Employment Contract Lawyers

Employment contracts are the cornerstone of any employment relationship. They will govern your rights and your employers’ obligations to you throughout the working relationship and, importantly, at the end of the working relationship.  Employment contracts can govern your employers ability to make changes to how you work, their ability to terminate you and what severance you would be entitled to if they did terminate you without cause.

Having an employment lawyer review your employment agreement can be extremely important for any employment law matter.

Employment Contracts When Starting a New Job

Many employees simply sign an employment contract they are provided with without taking the time to understand what’s contained in the contract and how it limits their rights.  If you’re about to take a new job and are asked to sign an employment contract, it is important that you meet with an employment lawyer before you sign it. An experienced employment lawyer will be able to advise you on hidden risks that you face by signing the employment contract.

There is also no rule that says you can’t negotiate a better employment contract than the one you were offered. The lawyers at Taylor & Blair LLP can advise you of industry standards relating to employment contracts, where we see room for beneficial negotiation, and suggest strategies to help negotiate the best outcome for you.

Employment Contracts When Leaving a Job

Just as important as carefully examining your employment contract when starting a new job, is examining your employment contract when you are leaving a job.  Unless you are terminated with cause, you will be entitled to compensation when you have been terminated, and quite often your employment contract will dictate what that compensation will be.

All employees are entitled to minimum compensation when wrongfully dismissed or constructively dismissed in British Columbia pursuant to the Employment Standards Act.  Beyond these minimum amounts, the common law establishes what compensation an employee is entitled to, based on the following considerations:

  • Your Salary
  • Your Age
  • Your Length of Service
  • Your Ability to Find New Employment
  • Your Benefits
  • Your Bonuses
  • Any Other Payments You Earned When Employed

The upper limit of severance payments was long thought to be 24 months’ pay, however recent case law out of the Ontario Courts has indicated that there may be a move under common law to higher amounts in specific cases.

Importantly, while an employer can limit your entitlement to severance in an employment contract, not all employment contracts are enforceable.  If your employment contract is found to not be enforceable then any limitations on your severance are also not enforceable, meaning you could be entitled to up to 24 months’ pay depending on your circumstances.

If you’ve already signed an employment contract, the lawyers at Taylor & Blair LLP will be able to advise you on the enforceability of the agreement and your employers legal obligations under the contract.

Review Your Employment Contract

Contact the lawyers at Taylor & Blair LLP today to arrange a consultation to review your employment contract, so we can tell you what your rights and your employers’ obligations are.