5 Situations That Warrant Guidance from an Employment Lawyer

There are several situations an employee might find themselves in where guidance from an employment lawyer would be extremely beneficial. Some of these include issues surrounding their contract, problems in the workplace, or finding themselves being dismissed or made redundant, for example.

What exactly does an employment lawyer in Alberta do?

Labour or employment lawyers provide advice and support on workplace laws. They are commonly provided for employees who are union members, and if you belong to one, it’s advisable to first consult your union for employment-related guidance. However, they also assist with workplace disputes for those working in non-unionized environments.

Below are five situations in which an employment lawyer can provide professional assistance:

1. If you are being harassed while at work,

There are many ways in which a person can be harassed, or feel as if they are being harassed, while at work, and it can be incredibly debilitating. Whether you feel your race or gender has made you the target of unfair treatment or you have been the victim of sexual harassment, being mistreated in the workplace isn’t acceptable and you have every right to take action to stop it and to punish the harasser. However, knowing whether you should take legal action over a form of harassment at work isn’t always easy, and that’s something with which an employment lawyer’s help can prove invaluable.

2. If your employer doesn’t give you the benefits to which you are entitled,

You may not necessarily have heard of the term ‘constructive dismissal,’ but it refers to a situation in which an employer hasn’t fired an employee directly but has made changes to their role that they aren’t legally allowed to make.

While the law surrounding constructive dismissal isn’t always easy to interpret, an employment lawyer can help you determine whether a claim can be made following the unfair removal of your benefits as an employee.

3. If you face discrimination in the workplace,

Today, many more individuals recognize the presence of discrimination in the workplace, and employees have the right to be free from it. While you might feel as if you are being discriminated against by your employer, knowing whether the conduct can be legally classified as discrimination takes discerning knowledge from an employment lawyer.

Employers are not permitted to treat their employees any differently because of their race, age, religion, disability, or gender (among others) under stringent human rights laws, and an employment lawyer will help determine whether your case can be legally defined as one of discrimination.

4. If your employer has violated a labour code

Applying to federally regulated employees, such as banks, airlines, and government agencies, the Canada Labour Code is a piece of legislation that protects their rights as workers. Most other Canadian employees are governed by provincial legislation, which also protects their rights.

If you feel as if your employer has violated a section of the labour code — whether under federal or provincial legislation — such as in the case of wrongful dismissal, you can make a formal complaint with the help of an employment lawyer. Your case may then proceed before the courts.

5. If you have issues related to wages,

Issues surrounding wages, often categorized under ‘constructive dismissal,’ may need to be interpreted by an employment lawyer. They can help determine whether you have grounds for a claim related to your pay, such as if your compensation was adjusted unlawfully without your agreement or prior notice, and help you pursue your case where appropriate.

Whether you would like to challenge your severance package in Alberta, hold an employer or colleague responsible for harassment in the workplace, or claim benefits you are entitled to but haven’t received, an employment lawyer’s professional assistance can provide the support you need and the confidence to pursue your case. 

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