“The recent downturn in the economy means layoffs will be necessary to maintain the viability of our company. Ultimately we could be forced to close up shop. What strategies could we implement to avoid exposing ourselves to claims for termination and severance pay?”
“As an agricultural business, we need to hire new employees on very little notice. This year, these employees have been working particularly long hours and are claiming entitlement to overtime. Are they entitled?”
A fluctuating economy brings a new set of workplace challenges. Various pieces of legislation, at both the federal and provincial levels, set out minimum standards to which employers must adhere. Under these statutes, employees are guaranteed basic minimum entitlements on things such as:
Given the scope of these minimum standards, they must be given due consideration when drafting workplace policies, procedures and employment contracts, as well as in making sound business decisions. In the event of a business closure or sale or mass terminations, further minimum requirements are mandated. Sometimes, directors may be held personally liable for unpaid wages and statutory penalties.
Our lawyers regularly advise employers on these minimum standards and their impact on the workplace. Where claims are made under employment standards legislation, we are available to represent employers through all stages of the process before boards, tribunals and courts.