Probation Periods – More Trouble Than They Are Worth?

Many employers have as part of their employment agreements a probationary period for all new hires for the first three months of employment.  Often employee benefits and other employment perks like accruing vacation time or being entitled to participate in a bonus program don’t crystallize until after this probationary period ends.

The reason most employers do this is because they believe that they can fire their employees without cause and without severance if they feel the employee is just not a good fit, or any other reason, if it is done within the probationary period.  Since employers view this time as a chance to test out the employment relationship without any obligations upon termination, they also hold off on setting up the employee’s benefits, etc. until they know the employment relationship will move on past the initial probationary period.

The problem with this view of the employer relationship is that … Continue reading

How to Fire an Employee

Everyone would like for all employment relationships to work out great each time. The employer and employee get along, the work environment is the right type for everyone there, interpersonal relationships with the staff are positive, employees stay with the business long-term, overhead and cash flow are not a problem for the employer, and everyone lives happily ever after. Unfortunately, this is simply not the reality of operating a business. 

The reality of operating a business is that things rarely go without hiccups, there will be issues that arise with interpersonal relationships between staff, not every employee will be a good fit for the job, some employees expectation may not fit what’s available at your particular business at the time, whether profits are up or down and, as always, businesses will be at the mercy of the prevailing state of the market, economy and specific industry at any given time.  Continue reading

Working From Home – What Employers and Employees Should Consider

In 2020 when the COVID-19 Pandemic occurred a vast majority of the Canadian workforce was pushed into a work from home arrangement.  While this was initially a difficult transition most, with the ascent of video conferencing tools like Zoom and Microsoft Teams, for many it became a preferable work arrangement.  The need for long commutes and the associated gas costs were eliminated, as were costly lunches at restaurants.  In 2023 in a great many industries their workers now prefer to work from home with many businesses trying to come up with incentives to attract workers back into the office setting.

While many employers and employees have, up until now, only considered working from home from a convenience and health or safety angle, there are legal implications that working from home create that will likely have an impact on employment law for some time.

Employees Preferring Remote Work – Can You

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Long COVID and Handling the Return to Work

The COVID-19 pandemic was hard on everyone, but especially so with employers.  They had to ensure that their businesses continued in the worst of circumstances.  There were issues with government mandated business shutdowns, mass employee furloughs, issues with getting businesses back up and running while trying to stay in compliance with ever changing workplace rules regarding physical distancing, masks and disinfection, issues with working from home like setting up remote systems and providing employees with equipment to make it work, issues with denied business interruption insurance complaints, employees off with COVID-19, employees off with reactions to the vaccines, etc., etc.  With every new iteration of COVID-19 or change in government response and mandates, businesses had to change their approach to their day to day practices.  For some businesses it was an inconvenience that is now hopefully over.  For other businesses it forced them to shut down.  Now, in 2023 as Continue reading

Taylor & Blair LLP Featured On CTV News

Taylor & Blair LLP was pleased to have one of our lawyers, Ben Tarnow, interviewed by CTV News for a story about his victory at the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal for our client “K”.

Human Rights Violation

As discussed in October 19, 2022 the decision of the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal, K began his employment in 2013 and was by all accounts a model employee until his struggles with addiction started to overwhelm his life.  K was eventually diagnosed with a substance abuse disorder and a bipolar disorder.  K was open and honest with his employer and explained his medical diagnoses and he went on long-term disability in late 2017 and entered into a substance abuse program.

K worked hard to treat his dual diagnoses and eventually received medical clearance to return to work in May of 2018.

Accommodating A Worker Returning From Disability

The British Columbia … Continue reading