more than 40 years of legal experience
302, 15252 – 32nd Avenue | Surrey, British Columbia V3Z 0R7

Employment Contracts Lawyer

Explore expert legal advice on drafting and reviewing employment contracts to safeguard your professional interests.

Essential Elements of Employment Contracts from a professional employment lawyer

Employment contracts in BC help protect the rights of both employers and employees and because the stakes are high, you shouldn’t forego the skilled legal guidance of a trusted employment lawyer.


Employment contracts play an important role in protecting the rights and entitlements of employers and employees alike. Failing to have a carefully considered employment contract in place can leave you vulnerable as an employer, and failing to thoroughly assess the limitations your employment contract places on you as an employee can impede your legal rights. Having the skilled legal guidance of an experienced Surrey employment contract lawyer in your corner is the surest means of protecting your rights while establishing a strong employer-employee relationship.

The Role of Employment Contract Lawyers in Navigating Employment Agreements

Employment contract lawyers have the experience, skill, and legal insight to help employers create legally binding contracts that afford them a competitive edge without infringing on their employees’ legal rights. They also help prospective employees negotiate employment agreements that support their best interests and careers.

Key Elements of an Employment Contract: Understanding Your Rights and Obligations

Employment contracts are often comprehensive and tend to include key elements like the following:


  • The employee’s job description and duties – or role and responsibilities within the company
  • The employee’s pay and vacation benefits
  • the employee’s work hours
  • The company’s employment policies, including those related to severance pay, termination pay, and temporary layoffs

The Significance of Contract Review Before Starting a New Job

Even if you’ve found what appears to be your dream job, it’s important to engage in careful employment contract review before you sign on the dotted line. This contract will guide the course of your employment, and as a new employee, it’s important to know your rights and what you’re signing off on before you jump headlong into a new position. A Surrey employment contract lawyer can help.

Employment Agreements: More than Just a Formality

Too many employees – and employers – think about employment contracts as formalities, but this is a shortsighted approach. Recognizing the critical role that your employment contract can play in the event of a dispute can help you better understand your legal standing and the steps you need to take on behalf of your business or career. Taking the time to proactively consider your employment agreement can help shield you from negative outcomes.

Employment Lawyer's Perspective on Contractual Relationships

As employment lawyers, we’ve seen every manner of dispute that could have been avoided with better-established contractual reviews and more solid contractual relationships. The benefits of putting the effort necessary into employment contracts – for both employers and employees – are difficult to overstate.

Common Misunderstandings in Employment Contracts and How to Avoid Them

When an employment contract doesn’t comport with the law, it does nothing to protect the employer and can leave employees unsure about their rights. Issues that are most likely to become concerns include all the following:


  • Clauses that offend the Employment Standards Act (ESA)
  • Failure to address consideration – or something bargained for and received by the employer – such as in relation to non-compete clauses
  • Overly broad restrictive covenants, such as non-compete and non-solicitation clauses
  • Language that is vague or ambiguous

Essential Clauses in Employment Contracts: What to Look Out For

While employment contracts vary considerably from employer to employer, there are a range of essential clauses that should be included. Consider the following:


  • The job title and description clause
  • The compensation and benefits clause
  • The hours of work and overtime clause
  • The severance and termination clause
  • The harassment and discrimination clause
  • Any non-compete, non-solicitation, intellectual property, non-disclosure, or confidentiality clauses
  • The dispute resolution clause

The Legal Landscape: How Employment Law Governs Contractual Relationships

Employment law is complex, and contractual relationships are exacting. When disputes arise between employees and employers, the stakes are high, and employment law guides the results. The better you understand the legal landscape, the better prepared you are to continue growing your business as an employer and to advance your career as an employee.

Termination Clauses in Employment Contracts: A Critical Analysis

The complexities of employment law were enhanced by the 2023 case Forbes v Glenmore Printing Ltd., which addresses the enforceability of termination clauses. The Supreme Court of British Columbia held that the termination clause in question was, in fact, enforceable because it reached the minimum statutory requirements regarding minimum notice for group terminations.


This is in direct contrast to how Ontario courts interpret termination clauses – where termination agreements must be analyzed as a whole rather than in relation to the specific elements that make it up.

Severance Pay and Employment Standards Legislation: Know Your Entitlements

In British Columbia, severance pay is calculated in accordance with the employee’s length of service and their regular wages at the time of termination. While the ESA sets a maximum cap of 24 months’ pay, a valid employment contract can extend this and can prevail. Severance pay can help smooth your transition between jobs and is an entitlement that shouldn’t be ignored.

Navigating Non-Competition and Non-Solicitation Clauses: A Lawyer’s Insight

Non-competition and non-solicitation clauses can be challenging to enforce, which makes it advisable to have legal guidance on your side. British Columbia courts make it clear that, when a non-compete clause is either too broad or ambiguous, it’s not enforceable.


