- An employee was injured outside of work and only wants to work part time now. Do I have to accept this?
- How do I defend a Human Rights complaint?
- Can I receive costs for defending a human rights complaint?
- How do I hire or fire a disabled employee?
- What questions am I not allowed to ask a potential employee?
- My company hires foreign workers. What issues should I be aware of?
- How do I integrate my Human Resources policy with the law?
- What rights are my employees entitled to under the Employment Standards Act?
- How do I protect my business if an employee quits?
- My employee is suing me for wrongful dismissal. What are my defences?
- What is the proper amount of severance or notice my employee is entitled to?
- How do I hire an independent contractor, commissioned salesperson, server or farm worker?
Hiring and Firing
Hiring employees is one of the most significant investments undertaken by a business. Hiring the wrong person is both financially and emotionally expensive. We can assist in the process by providing guidance on interview and resume reviews and employment offers. We are often asked to prepare or review staff policy manuals, employment contracts, confidentiality and non-competition agreements as part of the process.
Terminating employees is one of the most unpleasant tasks facing employers, and one of the leading causes of litigation and complaints to administrative tribunals by employees. We can ease the burden by advising employers of their options and their legal obligations, and by ensuring that the process is handled in a respectful and professional manner. We are often called upon to advise on and prepare severance packages, which may include both lump sum payments and/or salary continuances.
The Employment Standards Act
If your business operates in a non-unionized environment your obligations to employees regarding working terms and conditions are regulated by the Employment Standards Act (the “ESA”) as well as any contractual provisions you have put in place. The ESA governs important interactions including hiring, wages, vacation, overtime and dismissal. Click for a summary of provisions that may affect your operations.
The BC Human Rights Code
A second piece of legislation that may have an impact on your rights and obligations to your employees is the BC Human Rights Code. Click for a summary of provisions that employers need to understand.
Protect Your Business with Non-Competition, Confidentiality, Non-Solicitation Agreements and Covenants
Many employers worry that their employees will one day quit and go into business in competition with their former employer. Employers want to know the best way to protect the goodwill of their business and what they can do when their star salesperson announces they’ve been hired by the competition. The law in this area is constantly changing and our lawyers can provide up to the minute advice on how, when and what restrictions can be placed on employees, both during and after the term of their employment.
Contact our Employment Lawyers
We find we have the most successful and cost effective outcomes when we are contacted early in the process. Early consultation means we can provide the experienced advice and guidance that employers need to avoid the cost, stress and uncertainty of employee disputes.
When you require experienced legal counsel, please contact the employment lawyers at McQuarrie Hunter LLP.
Lawyers in this area: