What is a Third Party?2023-01-23T09:55:35-08:00

A third party would be someone who is not one of principle parties of the lawsuit, agreement, or other transaction, but who is implicated in it in a minor role.

Read: What is mediation?

What are Temporary Layoffs?2023-01-23T09:50:33-08:00

Temporary layoffs are when an employer asks an employee not to attend work for a period of time, with the expectation that the employee will be recalled back to work sometime in the near future.

Read: Guide to extend temporary layoffs

What is Telecommuting?2022-11-02T10:33:42-07:00

Telecommuting is working remotely from places other than a traditional office setting.

What is Seniority?2022-11-02T10:31:14-07:00

Seniority is the length of time an employee has worked with an employer. In a seniority-based system, decisions are made about job promotions and layoffs based off of the employees’ length of service with the employees with higher seniority being given preferential status, privileges, or rights.

What is Sexual Harassment?2022-11-02T10:28:33-07:00

Sexual harassment is unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature that detrimentally affects the work environment or leads to adverse job-related consequences for the victims of the harassment. It encompasses situations in which employees endure sexual propositions and inappropriate comments.

What is a Severance Package?2022-11-02T10:25:33-07:00

A severance package is the compensation package an employer provides to an employee upon termination of employment.

Also read: How Much is a Severance Package?

What is a Salary Continuance?2022-11-02T10:23:02-07:00

A salary continuance is when an employer dismisses an employee without cause and the employee is entitled to reasonable notice, the employer may pay the employee reasonable notice as a salary continuance (instead of a lump sum payment). When the employee finds new employment, the employer may stop paying salary continuance, depending on the agreement between the parties.

Also read: Understanding your severance pay from the Government of Canada

What is a Revocation of an Offer?2022-11-02T10:18:24-07:00

A revocation of an offer is where the person who has made an offer rescinds the offer before it has been accepted or before the offer expires.

What is a Rank and File?2022-11-02T10:14:44-07:00

A rank and file employee is a general member of an organization, as opposed to the leaders.

What is a Retiring Allowance?2022-11-02T10:11:21-07:00

A retiring allowance is one way of characterizing damages paid to an employee for compensation in lieu of notice. There may be some advantages to the employee to characterize a portion of the damages as a retiring allowance in terms of tax and EI clawbacks.

Also read: Information about retiring allowances from the Canadian Government

What are Restrictive Covenants?2022-10-24T08:55:45-07:00

Restrictive covenants are clauses in an employment contract that restrain trade, such as a non-competition clause and a non-solicitation clause, and which may survive beyond the terms of the employment contract.

Also read: Don’t Sign That Employment Contract Yet! 2 Things You Need to Know First

What is a Release?2022-08-29T08:45:58-07:00

A release is the relinquishment in whole or in part of a right or claim. In employment, a release is often used when an employers pays an employee severance in exchange for a written agreement, or a release, that the employee will not bring any future legal action against the employer.

What is Reasonable Notice?2022-10-11T09:41:40-07:00

Reasonable notice is the notice period an employer must provide to an employee pursuant to common law when the employee has been terminated on a without cause basis.

What are Proceedings?2022-09-06T07:40:32-07:00

Proceedings are the legal procedure to commence and maintain a legal action or dispute resolution.

What is Negligence?2022-08-29T08:35:53-07:00

Negligence is the omission to do something which a “reasonable person” would do, or doing something which a prudent and reasonable person would not do. Also defined as breaching “duty of care” one party owes to another person and that person suffers a loss as a result.

read: Supreme Court Plays Trick or Treat with Unionized Employees’ Access to Justice

What is a Nonsolicitation Agreement?2022-05-17T06:22:18-07:00

A nonsolicitation agreement is a contractual clause or agreement that prevents one party (often an employee) from “soliciting” the clients or employees of the other party for a certain period of time following the termination of the contractual relationship between the two parties.

read: What do I do if I’ve been fired or laid off?

What is a Noncompetition Agreement?2022-05-17T06:25:46-07:00

A noncompetition agreement is a contractual clause or agreement between two parties that prevents one party from competing in the same business as the other party within a geographical location for a certain period of time.

read: The law behind “I quit”

What is a Notice Period?2022-05-17T05:58:08-07:00

A notice period is when an employee is terminated without cause, the employer is obligated to provide the employee with reasonable notice of termination. The notice period is the time between when the employee receives notice that their employment will end and the last day of their employment.

read: What do I do if I’ve been fired or laid off?

