Employment lawyers provide legal representation for both employers and employees. They are premium human capital in the field of employment law and can provide expert litigation services to address workplace conflicts like harassment and wrongful terminations. They can also provide legal advice. Here are some other ways employment lawyers can assist you:
Creating and Evaluating Legal Documents
Doing something right the first time provides assurance and eliminates mistakes. That is one of the benefits of hiring an employment lawyer to outline and assess company contracts and policies. Outlining operational guidelines like health and safety policies, employment contracts, severance agreements and privacy policies sets legally binding rules for employers and employees.
Employment lawyers in Toronto provide expert counsel and perform due diligence when creating and reviewing legal documents, ensuring compliance with federal or provincial employment and labour laws. They also protect each party’s rights and obligations and offer guidance on litigation when an agreement is not upheld.
Differentiating Between Employees and Contractors
An employment lawyer can investigate if your employer has exploited your labour as a contractor even though your day-to-day duties are those of a full-time employee. The law distinguishes between contractors as either independent of or dependent on a business.
Dependent contractors, as the name indicates, depend financially on their employer. They use their tools, work according to the business demands and derive more than 40-50% of their income from a single source. Independent contractors on the other hand are more like freelancers – they are independent of the organizations engaging their services and retain their own profits and losses apart from the organization they are working for.
A father of six, Juan Jose Lira Cervantes had to grapple with this distinction the hard way. Cervantes worked at a Domino’s Pizza franchise, prepping, cleaning and delivering pizza, only to be fired from his job without notice. Before his termination, the minimum wage increased; however, his employers stated that because he was an independent contractor, the minimum wage did not apply to him. Cervantes filed a report with the Ministry of Labour stating that he was an employee and not a contractor. He was granted only a two-year sum, as required by law, of what was owed for his four years of service.
It’s important to know your rights. Contact an employment lawyer immediately to help you navigate any work-related legal situation – or if you realize that your employer is exploiting you.
Negotiating Severance Packages
Employees in Ontario are entitled to severance pay upon termination unless, in serious cases, they are terminated for a cause with proof of willful misconduct. As they possess extensive knowledge and experience of employment and labour laws along with how to analyze severance agreements, employment lawyers can ensure that you receive fair compensation and other benefits owed to you.
Safeguarding Protected Identities
It is illegal for your employer or employees in your work environment to discriminate, bully or harass you because of your gender, sexual orientation, race, age, pregnancy, disability, religion or political affiliation. Employment and labour laws protect these areas, and the Ontario Human Rights Code protects employees from harassment in the workplace. An employment lawyer can safeguard your identity to ensure you are working in a fair and safe environment.
For example, Ms. Henderson, represented by the experienced employment lawyers at Lecker & Associates in Henderson v. Marquest Asset Management Inc., was terminated for taking legal parental leave. Her employer stated that the termination was due to economic hardship. However, the court ruled in Ms. Henderson’s favour because her position was filled by a new employee.
Employment Lawyers in Toronto
The skilled employment lawyers at Lecker & Associates are exceptional negotiators and litigators for all workplace-related legal issues. We can work to resolve disputes with your employer or expertly defend your rights in court. We are employee advocates with deep knowledge, trial-tested and leading Toronto employment law firm.