Trouble at work? 4 occasions when a labour lawyer could help

November 12, 2014

The world of work can be rough. All kinds of disputes arise that sometimes, rightfully or not, end in dismissal. Here are four occasions when a labour lawyer could help.

Trouble at work? 4 occasions when a labour lawyer could help

Getting sacked from your job is one of those emotional, traumatic moments after which you should really count to 100 before doing anything. However, if you sense genuine injustice, calling the right labour lawyer is probably the best thing you could do. Choosing the right one is essential because labour law is not always straightforward. It is often complicated by the fact that provincial and federal laws come into play, as well as union regulations and the contract you may have signed with your employer.

Not all labour lawyers are alike

If you live in a larger city, chances are that there are a number of individual lawyers and legal teams who claim to specialize in employment law. But take a close look:

  • Some of them focus their practise on advising corporations or small businesses that are experiencing labour conflict.
  • Others are geared towards representing employees themselves.
  • Another sub-category concentrates on disputes in union settings.

With all the variants, you want to choose someone with the most experience in cases similar to yours.

Four occasions when legal representation could be advisable

Those who work for employers are often adversaries of those who work for single employees. The latter work to ensure that, for example, terminated employees are paid only to the letter of the law, or to see that dishonest or incompetent workers are sent packing quickly.

The more common type of labour lawyers who work on behalf of employees typically specialize in these fields:
1. Wrongful dismissal
Instances of insufficient notice and failure to present cause are two common grounds for filing this charge against an employer.

2. Termination and severance pay
Company policies and public law aren’t the same with respect to appropriate compensation when employees are fired. A lawyer helps you get the maximum available, factoring in whether or not any aspect of the dismissal is deemed wrongful.

3. Workplace safety
Whether knowingly or negligently, if you believe that your security is unnecessarily at risk doing your job, a lawyer with a tight grasp on the law can help you blow the whistle on it.

4. Harassment
Bullying and sexual harassment — once rampant in many workplaces — have been brought out in the open in recent years. Still, it usually takes expert counsel to identify and document instances, then obtain appropriate remedies.

Finding the right one

Lawyers understand that even when people have good reason to believe they were wronged, they are reluctant to approach lawyers because of the expense. For that reason, some labour lawyers host online questionnaires about the terms of your complaint that you can submit for a free consultation as to whether you have a case worth pursuing.

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