What is Misrepresentation?2022-04-25T17:22:01-07:00

Misrepresentation means words or conduct intended to mislead someone.

read: Things to look for in an employment lawyer

What is Mitigation?2022-04-04T10:52:39-07:00

Mitigation is a well-recognized principle of the law of damages that the party claiming damages in cases of breach of contract must take steps to mitigate or curtail his losses. In the employment context, when an employer dismisses an employee, the employee has a duty to take reasonable steps to replace their loss of income by seeking similar alternative employment.

read: What is duty to mitigate?

What is Mediation?2022-04-04T10:43:31-07:00

Mediation is a dispute resolution process where the parties agree to voluntarily to negotiate a settlement to a dispute with the assistance of a neutral, third party mediator.

read: This RCMP corporal has been on medical leave for 17 years. Could an end to his messy dispute with the force be near?

What is a Lump Sum Payment?2022-04-04T10:33:38-07:00

A lump sum payment refers to the way that money is paid all at once, in a lump sum.

read: How much is a severance package? 

What is a Limitation Period?2022-02-28T09:00:43-08:00

A limitation period is a specific time period within which a person may pursue a claim. If the time period expires, the right to bring the claim disappears.

read: What you need to know when you have been laid off

What is an Injunction?2022-02-28T08:48:01-08:00

An injunction is an order from a Court or Tribunal that directs a party to take a specific action or refrain from doing a particular act.

read: Injunctions in BC Business Disputes Resources Online

What is Just Cause?2022-02-28T08:45:23-08:00

When an employer dismisses an employee for just cause, the employer has to be able to show that the employee engaged in serious misconduct which has irreparably harmed the employment relationship.

read: What is just cause dismissal? 

What is Indirect Discrimination?2021-12-13T08:25:48-08:00

Discrimination can take many forms, including “‘indirect discrimination”, where otherwise neutral policies may have an adverse effect on certain groups of people who belong to a group protected by law from discrimination.

read: What is discrimination? 

What is Harassment?2021-12-13T08:21:54-08:00

Any inappropriate conduct or comment by a person towards a worker that the person knew or reasonably ought to have known would cause that worker to be humiliated or intimidated.

watch: What to do if I’m working in a toxic work environment?

What is Grievance Arbitration?2021-12-13T08:12:15-08:00

A mechanism for dispute resolution which involves the disputing parties (typically a union and an employer) and a neutral, third-party decision maker; the Arbitrator. The setting for adjudication is usually an informal hearing during which each party will have the opportunity to present evidence and argument. The Arbitrator will make a binding and enforceable decision on the matter. For unionized employees, the Arbitration process is typically included in the collective agreement as the final step of the grievance process.

watch: What every union member needs to know (part 1)

What is a Grievance?2021-12-09T06:54:23-08:00

A formal complaint filed by a union or an employer against the other pursuant to the grievance or dispute resolution procedure provided in a collective agreement.

read: What to do if I work in a toxicwork environment?

What is Frustration of Contract?2021-12-09T06:47:38-08:00

When a situation has arisen for which the parties made no provision in the contract and the performance of the contract becomes a thing that is radically different from what the parties originally intended. In such circumstances, it is said that the contract has been frustrated and has the effect of concluding the parties’ contractual relationship without a penalty to either party.

read: Can “Frustration of Contract” be Used to End My Employment Without Notice or Severance?

What are Employment Contracts?2021-10-14T12:43:46-07:00

A verbal and/or written agreement between an employer and an employee that contains the terms and conditions of the employee’s employment.

read: The “Right to Disconnect?” Three Important Legal Issues in Work-From-Home Arrangements

What is Discrimination?2021-10-14T12:28:23-07:00

Broadly speaking, discrimination is unjust differential treatment of a person based on a protected ground. Discrimination comes in many forms including systemic discrimination, stereotyping, negative assumptions, subtle discrimination, harassment, sexual harassment, and many more. In employment, discrimination is prohibited by Section 13 of the Human Rights Code.

read: Types of Workplace Discrimination

What is Duty of Fair Representation?2021-10-14T12:19:42-07:00

A statutory obligation that unions have towards the employees they represent in their role as the employees’ exclusive bargaining agent. In British Columbia, Section 12 of the Labour Relations Code provides that unions must not represent its members in a manner that is arbitrary, discriminatory or in bad faith. Read the leading decision of the Labour Relations Board of the Duty of Fair Representation here.

read: What is a Collective Agreement?

