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Paradise Lost – Firing an Employee on Vacation

By Samantha Stepney. Are you considering firing an employee who is on vacation in order to avoid a scene at the office? We recommend that you reconsider this strategy for both legal and other reasons. Aggravated Damages All employers owe their employees a duty of good faith and fair dealing in the manner of termination. […]

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David Brown KEL Kelowna Lawyer

Rights and Obligations in a WorkSafeBC Inspection

There are few things more unsettling to employers than a surprise visit by a WorkSafeBC investigator, whatever the motivation for the inspection may be. While many managers may want to respond by telling the investigators to “get lost”, a more sensible approach starts with understanding everyone’s rights, obligations, and expectations during investigations of this nature.

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Sorry Doesn’t Have to Be the Hardest Word: BC’s Apology Act

By Fiona Anderson. Canadians are known for saying “I’m sorry” and they usually mean it, even if, or often when, they aren’t at fault. It’s almost a reflex reaction. But at one time, saying sorry could have been taken as an admission of liability, turning Canada’s favourite pastime into an obligation to pay damages to […]

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Reference letters: The good, the bad and the tombstone (The Lawyer’s Daily)

By Richard Johnson. (This article originally appeared in the July 25, 2017 issue of The Lawyer’s Daily.) Sometimes there are clear-cut instances where an employee has committed misconduct that gives an employer just cause to dismiss the employee. However, obvious instances of just cause are rare indeed. The overwhelming majority of dismissals are without cause […]

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Seasonal Worker Series (Part 4): Stat Holidays and Vacation

By Geoff Mason. Earlier this month, we continued my 5-part blog series on summer employment with a post describing the special employment rules that apply to certain summer-centric industries. In today’s post (Part 4), I review the rules that apply to statutory holiday pay and vacation entitlements. Of the 10 statutory holidays in British Columbia, […]

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Case shows transparency is key in assessing employee performance: AdvocateDaily.com

A recent B.C. Supreme Court decision confirms that employers must be fair and transparent when assessing performance and dismissing employees — and failing to do so can result in severance liability and additional damages, lawyer Richard Johnson writes in The Lawyer’s Daily. Read the full article here.

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David Brown KEL Kelowna Lawyer

Criminal, Credit and Medical Background Checks: Are They Legal?

Do employers have the right to perform background checks relating to a job applicant’s criminal record, credit rating and medical health? If so, are there any limits on these rights? David Brown answers these questions and others in this week’s post on his BC Employment Law Blog. He also explains why employers should consider their reasons for […]

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The Canada Labour Code vs. The Courts: The Devil is in the Details

By Richard Johnson. In Canada, most non-unionized employees have one primary means of recourse (absent a human rights claim) for challenging a dismissal: litigation through our civil court system. For non-unionized employees working in a federally governed industry such as air transportation or banking or for a First Nation, however, there are two primary options: […]

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Why Cash Isn’t King: Lessons for Small Businesses

By Samantha Stepney. It can be difficult for employers in certain industries to attract talent at a reasonable wage. Because of this, as an enticement, employers often agree to pay all, or part, of employee wages in cash “under the table” so that employees do not have to pay Canada Pension Plan (CPP) contributions, Employment […]

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Seasonal Worker Series (Part 3): Special Rules for Special Industries

By Geoff Mason. Last month, we continued my 5-part blog series on summer employment with a focus on things to consider when hiring young employees. In today’s post (Part 3), I highlight some of the special rules that apply to certain industries that are especially active during the summer. The summer brings a surge in […]

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