The Employment Law Show

Employment Law Show 980 CKNW – S5 E17

A headshot of Employment Lawyer Lior Samfiru, Co-founding Partner at Samfiru Tumarkin LLP, to the right of the Employment Law Show logo. He hosts the show on various Global News radio stations.

Episode Summary

Reduced work hours, vaccines, contract positions, and more on season 5 episode 17 of the Employment Law Show on Global News Radio 980 CKNW in Vancouver.

Listen below as Employment Lawyer Lior Samfiru, Co-founding Partner at Samfiru Tumarkin LLP, reveals your workplace rights in British Columbia on the Employment Law Show. Lia shatters myths and misconceptions about severance pay, terminations, workplace harassment, overtime pay, wrongful dismissal, constructive dismissal, duty to accommodate, and more.

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Episode Notes

I was let go and offered a buy-out from my employer and asked to sign a release document. What does this mean?

Employers often offer employees a lump sum severance package that is not adequate and much less than what they are owed. It is important before agreeing to a severance package to contact an employment lawyer.

Severance Ontario
Severance Pay in BC
Severance Pay in Alberta

My doctor advised I needed modified duties at work for a period of time. My employer told me to apply for short-term disability instead. What if I’m not approved for benefits?

Employers are obligated to provide accommodations for employees who have a medical condition and must exhaust all options before instructing an employee to take a leave.

My employer told me If I don’t get vaccinated in the next two weeks I’ll lose my job. Is this legal?

Employers cannot force employees to be vaccinated and it is up to an employee on whether or not they wish to be vaccinated. Employees who feel they are being pressured or penalized should contact an employment lawyer.

My daughter was employed at a farm and was laid off last year. She hasn’t been rehired. Does she have any recourse?

Employees who have been laid off or terminated without cause and are owed severance. Severance entitlements are based on age, position and length of employment.

I was given a termination letter that offers me 12 weeks severance after 4 years of employment. I was told if I hire a lawyer they will withhold my severance. Is this right?

Employers that instruct former employees not to contact an employment lawyer are typically doing so in order to prevent employees from seeking out their severance entitlements. Before agreeing to a severance offer, it is important to seek legal counsel to terminate if the severance package is adequate.

I’ve been on stress leave for a few months and I’m worried about returning to work. What do I do?

All employees have a right to a safe workplace. Employees have to be able to prove the workplace is not safe and that there are incidents of harassment or bullying.  Upon a return to work, if there are incidents, employees should keep written records of the incidents. Employees that can prove there was harassment at the workplace, can pursue constructive dismissal.

My employer told me I won’t have a job in six months and in the meantime, my hours will be reduced. Can they do that?

Employers do not have a right to reduce hours significantly or change the terms of employment in any way without an employee’s consent. A significant reduction of hours can be considered a reason for constructive dismissal. Receiving a notice of termination does not entitle an employer to change the terms of employment.

I just returned from disability leave after an accident at work. My employer says I’m not healthy enough to work. What do I do?

Ultimately an employee’s doctor is the only individual that can clear an employee for a return to work. By refusing to allow an employee to return to work, and the employer is potentially violating an employee’s human rights.

I recently had surgery and had to miss work as a result. When I returned to work, I was told I couldn’t take any more leave. Is this true?

Employees should contact their doctor’s detailing when they are able to return to work. An employer does not decide ultimately if an employee is able to work, though they are not obligated to pay an employee while on leave.

I’m a truck driver and work for one logistics company. Am I an independent contractor?

Many truck drivers are assumed and considered to be independent contractors, however, they are likely employees. Individuals who work exclusively for one company are employees and are entitled to severance, benefits, vacation pay, etc.

I’m a private school teacher and I don’t think the new owner will renew my contract. If that happens, can I get severance?

If upon new ownership, an employee is not offered a position they are considered to be terminated and can pursue their severance entitlements. If an employee has signed more than two or three contracts, they are considered to be an employee and an indefinite hire.

After being offered a new position, a few days before I was about to start I was told they are no longer hiring. Is there anything I can do?

If an employee can prove that by accepting a new position, they lost something in return, like another job or relocation, the individual could be owed damages.

I’m considered a sales manager but I don’t manage anyone. My boss says as I’m a manager I don’t qualify for overtime. Is this right?

There are exemptions from overtime for managers however some employees are given this title even though their job description and duties ensure they are not truly managers. Employees that do not perform managerial responsibilities but have the title are still owed overtime pay.


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