Alberta Employment Lawyers
If you have been terminated from your employment or are an employer looking to dismiss employees, you need to know your legal rights and obligations.
Employment Law Services
Our wrongful dismissal lawyers will advise you on standards relating to compensation, notice, and your ability to pursue a new position. Please see our wrongful dismissal services for more information.
If you are a business requiring legal assistance on employment matters, such as drafting employment agreements, please contact our business lawyers.
Our constructive dismissal lawyers offers assistance to both employers and employees in navigating the complexities of constructive dismissal. Please see our constructive dismissal services for more information.
Working with an Employment Lawyer
Employment disputes can vary drastically in their level of complexity. Whether you are an employee or an employer, it is helpful to have experienced legal representation that can review your dispute to avoid common pitfalls and mistakes. Sometimes employers and employees can consider representing themselves in an employment dispute to save money on legal fees, but this can end up costing them more in the long run. This is particularly true when dealing with the very fact dependent analysis of issues such as constructive dismissal and federal/provincial jurisdiction.
Seeking Legal Advice in an Employment Dispute
Both employers and employees should seek advice before representing themselves in an employment dispute. A few of these reasons are due to:
- Cost Penalties: In complicated employment disputes, employers who are not familiar with the legal process may not be able to identify or present their evidence effectively. This can result in a loss of the case, which can expose both employees and employers to adverse cost awards.
- Missed Limitation Dates: There are various different time-limits in which employees must make a claim. This includes a time limit of only 90 days for certain remedies available to federally regulated employees. Getting timely legal advice can help you identify and abide by these time limits.
- Incorrect Jurisdiction: The dividing line between federally and provincially regulated employment can be difficult to identify. If the incorrect jurisdiction is identified employees might lose their remedy because they have made a complaint in the wrong forum, and employers might find themselves running afoul of rules which they didn’t believe applied to them. Our team of employment lawyers has experience in all levels of court, and will ensure your complaint is filed correctly.
- Emotions: It is natural for parties to feel emotional about a dispute; however it is difficult to make good decisions if you let your emotions guide you. Part of a lawyer’s job is to distance your decisions from your emotions and to focus on costs and benefits of your claim to ensure that remedies are maximized and expense is minimized. KMSC’s employment lawyers can provide an objective perspective on the situation and can help you understand the legalities of the case.
Employers and employees should consider speaking to a lawyer to discuss their legal employment dispute. A lawyer can provide legal guidance and representation to avoid these risks. Even if they are not retained, a consultation with a lawyer can identify when self-representation might be appropriate and allow plaintiffs to pursue that with greater confidence.
Labour Law vs. Employment Law
There are two distinct areas of law relating to workers: 1) labour law, and 2) employment law.
Labour Law: Applies to all unionized workers, people working on a First Nations Reserve, or people working in federally regulated industries (like airlines, telecommunications, and banks). In practice, labour law involves the negotiation and enforcement of collective agreements, as well as the arbitration and settlement of labour disputes including workplace discipline and discharge matters and contract interpretation issues.
Employment Law: Applies to all other workers and involves the application of prior court decisions and legislation (e.g. Alberta Employment Standards Code), to resolve disputes between employees and employers. Unless you are in a union, employment law principles likely apply to your situation.
Looking for more information on our Employment Law practice? Visit our Frequently Asked Questions page.