As more people are suing each other and their workplace, an employment lawyer is vital for helping to keep things equal in the workplace. One of their primary jobs is to provide legal advice for various situations in the workplace. However, what one must understand is that employment laws are vastly different from labour laws. Employment laws focus on the employee’s individual rights, while labour laws are more about groups of employees and collective actions.
As the workplace is constantly changing and things often become more complicated, employment lawyers are becoming even more crucial. Their work is vital for employees everywhere because they can help them solve these challenges with the law behind them.
Here are just five things that employment lawyers can help with.
This is probably one of the most common problems seen in the workplace today. Harassment isn’t just limited to sexual harassment, either. It is becoming more common for employers and other employees to bully their co-workers. Bullying inside the workplace is on the rise and is one of the more serious issues requiring a lawyer’s attention.
Most employees and employers have a basic understanding of harassment, whether it’s sexual or bullying. They fail to realize that all of these attacks, whether they are just comments or actual verbal attacks, are valid legal claims. A lawyer can help a harassed employee obtain legal relief by filing complaints and even securing a settlement package. On the other hand, lawyers can also help employees clear their names from false accusations.
2. Review Employment Contracts
Employment lawyers have extensive knowledge and experience with employment contracts. They are able to use their expertise to help both employers and employees navigate the world of employment contracts to ensure everything included is legal and nobody’s rights are being violated.
How they help is by reviewing the contract before an employee signs it or before the employer issues it to their employees. The lawyer reviews all of the terms and conditions included in the contract and goes over it with everybody so they know what they agree to.
3. Wrong or Unfair Dismissals
It is in this area that employment lawyers have the most experience. An unfair dismissal often occurs when an employee is told they are no longer needed at work, and it has nothing to do with anything they did. Lawyers often get involved in these situations when the employee was not giving adequate notice of the dismissal or when they were not fairly compensated at the time of their dismissal.
Although the employment laws are pretty clear in this area, it is amazing how hard it can be to get the proper severance package upon an employee’s dismissal. To ensure they are fairly compensated, most employees prefer to seek the help of an experienced employment lawyer. These lawyers understand what an employee is entitled to upon termination of employment; plus, they have the skills and knowledge required to negotiate a fair settlement.
4. Violation of Your Human Rights
Under Canadian employment laws, employees are guaranteed certain basic human rights. This means an employer cannot discriminate against them for medical issues, the need to care for a sick family member, sex, age, and more. If you feel that they have been violated, it’s best to seek the advice of an experienced employment lawyer.
One great example of when to seek out a lawyer is when you are a new parent. Mothers are given up to one year of paid parental leave. Employers cannot refuse to hire the new mother back when her parental leave is up, even if they prefer the replacement they hired.
Other violations of human rights can involve holidays, working hours, pay rates, discipline, benefits, and more. Everybody in Canada has equal rights when it comes to employment.
5. Misclassification of Employee and Independent Contractor
One of the problems in the workplace requiring an employment lawyer is getting classified as an employee rather than an independent contractor. Some employers mislabel their employees as independent contractors as a way to avoid having to offer them the same benefits they do their employees.
Suppose you feel that you should be classified as an employee rather than an independent contractor, and your employer isn’t willing to make the change. In that case, you need to seek the help of an experienced employment lawyer.
The difference between them is how they are treated at the business. An employee only works full-time for the business that hired them. They cannot do work for anybody else on the side. An independent contractor can work for multiple clients as they own their own business.
Employees are given all the equipment and tools required to do their job, including cell phones, computers, workspace, and more. Independent contractors have to provide all of their own tools and equipment for the work they are doing.