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Employment Law and Human Rights

Employment Law and Human Rights are complex areas of law, and any legal team must have the skills and the knowledge to match. Resolving disputes as early as possible through careful consideration, advice, planning, and even prevention is always our preferred approach.

However, with over 65 years of employment law experience on our team in all levels of Court and provincial and federal tribunals,  we can help you avoid or navigate any employment and human rights claims that arise in your business. 


Advising Local Small, Medium and Large Businesses

Our skilled team of employment & labour lawyers has an outstanding reputation throughout the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley, and takes an innovative approach to handling cases. 

Our experienced lawyers  advise local small, medium and large businesses throughout British Columbia on all employment and labour related matters. Browse the different tabs to get a full description of our Services. Our Employment Group lawyers are located in Abbotsford, Surrey, Langley and Vancouver.

Empowering Businesses

Our main goal is to empower our clients with the knowledge to make the right decisions in their workplace. We do this by educating employers on their rights and obligations and tirelessly working with them to achieve the outcome that meets their objectives.

The modern workplace is ever-changing and presents novel challenges for businesses. We can help not only to protect your interests but to give you the edge you need to come out on top.

Why Choose KSW Lawyers?

We see all the angles. Unlike other business advisors or law firms, our Group’s broad and diverse knowledge base covers the full spectrum of workplace law. Not only do we handle wrongful dismissal and human rights matters for employers, we are the only Group east of the Fraser River that also practices in labour/union law, WorkSafeBC, occupational health and safety, EI & CPP, admin law, disability insurance, and shareholder disputes. There is no area of the workplace that we can’t help with. And we handle all cases, big and small.

We are versatile. Just as our knowledge is broad, so is our skill-set. Our preference is to resolve disputes as early as possible through careful consultation, advice, planning. In this regard we are trusted advisors and skilled negotiators. However, when the other party is not willing to resolve matters fairly, we put on our robes and go to Court. We are seasoned litigators in all levels of Court and familiar with the rules and regulations specific to every federal and provincial workplace tribunals. If the tribunal decision isn’t favourable, we are experienced in judicial review too.

We are experienced. Recent changes in the legal industry are creating many new employment lawyers. We have been doing this for a long time and have over 65 years of experience between our four team members.

We are local. We live in the communities that we serve. We care about those communities and take part in them every day through participation in local events, chambers of commerce, and pro bono activities. Living and working locally allows us to provide the quality of service of a downtown law firm but at affordable rates.

Leading Lawyers Skilled in Workplace & Employment Law Advice

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Employment Contracts, Handbooks & Policies

Legally sound contracts and policies are effective tools that help create transparency and predictability in the workplace. Our team can help you develop contracts and policies that are flexible and consistent with your brand and culture, but also protect your business and minimize liability.  

Our Employment & Labour Group works closely with local businesses, management and human resource professionals to develop and maintain clear, useful employment contracts, policies and handbooks, and help them deal with any existing problems or complaints initiated by employees. Often times, through careful planning Employers can avoid these issues all together, along with the hefty legal fees that are involved in resolving a legal battle.

HR Done Right! Tips from our Employment Lawyers:

Tip #1: All employees should have signed written employment contracts with an enforceable termination clause.

Why? It is a fundamental principle of employment law that employees who are terminated without just cause are entitled under “common law” to reasonable notice of termination, or pay if the employer does not want to provide advance working notice.

Where there is no enforceable written employment contract, a court will set the reasonable notice period of up to 24 months, or even more in exceptional circumstances, taking into consideration their age, years of service, position, the job market, and other factors.

Employers are permitted to circumvent the reasonable notice that a court would otherwise award by specifying another period of notice in the employment contract. However, the contractual notice must still comply with the minimum requirements of employment standards legislation.

The difference between what is required at common law versus employment standards can amount to tens, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars. As such, a well-drafted termination clause in a written employment contract is a useful tool for employers to provide both clarity and certainty regarding their obligations upon terminating the employee.

Tip #2: It’s never too late to have employees sign a written employment contract, as long as you provide “fresh” consideration.

When you enter into a new employment relationship with a prospective employee, the consideration you’re providing the individual is work (employment), salary, benefits, etc.  In return, the consideration the individual is providing to you is signing off on your terms and conditions (or verbally agreeing to them) and providing you with services.

Once the employee starts working, you can no longer offer the consideration of employment in exchange for a new contract, and if you try it will not be enforceable.

Modification of a pre-existing contract (verbal or written) will likely not be enforced unless there is a further benefit to both parties. Mere continuance of employment by the employer is not viewed by the courts as constituting consideration. There must be adequate consideration and adequate consideration requires something more than the bald promise that the employee will not be immediately terminated if they don’t agree to the new terms. Continued employment alone is not regarded as consideration for a new covenant extracted from an employee during the term of employment because the employer is already required to continue employment until there are grounds for dismissal or reasonable notice of termination is given.

Courts have provided some indication as to what is sufficient and insufficient consideration:  a one-time bonus, a raise or combination of bonus and more vacation time can be deemed sufficient consideration for the variation of an employment contract.

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Human Resources & Investigations

Has an employee made a harassment complaint? Conducting workplace investigations is one of the most challenging duties that HR professionals must take on. Workforce demographics are shifting, new laws are constantly popping up, employees are more aware of their rights and employers are under pressure to resolve complaints quickly.

KSW Lawyers can assist with both the investigation and any resulting claims or issues, helping you resolve the immediate situation and recommending steps to safeguard your organization in the future.

