The Employment Law Show

Employment Law Show 980 CKNW – S5 E19

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

Harassment in the workplace, overtime pay, layoffs, and more on season 5 episode 19 of the Employment Law Show on Global News Radio 980 CKNW in Vancouver.

Listen below as a Vancouver Employment Lawyer at Samfiru Tumarkin LLP reveals your workplace rights in British Columbia on the Employment Law Show. They shatter 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’ve returned to work after a layoff but am now in a different position. Can they do this?

It is important to remember that employees can accept a change to their employment if they wish but should note that major changes do not have to be accepted. Significant changes to the terms of employment, such as a dramatic decrease in compensation or a demotion, can lead to constructive dismissal.

My friend feels unsafe returning to work due to a co-worker and was told by her supervisor if a complaint is filed she will be considered a disruptive employee. Is this allowed?

All employees have the right to a healthy and safe work environment and cannot be penalized for filing a complaint regarding harassment or bullying. Reprisals, such as termination or any other form of punishment are illegal and can result in many consequences for the employer.

My supervisor expects me to do scheduling on the weekend even though I’m not paid to do so. What should I do?

Employees who are in management roles are not entitled to overtime pay. Many employers, unfortunately, misclassify employees who are not managers as such. Employees should submit their overtime hours to their employer if they feel they have not been paid for time worked.

Are rideshare drivers considered to be self-employed?

There are currently disputes ongoing in order to determine whether or not rideshare drivers should be considered employees. Samfiru Tumarkin LLP is currently involved in a class-action lawsuit with Uber regarding this issue.

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Uber Class Action Lawsuit

What is a temporary layoff and how is it different than a regular termination?

Many employers have attempted to normalize temporary layoffs as a result of the pandemic. A layoff is a distinct term and is defined as a temporary situation, and occurs when an employer pauses an employee’s employment relationship. Employees that are laid off are also not offered severance. Termination of employment is permanent.

Can an employer temporarily lay off an employee?

Employers do not have the ability to temporarily lay off an employee without their consent, with a few exceptions such as season employees.

What should an employee do if they have been temporarily laid off?

Employees should contact an employment lawyer in order to determine their options and what is available to them in terms of their entitlements. Generally, employees who do not wish to accept a layoff can pursue their severance entitlements. Employees who do accept a layoff are entitled to their severance after 13 weeks.

How much severance is an employee entitled to who has been laid off?

The Employment Standards Act details an employee’s minimum severance entitlements however employees are actually entitled to much more. Common law severance is based on a number of factors such as the age of an employee, length of employment and their position.

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Severance Pay in BC

I was let go for cause as I missed too many days of work due to medical reasons. Can they do this?

Termination for cause is typically very difficult to prove for employers and is often misused. Employers cannot penalize an employee due to medical reasons and can potentially be violating their employee’s human rights. Employers have a duty to accommodate an employee who has a medical illness or disability.

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