- Authored by Brent MullinOn June 1, 2019, amendments to British Columbia's Employment Standards Act came into effect. These amendments not only expand certain employee rights and employer obligations under the Act, but also change the complaint and investigation process by which those rights and obligations are enforced.
Hiring employees, either directly or through employment agencies, must comply with all applicable laws. In British Columbia, the BC Employment Standards Act protects the rights of employees by mandating that employees meet certain minimum standards with respect to terms of employment.
Business owners in British Columbia must ensure they follow the required legal steps when hiring new employees. After crafting a job description and placing an advertisement that complies with human rights and employment law, the employer can conduct interviews with applicants and make an employment offer to the successful person. Along with informing the chosen candidate of the starting date and time to report for duty, it might be a good idea to discuss other matters that might reduce some of his or her anxiety.
Employees in British Columbia often have questions about their entitlements if their employment is terminated without cause. The BC Employment Standards Act (the "Act"), which governs the minimum standards for employment, generally requires employers to provide employees who have been terminated without cause with notice of termination or compensation in lieu of notice. The Act requires compensation in lieu of notice of termination as follows:
When it comes to recruiting sales representatives, it is only natural for a business owner to want the best of the best. In many cases, successful sales reps are noticed because they do such an excellent job for other companies. However, inducing an employee from another business could become costly if not all the intricacies of employment law are considered. A business owner could face unanticipated problems if, for instance, the sales manager entices an employee to join the company by promising incentives and commissions of which the owner is unaware.
A 40-year-old marble mason in Vancouver suffered a work-related shoulder injury in 2015 for which WorkSafeBC granted him an award of permanent partial disability. Because his employer had no modified duties for him, he applied for assistance from the WorkSafeBC's vocational rehabilitation services department, which assists in finding alternative employment to accommodate the disabilities of such workers. However, this worker later lodged a complaint with the BC Human Rights Tribunal, claiming the agency violated human rights law by denying his request to attend a post-secondary program based on his age.
An adviser of workplace conduct says the results of a federal survey indicate that a significant percentage of violence or harassment complaints in the workplace are not addressed and resolved.
Employees in British Columbia may be unsure about their rights when it comes to deductions from their salary or wage payments. The BC Employment Standards Act, RSBC 1996, c 113, authorizes some deductions and takes action against employers who make unauthorized deductions.
Business owners in British Columbia will know that there are many intricacies when it comes to the rights of their employees. One issue that often creates tension between management and employees is when employees want to form or join a union and the employer does not approve.
Pay equity, or the equal pay for work of equal value regardless of gender, is a human right. As such, employers have an obligation to ensure that they do not practice gender-based discrimination in their pay schemes.