Ridout Barron

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587-315-8454

Employment contract disputes often follow misunderstandings

Employees in Alberta do not always fully understand the workplace rights they have. Misunderstandings could lead to avoidable employment contract disputes, which are less likely to occur when both employees and employers understand their respective rights. Employers cannot expect workers to pay for purchasing, cleaning and repairing work uniforms. However, many rights that employees think they have are not actually rights under employment laws.

Benefits are perks provided at the discretion of employers and not something to which employees are entitled. Workers in occupations like sales, management and supervision, counsellors, and instructors at nonprofit establishments and some professionals do not necessarily have rights to specific work hours, breaks and overtime pay. Furthermore, employment laws do not prescribe sick leave payments, except for illness or injuries that have long-term consequences but only for periods up to 16 weeks.

Pregnant employees are not necessarily guaranteed a job to come back to, except those who worked for 90 days or longer before going on parental or maternity leave. When it comes to tips, they are not protected under employment law, but employers may not deduct money from employees for breakages, cash register shortages or faulty workmanship. Criminal records are not protected, and employers may ask for one during the job application process. Specific laws are in place to regulate where and for how many hours children under 18 may work and the types of tasks they may do.

These are but some of the rights employees might think they have, and it is always a good idea for employees to make sure they understand the company's policies. Employers and employees in Alberta have every right to seek legal counsel to resolve their issues. A lawyer with experience in dealing with employment contract disputes can assess the circumstances and problems that cannot be resolved through direct negotiations or mediation might have to be litigated in court.

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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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