Employment law in Canada can be extremely complicated and employees often don’t understand their rights when it comes to wrongful termination, harassment, discrimination, and other issues that arise in the workplace. They find themselves wondering if they need to hire an employment lawyer in Edmonton or another province to make sure their rights are protected. The answer is almost always yes, but the following situations are definitely worthy of having legal representation.
The COVID-19 pandemic, while mostly in the rearview mirror as far as crises go, has given rise to numerous pandemic-related workplace concerns. From employers not applying proper COVID-19 safety protocols to mass layoffs, hour cuts, and mandatory vaccination policies, there are many legal minefields that both employers and employees are facing. If you believe you’ve been the victim of a pandemic-related employment violation, it’s best to talk to a lawyer to determine a path forward.
There are many forms of harassment that can occur in the workplace, with the most common one being sexual harassment. Whether you’re being harassed sexually or based on your ethnic background, vaccination status, or any other reason, hiring an employment lawyer is recommended so that you can determine whether a lawsuit is necessary or even if your human rights have been violated. Harassment can be difficult to prove without witnesses and evidence, but a lawyer can assist you in gathering that evidence as well.
Loss of Benefits
Sometimes, workers in Canada are “constructively dismissed,” which means that their employer has not fired the employee directly, but they have made fundamental changes in their employment that remove benefits that have been promised to said employee. While constructive dismissal is sometimes appropriate with temporary layoffs, in many cases, employers are not allowed to change or remove benefits without firing the employee. You may have a case against your employer if this has happened to you, but an employment lawyer will let you know for sure.
In some situations, harassment cases can actually be discrimination cases, which means that your employer has violated one of your basic human rights. Under Canadian law, your employer cannot treat you differently based on your race, age, religion, gender, colour, sexual preference, or disability. If you are getting harassed based on one of those characteristics, you may have a discrimination case instead of a harassment case, especially if it’s your employer that’s committing the violation instead of a fellow employee. Discrimination, like harassment, is challenging to prove, which is why a lawyer is always recommended in potential discrimination cases.
Labour Code Violations
If you’re a federal employee in Canada, there are specific labour codes that govern your employment. The Canada Labour Code applies to employees of government agencies, banks, interprovincial transportation companies, and airlines. Some provinces have an official process you must follow to file a labour code claim, but you’ll almost always end up in a courtroom, which is where a lawyer becomes necessary. Common labour code violations include not paying overtime when required, not providing a safe work environment, misclassification of employees, and paying subminimum wages.
Navigating the world of employment law is more than just a little difficult. It can be nearly impossible for inexperienced individuals who don’t know the intricacies of the law. Hiring an employment lawyer is a smart decision, especially if you are becoming overwhelmed with the process.
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