Work Place Investigations • Legal Services for Employees & Employers
Many legal issues can arise during the scope of employment including, but not limited to, discrimination, harassment, injury or wrongful dismissal. Wrongful dismissal will sometimes take on the further classification of constructive dismissal which occurs when your employer arbitrarily, and without consultation with you, changes a material term of your employment contract, or in the alternative, your workplace has been somehow poisoned such that you are unable to continue to work.
When you are hired, your employer should present to you an employment contract. Sometimes this is in in the form of an Employment Offer. It is advised that you seek legal advice before signing this contract so that you can understand any legal intricacies that may have been included.
If you are feeling harassed or discriminated against, it is important to take careful notes that include the date and time which may be helpful to you later if the unfortunate situation of a law suit occurs.
There is increasing complexities to managing employees, and especially managing their departure. Our firm is experienced at guiding employers through these sensitive times and preparing for unfortunate circumstances by drafting or reviewing employment contracts.
Most companies and business we work with are governed under the BC Employment Standards Act, but a few qualify as federal companies, and are governed under the Canada Labour Code.
We also have some employers whose employees operate under a Collective Agreement.
If an employment dispute arises, there are few legal venues that it could pay out in:
- BC Provincial Court (any claim $35,000 and under);
- BC Supreme Court (any claim over $35,000);
- BC Human Rights Tribunal (usually a discrimination claim);
- BC Labour Board; or
- Canadian Human Rights Tribunal (employers under Federal jurisdiction).
Every circumstance is different and we encourage you to keep detailed records of all of your employees work related behaviour as well as your own.
Independent Workplace Investigations
In accordance with WorkSafe BC’s Occupational Health and Safety (“OHS”) policies and guidelines, an employer must conduct an investigation into all incidents of bullying and harassment in the workplace. Sometimes employers can manage this investigation internally, but most times employers find it prudent to cause for an independent, external investigator to investigate and report on the matter.
Stewart & Springford LLP has experience in independent investigations and can manage your matter in a sensitive and cost-effective way.