What is Employer Defence?
Employment law in Canada exists for the protection of employees. This makes it a minefield for employers to navigate. It is crucial that all businesses prepare to defend themselves against employment law claims before they even happen.
What types of claims do employers need to be defended against?
Employers need to be aware of several sources of legal liability, including, but not limited to:
As evidenced from this list, most issues arise from the termination of employment.
When should my company consider hiring an employer defence lawyer?
As early as possible, and certainly before your company terminates an employee. The most important part of employer defence occurs long before any employees have been terminated. The earlier your company can begin preparing, the better. Seek the counsel of an experienced employment lawyer.
Is employer defence worth the money?
Yes, our clients generally find this to be the case. It is true that most employment law issues are settled (rather than proceeding to trial or hearing). It is also true that in most employment law cases, settling is more economical than proceeding to a hearing. However, initial demands from employees and their lawyers tend to be exorbitant. Hiring an experienced employment lawyer as early as possible, could save you thousands down the road.
Is hiring an employment lawyer worth it for a small business?
Yes. There is a common misconception that small companies get a break when it comes to employment law. In general, that is not the case. When considering the most significant sources of risk and liability, the size of your company is irrelevant.
In fact, early and effective legal representation is most important for heavily leveraged or low-capital businesses who may find it difficult to absorb the cost of paying out a large settlement.
What if our company never fires employees?
One of the most common statements we hear from new employer clients is that they have "never had to fire an employee before". No matter how good of an employer you are, or how positive your workplace is, there are always employees who will simply not work out.
Employers are frequently blindsided by costly employment litigation brought on by former employees - for instance, when an employee quits and claims constructive dismissal. Quite simply, there is no way to prevent frivolous or meritless claims from ex-employees. These matters must be defended.
Is it best to defend employee claims vigorously or to settle early?
There is no catch-all strategy for employer defence. We tailor our approach in accordance with individual client needs, as well as the specific circumstances of each case. Often, (but not universally) settling early can be most economical. Sometimes, however, it is important to take a strong stance and to set a precedent, particularly if the issue is one that may arise again in the future.
What can Hyde HR Law do for my company?
The lawyers at Hyde HR Law are experts in employer defence. We regularly advise our clients on strategies and best practices. We also draft contracts that limit liability and can simplify defences to employee disputes down the road. Of course, claims from employees can and do frequently arise. We have defended countless claims of all varieties on behalf of our employer clients. Contact us today for expert legal advice and representation.