Ridout Barron

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Employment contract disputes involving implied obligations

When non-unionized people in Alberta start new jobs, they typically form a contractual relationship with their new employers. Many people do not realize that, when they sign employment contracts, they agree to more than what is in writing. Many employment contract disputes involve implied obligations of which the parties were not aware.

These obligations are called implied-in-fact terms that form part of employment legislation but are not typically set out in employment contracts. Some of the implied obligations of employers include providing safe work environments in which employees are treated with dignity, respect and decency. Also, employers have to pay employees for work done and reimburse workers for authorized expenses incurred. Proper training and required equipment must be provided.

When it comes to implied obligations of employees, no drug or alcohol use at work is a given. Workers must obey lawful orders and advance the commercial interests of the employer while protecting confidential information. Employees must report on time and be absent with valid excuses. They must not harass co-workers and refrain from competing with their employers.

Implied obligations that cut both ways involve terminations, in that both parties must give reasonable notice of employment termination. Employees and employers who find themselves in situations of employment contract disputes may be unsure of how to proceed. The sensible step might be to consult with a lawyer who has experience in dealing with all aspects of Alberta employment law. With such support and guidance, disputes can be resolved. The lawyer could assist with mediation, and if that is not an option, litigation might be the way to go to reach an outcome that protects the rights of the client.

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Ridout Barron

802 13th Ave SW
Calgary, AB T2R 0L2
Phone: 587-315-8454
Fax: 403-271-8016
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