What is Dismissal?2021-09-16T10:04:50-07:00

Dismissal occurs when the employer terminates its employment relationship with an employee either “with cause” or “without cause”. If an employer terminates an employee’s employment for cause, the employer must prove that it had just cause for termination. Where an employee has been dismissed without cause, they are entitled to notice.

read: Dismissal Without Cause in BC

What are Damages?2021-09-16T09:58:41-07:00

Damages are typically an award of money paid to someone who has been wronged to compensate them for the harm or loss they experienced. Damages are typically compensatory rather than punitive.

read: What are general damages?

What is a Collective Agreement?2021-09-16T09:55:56-07:00

The collective agreement is a written contract agreed to by a union and an employer following collective bargaining. The collective agreement outlines the terms and conditions of employment for unionized employees and contains a dispute resolution mechanism, called the grievance procedure.

read: What is collective bargaining?

What is Burden of Proof?2021-09-16T09:55:56-07:00

The party in a dispute who has the burden of proof has the duty to prove their case. For instance, when an employer terminates an employee’s employment for “just cause“, the employer has the burden of proof. This means that in a dispute, employer has to present evidence to persuade an adjudicator that it had sufficient reason to dismiss the employee for just cause. If the employer cannot prove “just cause”, then it will either have to pay severance or reinstate the employee.

read: What is Severance Pay?

What is Back Pay?2021-12-29T13:58:37-08:00

Back pay is wages and benefits owing to the employee for time they have already worked. Back pay is calculated as the difference between what the employee should have been paid and what the employee actually was paid. Back pay includes all monies the employee is entitled to including commissions, bonuses, overtime, etc.

read: Can you get fired for refusing overtime?

What is Arbitration?2021-09-15T13:15:20-07:00

A mechanism for dispute resolution which involves the disputing parties (typically a union and an employer) and a neutral, third-party decision maker; the Arbitrator. The setting for adjudication is usually an informal hearing during which each party will have the opportunity to present evidence and argument. The Arbitrator will make a binding and enforceable decision on the matter. For unionized employees, the Arbitration process is typically included in the collective agreement as the final step of the grievance process.

watch: What every union member needs to know (part 1)

What is Collective Bargaining?2021-09-15T13:29:25-07:00

Collective bargaining is the process through which unions, on behalf of the employees, negotiate contracts – also called collective agreements – with employers to determine their terms of employment, including pay, benefits, hours, leave, safety policies, etc.

read the blog: What is collective bargaining?

What is Constructive Dismissal?2021-09-15T13:33:51-07:00

Constructive dismissal – If an employee has been constructively dismissed, it means that an employer dismissed the employee without actually stating that it was doing so. Rather, the employment relationship was terminated because of the what the employer did, not what it stated. Legally, an employee is constructively dismissed when the employer, on its own, makes a substantial change to a fundamental term of the employment contract and the employee does not consent to the change being made.

read the blog: Have I been constructively dismissed?

What is Duty to Accommodate?2021-09-15T13:39:30-07:00

Duty to accommodate – Employers have a duty not to discriminate against employees regarding employment and this includes taking all reasonable steps to avoid a negative effect as a result of an employee’s protected characteristic, which is called a duty to accommodate. Protected characteristics include a person’s race, colour, ancestry, place of origin, political belief, religion, marital status, family status, physical or mental disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age or criminal convictions.

read: Discrimination in human rights law and the duty to accommodate

What are General Damages?2021-09-15T13:42:01-07:00

An amount of money to compensate someone for the harm they have experienced.

What does Fiduciary mean?2021-09-15T13:43:18-07:00

A fiduciary employee is an employee who is trusted by the employer with a high level of responsibility and with confidential information about the employer’s business.

What are Human Rights?2021-09-15T13:46:48-07:00

Human rights laws is law that is created with the aim of eliminating discrimination on the basis of the specific protected grounds laid out in legislation.

read: Human Rights Law in Canada 

What does Compensation mean?2021-06-28T10:10:25-07:00

What does Compensation mean? This is an employee’s pay. It includes payment of money, and/or other things of value, in exchange for work performed.

What is Common Law?2021-09-15T13:50:26-07:00

Also known as “judge-made law”, common law is the law created from Court decisions which create precedents. Law is created through common law (from judges and decision makers) and legislation (from the legislature).

watch: The law behind I quit

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