A proven track record of helping employees & employers.

Employment Lawyers

Employment Lawyers

Whether you are an employee or an employer, we can help you navigate your rights and responsibilities for creating a stronger employer-employee relationship.


“We consulted with Natasha at Linley Welwood in reviewing our employment agreement and contracts. Natasha met with us and took the time to hear our concerns, to understand our business, and the objectives we had in mind. Natasha provided excellent legal advice, direction and documentation that we could use which has reduced our risk.  All staff at Linley Welwood were highly professional and knowledgeable.  I would highly recommend them.”

~ Fraser Valley Specialty Poultry

“I would like to thank Natasha for successfully representing our company recently with an employee issue. I appreciated the quick response.  The wording of correspondence to opposing counsel was professional but firm, with strong arguments for our case.  The results of the settlement were better than expected.”

~ Curt K.

“From my earliest meetings with David to my more recent work with Natasha, the team at Linley Welwood has consistently delivered trustworthy, knowledgeable legal counsel. They have always taken the time to understand our position and, in turn, provided us with effective advocacy and positive results! It’s been genuinely refreshing to work with David, Natasha and the rest of the team at Linley Welwood.”

~ Roger Bollman, Vice President GRC Columbia Roofing

Employment law • Abbotsford, BC

Meet the team with a proven track record.

Snapshot

  • 30 years of combined experience.
  • Friendly and approachable team of legal experts.
  • Committed to the best solutions for our clients.

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Common questions
about employment law.
  • What is employment law?
  • Employment law for employees
  • Employment law for employers
  • Do I need an employment contract?
  • What is a working notice?
  • What is common law reasonable notice?
  • When can an employer deem that an employee has resigned?
  • Can an employee on disability or medical leave be fired?
  • Does an employer need cause to terminate an employee?
  • What is constructive dismissal?
  • Why work with Linley Welwood LLP employment lawyers?

What is employment law?

Employment law works to govern the employer-employee relationship by dealing with the rights of employees and the responsibilities of employers. If an employment relationship does not work in the best interests of both parties, a lawyer can help settle disputes, ensuring that their clients' needs are being adequately provided for.

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Employment law for employees

If you feel that your rights as an employee are not being met, we can help. Our team of employment lawyers are trained and experienced in handling all kinds of employment law cases for employees, including:

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  • Employee rights in an employment relationship
  • Termination without cause
  • Termination for cause
  • Wrongful dismissal
  • Constructive dismissal
  • Severance package review
  • Severance package negotiation

  • Employment contract review
  • Employment offer review and negotiation
  • Non-competition clauses and non-disclosure clauses in employment contracts
  • Maternity leave
  • Temporary layoffs
  • Employment insurance and severance pay

Employment law for employers

If you are an employer and you need help protecting your business while also creating a beneficial employer-employee relationship, our team of professional lawyers can help you with all aspects of employment law, including:

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  • Employer rights in an employment relationship
  • Drafting of employment contracts and offers of employment letters
  • Drafting confidentiality and non-competition agreements
  • Advising on all issues related to employment relationships

  • Performance management of employees
  • Workplace conflicts
  • Appropriate employment policies and procedures
  • Employment standards compliance
  • Advising on bonus or other incentive plans

Do I need an employment contract?

Since the Employment Standards Act (ESA), also referred to as the minimum standards legislation, stipulates and enforces minimum employment standards that apply whether or not a written employment contract exists, written contracts are technically not required; however, both employers and employees can benefit from having a contact that clearly outlines the employment relationship, especially since the ESA's provisions may vary depending on the field of work.

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What is a working notice?

If an employee is terminated without cause, they are entitled to working notice or pay in lieu. This means that, if an employee is entitled to four weeks’ notice, the employer can either notify the employee that they will be terminated in four weeks' time, allowing the employee to continue working during that period, or they can notify the employee that they are being terminated immediately and pay the employee the wages that they would have earned during those four weeks.

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What is common law reasonable notice?

The common law was developed by the courts and follows a formulated framework created by judges in order to award notice that is different from what it laid out in the Employment Standards Act (ESA). In most cases, employers will often try to limit an employee's entitlement to common law reasonable notice, as it tends to be greater than the minimum notice required by the ESA.

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In the event that an employee does not have an employment contract with an iron-tight termination provision, the courts may determine that reasonable notice of termination is required by the employer. It is important to note that reasonable notice is determined on a case-by-case basis, depending on the circumstances and other factors like length of service, age of the employee, character of employment, and availability of comparable employment.

When can an employer deem that an employee has resigned?

While an employee will usually clearly communicate their resignation in the form of a written notice to their employer, in some cases, an employee resignation may not be as clear, such as when an employee is unexplainably absent from work for a period of time. If an employee's resignation is unclear, the employer must act in good faith by taking the necessary steps and considering all of the facts in order to determine the employee's true intention. Canadian courts stipulate that an employee's resignation must be clear, voluntary, and unequivocal to be used as a defence in a wrongful dismissal case.

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Can an employee on disability or medical leave be fired?

While an employee on disability or medical leave can technically be fired, it is important for employers to be very careful when doing so, as it may give cause for a Human Rights Code claim. When dismissing an employee on medical or disability leave, or on modified duties, employers should first consult with an employment lawyer and will be required to provide evidence that the employee's disability was not a factor in their termination.

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Does an employer need cause to terminate an employee?

An employer has the right to terminate an employee for any reason, as long as they provide adequate notice or pay in lieu of and as long as the reason does not violate the Human Rights Code or the Workers Compensation Act.

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When terminating an employee, an employer must provide proper notice or pay in lieu unless there are sufficient grounds to terminate the employee with cause. Since the standard for dismal with cause is extremely high—in most cases, standard for dismissal with cause will only be met if gross misconduct on the part of the employee is involved—employers should consult a lawyer who specializes in employment law before terminating an employee with cause.  Employees who are terminated with cause should also consult an employment lawyer, if they suspect that their employer does not have adequate evidence to support dismissal with cause.

What is constructive dismissal?

Constructive dismissal is when an employer does not directly fire an employee but, instead, fails to comply with the employment contract, unilaterally changes the terms of employment, or expresses a settled intention to do either, forcing the employee to quit. Constructive dismissal can also happen when an employer creates or allows for the creation of a toxic or hostile work environment. The determination of whether or not there has been a constructive dismissal will be based on an objective view of the employer's conduct, rather than on the employee's perception of the situation.

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When terminating an employee, an employer must provide proper notice or pay in lieu unless there are sufficient grounds to terminate the employee with cause. Since the standard for dismal with cause is extremely high—in most cases, standard for dismissal with cause will only be met if gross misconduct on the part of the employee is involved—employers should consult a lawyer who specializes in employment law before terminating an employee with cause.  Employees who are terminated with cause should also consult an employment lawyer, if they suspect that their employer does not have adequate evidence to support dismissal with cause.

Why work with Linley Welwood LLP employment lawyers?

Whether you are an employee or an employer seeking legal advice, we can advise you on employment-related legal matters, including employee contracts, wrongful dismissal, severance packages, and Employment Standards issues. Our team of highly trained and experienced employment lawyers understand the rules and regulations that govern employment relationships in BC, allowing us to serve clients from a wide variety of different industries and backgrounds.

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As employment lawyers, our specific focus is on empowering people and organizations by protecting their legal rights. That is why we strive to provide proactive legal advice to help create positive and productive workplaces by increasing engagement and retention and by preventing costly litigation and other financial losses.

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