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Employment Law Consultations

Employment Law Consultations – Why should you have a consultation?

Whitten & Lublin Employment & Labour Lawyers strongly encourage you to meet with one of our lawyers before taking any action that could affect your situation at work.  Here are some of the situations when a consultation will be helpful:

1)      You have been terminated and were provided with a termination package:

If you have been terminated, or if you believe that you may have been terminated, in most circumstances your ex-employer will provide you with a termination or severance package.  In some cases, your ex-employer will only provide you with aspects of this package if you sign a Release or Waiver. You should not sign or agree to anything until you have had the opportunity to meet with an employment lawyer who will review the package with you.

The lawyers at Whitten & Lublin have reviewed thousands of severance packages just like yours that deal with issues such as:

  • Severance payments, bonuses, health and disability benefits, stock options and unpaid equity, post employment restrictions, mitigation clawbacks and more. 

2)      You have been terminated and were NOT provided with any notice or compensation:

It is only in exceptional cases where your employer can dismiss you without providing you with any form of advanced notice or compensation.  Being terminated in this fashion is serious and just because the employer says it could do so, does not mean that the courts will support that decision.  Employers have the legal burden to justify that you have been properly terminated for just cause, considering all of circumstances.

The lawyers at Whitten & Lublin have handled countless cases involving serious allegations of just cause for dismissal including:

  • Dishonesty; theft; insubordination; poor performance; or any other form of serious misconduct.

3)      You think you may be terminated in the near future:

Many times, you have some indication that you may be terminated in the near future. You may be aware, for example, that a restructuring is going to happen. In other cases, your relationship with your superiors has changed and you now feel that you are being documented or that your performance appraisals do not accurately portray how you have been performing. There are times when you will probably be able to see a termination coming before it actually happens.

If you are in this position, the lawyers at Whitten & Lublin can assist you in building the strongest case possible should your termination indeed occur or in responding to a negative performance review. There are many pre-termination strategies we can discuss to give you the comfort you need in dealing with the possibility of a job loss.
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4)      Your job or pay has been fundamentally changed and you do not agree to those changes:

If your job duties, pay, or any other important aspect of your job (including the environment) are fundamentally altered, without advanced notice, and without your agreement, you may have been constructively dismissed.  In such a case, it is critical to meet with an employer lawyer as soon as possible after the changes are made known to you, so that you will not be seen as condoning or agreeing to the changes.  If you are constructively dismissed, you may be entitled to damages in the same way as if you were outright terminated.

The lawyers at Whitten & Lublin have successfully handled countless cases of constructive dismissal and have the necessary experience to provide you with the advice at the time right when you need it. 

5)      You are experiencing harassment at work from a boss or from another supervisory employee:

Being harassed by another employee, especially those who are in a position to confer or deny a benefit may also lead to a situation of constructive dismissal and therefore, entitle you to damages as if you had been terminated outright. Harassment in any form is never an acceptable situation at work.

The lawyers at Whitten & Lublin have successfully advised countless employees on how to deal with harassment at work in a way that makes sense and does not necessarily result in a job loss. 

6)      You are being discriminated against:

Provincial and Federal human rights legislation protects employees from discrimination on the basis of a number of enumerated grounds, including age, race, disability, place of origin, religious beliefs and gender.

Employers have an obligation to provide a harassment free workplace on the basis of those grounds. If you feel that you are being treated differently than others because of these personal characteristics you should meet with an employment lawyer.

Whitten & Lublin have represented thousands of individuals in human rights and discrimination based matters and have the experience and expertise to successfully guide you through the process. 

7)      There are restrictions on your post-employment activities:

There may be restrictions on your activities following the end of your employment. You may be prohibited from working in a certain industry or using certain information that you obtained during your employment. You may also be prohibited from contacting old customers or clients or even your former co-workers if the purpose is to solicit them to leave their job. Your employment contract may specifically state what you can and cannot do. However, even if your contract does not mention any restrictions, the law may still require that your refrain from engaging in certain conduct that may be detrimental to the activities of your former employer.

Whitten & Lublin have advised thousands of departing employees on the restrictions they may or may not owe to their former employers and the consequences of violating those clauses. 

8)      Your union is not properly advancing your grievance:

If you are unionized, your union has a statutory obligation or duty to fairly represent you. However, many unionized employees are surprised to hear that their union doesn’t have a duty to arbitrate every grievance that is made. Rather, a union must properly consider your grievance and act fairly and in good faith in deciding how to proceed. If you were fired for just cause, or if you have filed a grievance that you feel was not properly dealt with by the union, you should meet with an employment lawyer who can counsel you on how you may compel the union to accept and proceed with your grievance.

What should you bring to a consultation?

You should bring any information that is relevant to your complaint or concern.  Generally, the following list is a useful guide:

  • Your employment contract or an offer letter;
  • Any document that you were given or asked to sign stating the terms of your employment;
  • Any disciplinary letter that you received;
  • Copies of important emails;
  • Any other document that you feel is important to your case.

Most importantly, if you prepare 2 page summary of relevant events and send this to us in advance of our meeting, your lawyer will review it before the meeting and will then be able to spend your time together more effectively.