When the terms included in a non-compete clause stop an employee from engaging in a wide range of work that has no bearing on the former employer, it goes beyond what is reasonable. As a result, BC courts deem such clauses too broad in scope and won’t enforce them.


Ultimately, the wording of the non-competition clause plays a significant role in whether or not it is enforceable. Tacking on extra words to strengthen protections often works against employers when it comes to the enforceability of non-compete clauses, which should be concise.


Non-compete clauses directly affect where an employee can work, which makes them more restrictive than non-solicitation clauses and means that they generally call for more careful regulation. Non-solicitation clauses, on the other hand, regulate an employee’s ability to poach their employer’s clients and employees, and as a result, these clauses typically carry more enforceability.

Understanding Your Legal Rights: From Contract Signing to Termination

As an employee, you have the right to carefully assess the terms of your employment contract and to make your decisions accordingly. Having an accomplished employment lawyer in your corner early on can help you avoid problems down the line. If you do, however, face future termination concerns, that early contract review will serve you well.

The Importance of Legal Advice for Non-Unionized Employees

The rights of unionized employees are created and enforced by legal statutes. The rights of non-unionized employees, on the other hand, are contractual and are, therefore, subject to contract law – making legal advice in the form of contract review an important step.

How Employment Contract Lawyers Assist in Contract Negotiations

Contract negotiations serve the interests of both employers and employees and an employment contract lawyer can help in all the following ways:


  • Establishing your best interests in the context of your legal rights
  • Skillfully negotiating for fair terms that support your priorities
  • Ensuring that the contract is legally binding and helping you avoid common pitfalls
  • Guiding you through the legal process and protecting your legal rights in the event of a dispute

Legal Implications of Wrongful Dismissal and Employee Rights in Surrey

In the face of a wrongful dismissal, you generally have the the right to severance pay, notice, or a combination of the two, and protecting this right is important to your financial well-being. Because you have only two years from the time of termination to address the matter, you shouldn’t wait to consult with a practiced employment lawyer.

Consult with an Experienced Surrey Employment Contract Lawyer Today

Robert Doran at Doran Law is a well-respected Surrey employment lawyer who is committed to helping you protect your rights – as an employer or an employee – through a well-crafted and well-considered employment contract. And if you find yourself facing an employment dispute, we have the resources and resolve to help you effect a favorable resolution. Learn more by contacting or calling us at 604-542-9455 today.


I’ve been fired without cause and my employer is putting together a severance package for my review. How long must I wait for compensation?

Negotiating a fair severance package can take a considerable amount of time and shouldn’t be rushed. Consult with a dedicated employment lawyer today.


As a full-time employee, how long should my lunch break be?

As a full-time employee, you are entitled to a 30-minute lunch break in your 8-hour shift. If you work overtime on a given day, you may be entitled to two meal breaks.


Is there a minimum legal age for hiring an employee?

To hire someone who is under the age of 16, special restrictions must be adhered to, including:


  • The child must work under the supervision of someone who is at least 19 years old.
  • Generally, the employer must obtain written permission from a parent or guardian.
  • The employer must ensure that the work involved isn’t categorised as hazardous.

How much does an employment lawyer cost in Ontario?

Most reputable employment lawyers in Canada, work on contingency, which means you won’t owe anything unless your claim is successful. At that point, you’ll pay a predetermined percentage of your settlement.


What is a pocket employment lawyer?

The term pocket employment lawyer refers to your ability to get a feel for your employment-based legal concern on your phone or device prior to calling a legal firm. At Doran Law, our contact form invites you to share the details of your claim, which allows us to provide you with more detailed guidance upfront.


What is the jurisdiction of employment law in Canada?

Generally, provinces have jurisdiction over most employment and labour law cases in Canada. In extraordinary cases, however, the federal government presides.


How much does an employment lawyer cost BC?

Reputable employment lawyers throughout BC typically work on a contingency basis, which means they get a predetermined percentage of the settlement or court award – if the case is successful.


What governs employment law in Canada?

In Canada, employment law is governed by the following:


An Experienced BC Lawyer Can Help 

Robert Doran is an esteemed labour lawyer at  Doran Law who has decades of experience guiding difficult employment-based cases like yours toward favourable resolutions, and he’s here for you, too. To learn more about what we can do to help you, please don’t put off contacting or calling us at 604-542-9455 today.

Contact us

Please fill out the form below and one of our lawyers will contact you.


Office Location

Surrey Office
302, 15252 – 32nd Avenue Surrey, British Columbia V3Z 0R7
Phone: 604-542-9455
Fax: 604-542-9493

Office Hours

Monday – Friday | 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM

Punjabi Spoken

ਪੰਜਾਬੀ ਦੇ ਸਪੋਕਨ