This is When You Need to Hire an Employment Lawyer in Toronto

This is When You Need to Hire an Employment Lawyer in Toronto

Employment laws in Ontario provide workers with rights, protections and obligations that have a vital impact on their families and quality of life. So, any time you need to make a decision regarding a new job, changes to your current work or how to handle workplace conflict or, worse, a termination, you should always consult an employment lawyer.

Of course, you need to do your due diligence before you hire an employment lawyer in Toronto, which you should do in the following situations.

Hire an Employment Lawyer if You’ve Been Extended an Offer of Employment

In the excitement of being offered a new job, you might be willing to sign an employment contract after simply skimming it to ensure there isn’t anything out of the ordinary that you didn’t discuss with your soon-to-be employer.

However, if things go the way you want them to, you could be working for many years under the rules of that employment contract, and your rights and obligations take on more importance the longer you work for that employer.

Employment lawyers have seen it all when it comes to work-related issues and know which clauses in an employment contract that may be of immediate and future concern. And you should absolutely hire an employment lawyer in Toronto to help you review and/or negotiate the terms of your employment contract so that it is equitable for both sides for many years to come.

You Are Experiencing Harassment or Conflict at Work

The longer you work with an employer the more likely you are to experience some sort of conflict in the workplace.

Whether it’s a one-time incident or a pattern of behaviour, if your employer or a colleague has harassed, bullied, sexually harassed or become violent to you, speak to an employment lawyer immediately. You may not need to hire them to file a lawsuit or formal complaint against your employer, but an employment lawyer will advise you of your rights, all of the options available to you, the potential outcomes of each and how to best achieve them. An employment lawyer will also advise you on which makes the most sense for you based on your desired outcomes, timelines and likelihood of success.

Also, some situations may simply require a correctly-worded email for the harassment to end or for a negotiated dispute resolution, both of which an employment lawyer can help you with.

Speak to an Employment Lawyer if Your Employer Makes Substantial Changes to Your Work Arrangements

If your employer makes substantial changes to the terms of your employment unilaterally (without your consent) or without appropriate advance warning, this may be viewed as a constructive dismissal, and you may be considering resigning.

Examples of changes to your employment that could be considered constructive dismissal include:

  • A demotion, like a reduction of your title or responsibilities, even if your pay stays the same.
  • A significant change or reduction of your work hours.
  • Not paying your full wages, overtime, commissions, benefits or perks (or altering the terms of these payments).
  • Changes in your employer’s behaviour like harassing you, suspending you without pay, forcing you to take leave or telling you to quit or you’ll be fired.

If you experience these or similar situations, it’s important not to quit until you’ve spoken to an employment lawyer first – even if you feel you have a clearcut case of wrongful dismissal. You still need an employment lawyer’s assessment and advice on how to handle it.

If You’ve Been Terminated or Laid Off in the Last Two Years – Or You’re About to Be

Whether you were laid off, fired for cause or terminated without cause, always speak to an employment lawyer if you lose your job and you didn’t quit voluntarily. Employers often terminate an employee improperly, causing them to lose out on severance pay and/or Employment Insurance (EI) benefits.