10th Nov 2012
Shortly after obtaining her real estate license, Marilyn Patterson found herself in a pickle. Patterson, a Customer Service Supervisor for the Bank of Nova Scotia in Pitt Meadows, BC, was summoned to a meeting and told that her work as a realtor may conflict with her employment at the Bank.
Patterson saw matters differently. She had previously performed other part-time work outside of the Bank and without any objection. Further, other employees at her branch had second or third jobs, which the Bank did not oppose.
When it came to her work as a part-time realtor, however, the Bank decided to take a stand arguing that by recommending financial services and products at the Bank, Patterson could be in a “potential” conflict with her work in real estate. Patterson was told to abandon her work as a realtor otherwise she would be fired. Read More
About to leave on a much-needed vacation, Lerae Bigelow thought she had made plans for just about everything. But when her boss demanded that she cancel her trip at the last minute, she realized there was one contingency she had overlooked – her own dismissal.
One individual’s story, related below, should make people pause before hiring their next lawyer. Always enquire what percentage of a lawyer’s time is spent practicing in the area he or she is needed for – so that you do not pay for their education. Read More
9th Oct 2012
Most employees cling to beliefs about workplace rights from media, friends or the Internet. But many of these “perceived” rights often do not exist. Here are some common misconceptions regarding severance and the law of dismissal. Read More
I am a 33-year-old professional who has recently been told, after 12 years, that my position has been eliminated. I work for a global company as a regional manager for North America, but am paid through our Canadian office. Just over a year ago, the organization was restructured and I was promoted from a supervisor in Canada to my new role reporting to a director in our U.S. office.
The vice-president of our Canadian facility to whom I use to report did not agree with the corporate directives I was responsible for implementing and we often had professional disagreements about the “old way of running things” versus our new corporate strategy. He made my new role so challenging that my director often had to intervene. Another restructure has just happened and our Canadian facility has now been given back to my old boss with all Canadian employees reporting directly to him.
I was told by HR that my position had been eliminated. My American boss said I could go home and continue to work from home and continue to be responsible for the three remaining departments I had in North America and remain on the Canadian payroll for two more weeks. Meanwhile, she is continuing to work with corporate to offer me a position working for the Americas with 70 per cent more travel.
I am now sitting at home wondering about my future while I mourn the loss of a position I held with many successes and much praise. I have no idea what will be presented to me in two weeks. What are my rights and what should I be prepared for when this meeting occurs? Read More
8th Oct 2012
When I first started practising law, I received a complaint from a competitor who cautioned me against referring to myself as an “expert.” At the time I believed that her interests were conspicuously self-aligned, but many years later, I find myself making the same complaint about others. This is because the rules designed to protect individuals from lawyers’ misleading advertising seldom achieve their purpose – especially in the field of workplace law, where lawyers market directly to the general public.
If you are going to hire a lawyer for legal issues at work, here are some factors to consider. Read More
What happens if a just-dismissed employee is misled into signing a release that prevents him from taking further legal action? Will it matter if the employer took advantage of that employee’s vulnerability by steering him towards signing the document without pointing out that he had other choices? According to a recent Ontario case, employers have a duty to treat their employees fairly at the time of termination. Otherwise, even a signed document can be set aside. Read More
7th Oct 2012
My company went through a reorganization last year. Through the process my job was reclassified from a manager to a co-ordinator and the pay was reduced. It has been one year and I do not have a revised job description. As far as workload goes, there was a minor switch but overall the responsibilities are the same. Can they do this? Read More
I started a new position almost six months ago. At the time, I received a written offer of employment that stated several benefits including receiving health and dental benefits after three months and employer-paid RRSP contributions after six months. Now approaching the six-month mark, I have yet to receive my health and dental benefits, despite repeated requests to my direct supervisor and human resources. Is an offer of employment considered a contract? If so, what options do I have? I’m worried staying with my employer assumes I accept this violation of their offer. Read More
30th Sep 2012
Poor performance may be cause for dismissal. Read More