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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.

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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.
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.
Leading Lawyers Skilled in Workplace & Employment Law Advice
Get In Touch For a Consultation
For more information or to schedule a consultation, call us at 604-591-7321 or click the button below to contact us online.
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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.
Get In Touch For a Consultation
For more information or to schedule a consultation, call us at 604-591-7321 or click the button below to contact us online.
Get In Touch
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
Get In Touch For a Consultation
For more information or to schedule a consultation, call us at 604-591-7321 or click the button below to contact us online.
Get In Touch
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.
Get In Touch For a Consultation
For more information or to schedule a consultation, call us at 604-591-7321 or click the button below to contact us online.
Get In Touch
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.
Get In Touch For a Consultation
For more information or to schedule a consultation, call us at 604-591-7321 or click the button below to contact us online.
Get In Touch
Human Rights Issues at the Workplace
As an employer, you have obligations to your employees under the Human Rights Code, which include going above and beyond providing a workplace free from discrimination and harassment to other forms of accommodations. Because of this, determining whether or not you and your company are adequately protected and you have sufficiently accommodated your employees can be difficult to assess on your own.

Whether you have an employee with a medical issue, a disability, or who requires some other form of accommodation, the employment lawyers at KSW Lawyers can help advise you on your obligations under the Human Rights Code, and provide insight and advice on liability, obligations, and risk based on your specific circumstances.
Advice for Businesses
More human rights complaints are being started against employers on a regular basis. It has become increasingly difficult for employers to maintain compliance with the fast evolving law in this area.

Our experienced team helps employers navigate and understand the connection between human rights and other related workplace issues or principles to be able to achieve their organizational goals while eliminating or reducing risk and liability.

Some examples of issues we can assist with include:

- Advice on Avoiding Human Rights Claims
- Duty to Accommodate Advice
- Managing the Absent Employee
- Disability Claim Management and Advice
- Succession Planning for Older Employees
- Mediation of Human Rights Complaints
- Representation BC Human Rights Tribunal Hearings

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.
Get In Touch For a Consultation
For more information or to schedule a consultation, call us at 604-591-7321 or click the button below to contact us online.
Get In Touch
Dismissals & Termination Planning
Letting go of a long-service employee is not an easy decision to make, especially when navigating notice and severance packages. How much notice do you need to give? How much severance is appropriate? How should you conduct the dismissal? Will your employee have grounds to sue if you follow through with the termination?

Our team can help you craft an appropriate termination letter and severance offer, and advise you on how to conduct the dismissal in the smoothest way possible.

With an innovative approach known throughout the Fraser Valley and Lower Mainland, our team can assist you with the following:
  • Termination of Employment
  • Discipline & Termination
  • Dismissal Planning
  • Reasonable Notice & Just Cause Advice
  • Wrongful Dismissal Litigation
  • Enforcing Non-Compete/Solicit Agreements
  • Departing Employee Issues & Injunctions
Get In Touch For a Consultation
For more information or to schedule a consultation, call us at 604-591-7321 or click the button below to contact us online.
Get In Touch
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Our Employment Law and Human Rights Lawyer(s)

Bonnie-louise Lussier

Lawyer

Heading

Vancouver, BC

604-591-7321

Email

Fiona H. McFarlane

Lawyer

Heading

Vancouver, BC | Surrey, BC

604-591-7321

Email

Jesse Dunning

Lawyer

Heading

Abbotsford, BC

604-746-4357

Email

Michael J. Weiler

Lawyer

Heading

Vancouver, BC

604-336-7423

Email

Courtney Burnett

Designated Paralegal

Heading

Vancouver, BC

604-591-7321

Email

Over 100+ 5 Star Google Reviews
50 Years In Business
14 Practice Areas
Offices Across The Lower Mainland
KSW was able to connect me with Bonnie who was incredibly professional and attentive through what would have been a very stressful legal ordeal without her care and professionalism. Highly recommended.
Matt Frzr
Being able to rely on Malachi's professionalism and expertise in family law, was exactly what I needed during stressful times. She is pleasant, organized and does not hesitate to go the extra mile.
Angelika Ratzlaff
Malachi Cameron has been my family lawyer since spring 2023. Since my consultation, she has been clear and effective in her communications. Her legal assistant Hiba is organized and I always appreciate her quick responses to invoicing questions and the process for that. Going into my 2nd mediation, 1st mediation with with Ms. Cameron representing me. She has spent time and energy responding to me and answering my phone calls. She has a really great understanding of family law and the court system. She is respectful of my time and my financial commitments. She has made it known that my thoughts matter and that my requests aren't stupid. She has taken what once was a really stressful situation and turned it into a really collaborative process where I am empowered and my voice matters. I don't feel like I'm wasting my time whereas previously, I felt like I couldn't trust my representation to help me navigate this process. So huge thank you to Malachi!
Kaitlyn Penner
For the past 5 years since my MVA I have had the pleasure to work with the most awesome legal team at KSW Lawyers in Surrey BC. Tony and his legal team of Karen Ibarra and Carolina Gray offered the legal support that in the end gave me the financial and emotional settlement I needed to be able to go forward with my life. Tony’s years of expertise coupled with his knowledge of the law was amazing. I’m so glad I chose to go with KSW!
Laura Lee McGhie
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