How Do Civil Litigation Processes Apply to Employment Disputes?

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Has Your Employer Violated Your Rights?

If you are a victim of employment harassment or discrimination, wrongful termination, employer retaliation, or if an employer is not paying you properly, a Vancouver employment rights lawyer will fight for your employment rights and advocate for the justice you deserve and need.

The Canadian Human Rights Act prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of gender, ethnicity, or race. The Federal Contractors Program and the Employment Equity Act require employers to improve employment opportunities for particular groups of workers in Canada.

In and near the Vancouver area, if you believe that your employer has violated any of your employment rights, immediately contact the offices of a Vancouver employment lawyer to discuss your legal rights and options, which may include taking the employer to court.

What Are an Employee’s Rights?

In Canada, the legal rights of employees are numerous and extensive. Employment rights apply to all employees in Canada, whether or not an employee is a Canadian citizen. As an employee in British Columbia, your rights include but are by no means limited to the following:

  1.  You have the right to a workplace that is free of harassment, hostility, and discrimination.
  2.  You have the right to be paid at least the minimum wage. The minimum wage in British Columbia is now $16.75 per hour and will increase to $17.40 per hour on June 1, 2024.
  3.  If you work more than eight hours in a day or more than forty hours in a week, you have the right to be paid a higher rate.
  4.  Employers must take the necessary steps to ensure that workplaces are safe, and they must provide safety training and safety equipment if necessary.
  5.  Most employees in British Columbia have the right to maternal and parental leave, compassionate care leave, and bereavement leave, as well as two weeks of paid vacation after working a full year.
  6.  You have the right to be accommodated at work if you have a disability or illness.

What is Required When You File a Lawsuit Against an Employer?

Before you file a lawsuit which claims that an employer in British Columbia has violated your rights, you must consult an employment rights lawyer who can determine whether you have valid and sufficient grounds for taking legal action.

There are several types of civil lawsuits, including personal injury and wrongful death claims, but employment-related lawsuits – regarding harassment, discrimination, wrongful termination, or hours and wages – are among the most commonly filed civil lawsuits in British Columbia.

A limitation period or “statute of limitations” is the time limit for filing a claim after an employer violates your rights. In most employment-related cases in British Columbia, the limitation period is two years, but you shouldn’t wait two years and then file your claim in haste at the last minute.

When Should You Contact an Employment Rights Lawyer?

If you’re asking when you should contact an employment rights lawyer, you probably need one now. Reach out to a lawyer as soon as you know that your rights have been violated. If you wait, evidence may be lost, contaminated, or destroyed, and the memories of your witnesses may fade.

Your lawyer will need to scrutinize any documents or other evidence that may support your claim – emails and texts, for example – and in some cases, your lawyer may seek access to your employer’s personnel records and other documents.

If you had an employment contract, your lawyer will review it to determine if your employer breached that contract’s terms. If coworkers or others can offer testimony that supports your claim, and if your case goes to trial, your lawyer may ask them to testify on your behalf.

What Steps Should You Take?

Keep a detailed, written account of every incident related to the violation of your employment rights. Save letters, emails, memos, texts, and any other evidence that may be pertinent to your claim. Make copies. Your lawyer will need to see this evidence at your first legal consultation.

Documenting a violation of your employment rights may also include keeping and making copies of any documents related to hours and wages, leaves, demotions, title changes, performance reviews, or benefits.

For many people, disputes of this type with an employer may trigger depression, anxiety, or severe stress. Don’t try to cope with these challenges by yourself. After you’ve discussed your case with an employment lawyer, seek professional counseling if you are dealing with emotional distress after an employer has violated your rights.

How Will an Employment Lawyer Help You?

Going to court isn’t the only way that a violation of an employee’s rights may be resolved. In fact, taking an employer to trial is a last resort. In some cases, a simple letter from a Vancouver employment rights lawyer to your employer may be sufficient to end the violation of your rights.

If a letter to the employer is not sufficient, your lawyer may negotiate with your employer’s lawyer or lawyers for a solution that will be acceptable to both sides. However, when the matter cannot be resolved through negotiation or mediation, it may end up in court as a civil lawsuit.

Depending on the details of your case, the court could order your employer to reinstate you, pay your lost wages, and/or compensate you for your emotional distress and your legal expenses.

Employment laws are exceedingly complicated throughout Canada. If you think that your rights have been violated by your employer – but you’re not sure – schedule a consultation with a Vancouver employment lawyer who can determine if you need legal representation.

Take Your Case to Labour Rights Law

If your rights as an employee have been violated in British Columbia, you may meet with the team at Labour Rights Law in person for your first legal consultation or meet with us online from the comfort of your home. It’s up to you.

Our lawyers can address your concerns and answer all of your labour and employment rights questions. After a review of your case, a lawyer at Labour Rights Law will explain your rights and work with you to determine your best available legal options.

The team at Labour Rights Law is ready to advocate aggressively and effectively on your behalf if an employer in British Columbia violates your rights. To learn more, or to begin the civil litigation process against an employer right now, call Labour Rights Law at 604-245-3169.

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