Employment, Labour and Human Rights Law

Ratcliff provides a full range of legal advice in all areas of employment law. We represent employers as well as employees.

Our experience includes working with First Nations in locations around the province, as well as with tribal councils, societies and First Nations-owned companies.  We also work with a wide variety of other corporate employers. In all cases, we attempt to provide advice that is specifically tailored to the needs of the client’s workplace.  We also recognize that the needs of First Nations employers can be affected by being located in a small community, with a small labour pool, and that creative solutions can be required in that context.  We provide solutions to our clients that are appropriate for their individual workplaces and circumstances.

One pro-active way that we can help employers to limit liability is through the implementation of human resource policies and employment contracts. We have also conducted on-site workshops to assist employers with the implementation of the new policies. 

We also advise employers on how to properly discipline their employees when needed, and have conducted workplace investigations into serious complaints such as those related to theft or other forms of dishonesty.

We have numerous clients who keep us on retainer to provide advice about work place reorganization, employee discipline (including coaching management on how to do this properly), lay-offs, compliance with employment and privacy legislation and the handling of employee grievances. In all cases, our goal is to limit liability for the employer while maintaining a harmonious workplace.

In terms of litigation support, we have assisted clients in the defence of unjust dismissal complaints under the Canada Labour Code and in the defence of wrongful dismissal claims in the courts.  This includes assessing whether the matter should be settled and seeing the matter through to settlement if appropriate. We have also represented unionized employers during the grievance process.

We have also helped employees who have been wrongfully dismissed obtain redress from employers who did not treat them fairly.

We have also assisted both employers and employees in the area of human rights. For employers, we have drafted harassment policies as well as accommodation policies in order to prevent human rights transgressions.  When harassment complaints are made, we have provided advice on how to handle them and we have also been retained to conduct internal harassment investigations.  We have also assisted employers who are dealing with disabled employees, including by advising on what is required to accommodate a disabled employee.  Finally, we have assisted First Nations and First Nations organizations in the defence of human rights complaints under the Canadian Human Rights Act and in mediations under the Act and we have also handled complaints made under our provincial Human Rights Code.