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Four Years Running
Experience You Can Trust
The experienced Toronto employment lawyers at Lecker & Associates have helped clients resolve disputes with their employers for over 35 years. From negotiating fair severance packages, securing disability benefits and offering strategic advice on employment contracts, to litigating egregious human rights violations and workplace harassment cases, we represent our clients aggressively and with swift efficiency.
Our singular focus is to fiercely defend employee rights.
We operate with deep expertise in this field.
As skilled negotiators, our employment lawyers settle most cases without going to trial. However, we don’t shy away from trials when circumstances demand them. We have accrued deep knowledge and experience to litigate your case from Ontario Provincial Courts to the Supreme Court of Canada.
Employment Law Services
Our experience, crafted over decades of practice, allows us to represent you with excellence.
Some of our services include:
Every case we manage is unique and distinctive to the circumstances of our clients. But we see a common theme in all of them. Our clients lack knowledge about their employee rights and entitlements.
We level the playing field
Are you concerned about your ability to afford legal fees? Do not let deter you from obtaining your lawful entitlements. At Lecker & Associate, we do not require a retainer up-front for most cases. Instead, we charge a percentage of the settlement we obtain for you.
Ministry of Labour & Ontario Human Rights Tribunal
You can file a claim with the Ministry of Labour or OHRT for free. The administrative procedures are straightforward and retaining an employment lawyer is not compulsory. However, before you decide on self-representation, know that your employer will likely hire professional legal counsel to defend themselves. We strongly recommend you proceed with equal representation yourself, especially if your case is complex, to improve your chances of success.
Furthermore, both the Labour Board and OHRT have limitations. A Labour Board ruling will only allow you to collect the minimums stipulated by law. They do not consider extra compensation you might rightfully qualify to receive under Common Law. Similarly, the Human Rights Code addresses matters of discrimination. Accordingly, they will not award amounts for lost wages, severance pay, bonuses, etc.
Our employment lawyers only take on your case if we believe we can get you more than what the Labour Board and OHRT might award.
The Keenan Case
The Keenan Case represented a watershed moment for contract worker rights. The judge recognized them as a new class of worker, the Dependent Contractor, with rights no different from employees.
The Keenan’s received the highest ever compensation awarded to contract workers dismissed without compensation in Canada. And this case directly influenced changes to our employment laws.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Employees applying for jobs at Canadian subsidiaries of U.S. corporations should review their employment contracts closely. We often find at will termination clauses which supposedly allow employers to fire employees without notice. First of all, our laws completely prohibit such clauses . In this matter, there is little room for a Canadian employer to maneuver. They must offer notice or severance pay in lieu to employees. If you must sign such a contract to land the job, consult with one of our lawyers. In almost all cases, our courts will consider the clause void when taken to trial.
You remain an employee of the company when you are on disability leave or parental leave. You may return to your original or one comparable to it. Your employer cannot fire you for being on leave. And if they do, then they must prove that it was for reasons unconnected to your leave. Our courts will demand evidence and the bar is set very high, indeed.
If your leave extends beyond two years, your employer can fire you by declaring the employment relationship “frustrated”. And in this event, you should consult with one of our lawyers.
When your employer decides to let you go they must offer you fair notice that your job is ending. You can use this time to look for alternative work while earning a salary.
Alternatively, your employer can offer you severance pay in lieu of this notice period. The Employment Standards Act outlines the minimum standards for notice and severance pay. However, if your employer terminates you without cause, then you could be entitled to more than the minimum. The circumstances of your employment come into play to determine the fairness of your severance package, such as your age, your position, length of service and how long it will take you to find another job. If you are close to retirement and at a senior point in your career, chances are you will find some challenges to land an equivalent job any time soon. And in this case, your severance should be much higher than the minimum. Contact us before you sign any termination contract to ensure you don’t leave money behind.
This sometimes occurs when new owners take over a company with existing employees. They start announcing the “new order” and all of a sudden the terms of your employment change. This includes seniority, job descriptions, location and hours of employment, etc. It may even include wage cuts. If these changes are necessary for the survival of the business then your boss has to provide you with options. He cannot unilaterally change the terms of your employment.
In exchange for the wage cut, they should offer you equivalent “consideration”. Examples are more vacation time, signing bonuses, reduced hours etc
If these changes are not acceptable to you, then your employer must offer you an adequate severance package to end your employment relationship.
This is one of the most contentious employment issues of our times. Lecker & Associates fought a precedent setting case which clarified laws that remained open to interpretation before. If you are a true “Independent Contractor”, then you must remain fully in control over your work assignments. Essentially, you would operate like a business. Many project based contractors operate in this manner. They pay their own taxes and generally use their own resources (tools & equipment, etc.); they can set their own hours and also hire employees to complete portions of the work. Often, fees charged by contractors are higher than wages for hourly employees.
Any other type of arrangement is likely that of a “dependent contractor”. They may be skirting the law. They might be avoiding paying out your CPP, EI and severance benefits. Contact one of our lawyers for an assessment of your case.
What our clients are saying
Speak With an Experienced Toronto Employment Lawyer
Awareness of Your Rights Offers You the Power to Level the Playing Field With Your Employer.