Employment & Labour Law
Do you or your company need help to protect your interests? Dyson Law provides efficient, skilled and friendly service for businesses and professionals with their employment law matters. We assist with cases of wrongful dismissal, labour arbitrations and negotiations, WorkSafe BC disputes, employment agreements and more.
We have experience defending and prosecuting claims for wrongful dismissal from employment and specific expertise assisting managers, sales professionals and business owners navigating wrongful dismissal issues.
If you have been terminated from your position, you may be entitled to severance pay and/or a reasonable notice period.
Sometimes employers will terminate an employer for cause to avoid giving the employee notice or severance. In those cases, the employer must prove cause and the standard of proof is high.
If the termination is done in a disrespectful manner, increased severance and possibly aggravated or punitive damages may be the result.
We regularly assist employers with the drafting and review of comprehensive employment agreements for non-union staff.
We have experience upholding both employer and employee interests in cases involving WorkSafe BC.
We have experience working with HR and employee safety professionals to develop effective safety policies and manuals that comply with British Columbia law.
We have experience helping our clients navigate the world of non-competition agreements and fiduciary duties. We give advice on this topic and represent our clients in court on non-compete clauses and issues of possible breaches of fiduciary duty.
We have represented several financial advisors (and their new employers) over the years who planned to leave their corporate financial institution employers to move to a different office. In each case, their former financial institution employers retained lawyers and threatened legal action against our clients for accepting business from former clients of the employees.
In every case, we successfully navigated and accompanied our clients through the process of moving to a different financial firm or their own new firm without lengthy or expensive litigation.
Reviewing Employment & Corporate Sale Contracts with Confidentiality, Non-Solicitation, Business Book Retention Clauses
We regularly review, draft, and help negotiate draft employment contracts for our employee, employer and business clients. We routinely review, draft and advise on confidentiality and non-solicitation clauses.
At Dyson Law, we are set up to handle employment disputes that may involve a group or class of employees.
In a couple of cases we represented hundreds of employees whose employers were changing the composition of the tip pools across their business chains. In both cases we obtained injunctions to stop the employer from altering the tip pools without the consent of the employees.
Our firm has experience assisting businesses with their labour law issues. We have successfully resolved grievances through arbitration, negotiation and mediation.
On an almost weekly basis, we provide expert opinion advice regarding the interpretation of collective agreements to our employer clients.
Our usual approach is to attempt a consensual solution to ensure workplace harmony. However, if that’s not possible, we will not hesitate to push a contentious matter to an arbitration panel or a hearing in Court or the Labour Relations Board of British Columbia.
In negotiating collective agreements on behalf of employers, we concentrate on avoiding ambiguity in the collective agreement language. Ambiguity increases litigation risk which a careful employer will wish to reduce.
- Does your business require assistance interpreting or negotiating a collective agreement?
- Do you require representation at an arbitration hearing?
- Is your business contemplating a dismissal of a union employee?
- Are your employees pushing to unionize your facility?
If your business answers “yes” to any of the above questions, please phone us for an expert, professional consultation.
Committed to helping our clients succeed.
Termination While Disabled
Our client, a non-union employee in a physical job was injured in a work injury. While she was disabled from work and rehabilitating herself, her employer terminated her employment. The employer had alleged that our client had abandoned her employment.
We sued on behalf of and negotiated a settlement in the amount of 18 months’ severance for our client. The client returned to the workforce with a different employer once her disability period ended.
Termination and Bullying by CEO
Our client, a senior executive for a manufacturing company, was bullied (called a series of unflattering names) by the CEO prior to being terminated for alleged cause.
This case went to an arbitration hearing under the Employment Contract. We argued for double the amount of severance pay set out in the Employment Contract given the insulting comments were directed at our client. The employer argued that the comments were not part of the firing and so should not be used to consider the amount of severance.
We won this case and the arbitrator awarded double the severance pay set out in the Employment Contract as damages for the unflattering remarks that were found to be part of the termination. Cause was not established by the employer.
Two Employment Agreements
The client signed an Employment Agreement when she started employment. She also signed a second Employment Agreement at the request of her employer a few years later. Upon dismissal, we were able to hold the employer to the more favourable terms of the first Employment Agreement on the basis that inadequate consideration was given in exchange for the employee signing the second Employment Agreement.
Successful WCAT Appeal of a WorkSafe Decision Penalizing Employer
Our client, a construction company, was fined by WorkSafe BC for alleged safety violations because alleged employees were not wearing proper protective gear as set out by WorkSafe BC regulations.
Mr. Dyson successfully appealed the WorkSafe BC decision to the Workers Compensation Appeal Tribunal (“WCAT”). WCAT held that WorkSafe BC could not prove that the workers who were not complying with safety regulations were employees of the construction company.
The successful appeal ensured that the company maintained its high safety rating and avoided increased WorkSafe BC assessments in future years.
Successfully Stopping Injunction Application Brought by Former Employer Against New Competitor
Our client, a top regional executive of a national construction company left his corporate employer to start his own competing business. His former employer brought an injunction in court to stop him from setting up his business and competing. We successfully fought against the injunction and stopped the former employer from impairing the operation of his business.
The issues in this case were (1) was there a potential breach of a fiduciary duty and (2) would the injunction irreparably harm our client’s business and (3) would damages be an adequate remedy at the end of the case years later? We stopped the employer’s injunction application in BC Supreme Court.
Winning An Injunction Application for Top Salesperson Leaving for a Different Firm
Our client, a top award-winning salesperson, was in the process of leaving her firm. She had a large book of business with customers that wished to go with her. Her previous employer brought an injunction to stop her from servicing the clients who moved with her to her new firm. We successfully stopped her previous firm’s injunction application with costs awarded against her former employer.