Employment & Human Resources Advice for Businesses

At KSW Lawyers, our Employment & Labour Group is committed to taking a thorough approach when it comes to advising employers regarding employee issues, human resource legal issues, and discipline and termination where necessary.

We take the time to understand your business and your goals and to answer any questions you may have. We aim to find a resolution that offers the best possible outcome with the least amount of stress and at a reasonable cost.

Some of the services we can provide include:

  • Recruiting & Hiring Advice
  • Drafting Employment Contracts
  • Policy Manual Development
  • Compensation Plans & Benefits
  • Performance & Attendance Management
  • Termination of Employment – Discipline, Dismissal Planning, Reasonable Notice & Just Cause Advice
  • Wrongful Dismissal Litigation
  • Workplace Investigations
  • Navigating the Employment Standards Act
  • Protecting Confidential Information
  • Drafting & Enforcing Non-Compete/Solicit Agreements
  • Departing Employee Issues & Injunctions
  • Shareholder/Employee Disputes including Oppression Remedies

Information & Privacy

Employees have privacy rights in the workplace, and employers are obligated to respect those rights. Disclosing or mishandling information may expose your business to legal liability and costly penalties under privacy laws. Our team is well versed in workplace privacy laws and can help ensure you’re managing and storing information in appropriate ways, as well as navigate any disputes or complaints that may arise.

Workplace Accident Claims

WorkSafeBC claims by your employees can be costly, and repeated health and safety violations can threaten your business. KSW Lawyers can help protect your business from false or exaggerated claims, represent you in appeals, and provide insight on how to respond to WorkSafeBC.

Occupational Health & Safety; Workers' Compensation

Our Group’s leading occupational health and safety team of lawyers and paralegals offer guidance to employers dealing with issues relating to workplace safety, BC Workers Compensation Act, and OHS Regulations.
Our team understands that matters relating to WCB claims can be stressful and overwhelming for businesses. Our Team stays on top of industry trends and case law to serve our client’s needs.

WorkSafeBC manages the procedures and protocols associated with the benefits that are paid out to workers under the Workers Compensation Act. Worker claims lead to increased premiums that add up overtime for employers. But many businesses don’t know that there are many ways to manage claims to stop a minor injury from becoming prolonged and expensive.

Our Team strives to understand your company’s specific needs, to offer cost-effective advice, and to reduce the cost of work-related injury claims through prevention, return to work initiatives, attentive case management and direct intervention.

Advice and Representation for Businesses (Employers)

Dealing with WorkSafeBC is a necessary part of any employee-based business. However, WorkSafeBC claims, fines, and worker claims alone can be overwhelming and frustrating -- especially since repeated violations can threaten the safety of your business.

Whether you require a review, an appeal, or ongoing support around navigating and preventing WorkSafeBC claims, our team will work with you to look for fair outcomes and successful resolutions for all parties involved.

Some examples of issues we can assist you navigate include:

  • Workers’ Compensation Advice and Representation for Employers
  • WCB Claims Management
  • Appeals Representation
  • Defending Prohibited Action Complaints
  • Protest & Appeal of Unfounded Claims by Employees
  • Financial and Cost Management for Claims and WCB Premiums
  • Audits and Classification Reviews
  • Appeal of Penalty Orders & Fines
  • Occupational Health & Safety Compliance Advice
  • Drafting Compliant WorkSafeBC Bullying & Harassment Policies
  • Training and Education
  • Judicial Reviews of Appeal (WCAT) Decisions

Get Answers Now

Our skilled team of employment & labour lawyers has an outstanding reputation throughout the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley, and takes an innovative approach to handling cases.

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Employment Contracts & Policies, Human Resources & Investigations, Information & Privacy, Business WorkSafeBC, Employment Human Rights, Dismissals & Termination Planning, Labour Relations and Unions, Personal Wrongful Dismissal & Terminations, Employment Standards, Personal WorkSafeBC, Information and Privacy, EI & CPP, Discrimination & Harassment, Our Charities & Non-Profits Lawyers, Our Labour Relations & Union Advice Lawyers

Abbotsford, Langley, Surrey





Personal Wrongful Dismissal & Terminations, Employment Standards, Personal WorkSafeBC, Employment Contracts & Policies, Business WorkSafeBC, Employment Human Rights, Dismissals & Termination Planning

Surrey, BC





Personal Wrongful Dismissal & Terminations, Employment Standards, Discrimination & Harassment, Business Wrongful Dismissal, Employment Human Rights, Employment Contracts & Policies, Employment Human Rights, Dismissals & Termination Planning, Business Tax Disputes & Appeals, Personal Tax Disputes & Appeals

South Surrey, BC





Personal Wrongful Dismissal & Terminations, Employment Standards, Discrimination & Harassment, Employment Contracts & Policies, Employment Human Rights, Dismissals & Termination Planning

Abbotsford, BC





Personal Wrongful Dismissal & Terminations, Employment Standards, Discrimination & Harassment, Employment Contracts & Policies, Employment Human Rights, Dismissals & Termination Planning

Surrey, BC





Human Resources & Investigations, Business WorkSafeBC, Personal Wrongful Dismissal & Terminations, Discrimination & Harassment

Surrey, BC





Personal Wrongful Dismissal & Terminations, Employment Standards, Information and Privacy, Discrimination & Harassment, Employment Contracts & Policies, Information & Privacy, Employment Human Rights, Dismissals & Termination Planning, Labour Relations and Unions, Our Charities & Non-Profits Lawyers, Our Labour Relations & Union Advice Lawyers

Vancouver, BC




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Contact us for a consultation today and our team will be happy to direct you to services tailored to your specific situation.