Workers' Rights in BC, Part 1

  • Recorded on: April 9, 2024

  • Length: 60 minutes


Lawyers Jessica Forman and Jim Wu of Forte Workplace Law answer common questions about workers' rights in British Columbia.


In this webinar, you will learn:

Your rights at work (including rights many workers don't know about)

  • The difference between being an employee and an independent contractor and why it matters. [3:35]

  • How to know what pay (including overtime) and leaves an employee is entitled to, and whether they have been adequately compensated by their employer. [9:20]

  • Whether an employee must tell their employer that they have a mental health condition. [16:15]

  • The responsibility an employer has to keep their employees safe on the job, and whether it would be different for independent contractors. [18:30]

  • Whether an employer is required to pay for a standing desk for an employee who works from a home office and has trouble sitting at their computer all day. [21:25]

  • Whether an employer is required by law to protect an employee’s personal information like their social insurance number, home address, and sensitive information about their family. [23:25]

  • How to know if an employee who has been let go has been given enough notice, whether an employee is better off taking a lump sum payment or working notice, and what happens if the employee is hired by another employer during the working notice period. [26:25]

  • Whether an employee who has been let go must agree not to compete against their former employer as part of a severance package. [32:00]

Dealing with problems at work

  • Tips for an employee having a difficult conversation with their employer, like telling them about a mental health condition and asking for a leave of absence. [35:35]

  • Tips for an employee writing a letter to their employer about unpaid overtime. [38:30]

  • Formal complaint options for an employee who has tried to talk to their employer about harassment at work and feels their concerns haven’t been taken seriously. [41:55]

  • What to expect when making a complaint to the Employment Standards Branch. [45:25]

Live questions

  • How to calculate “time and a half” or “1.5 times” for overtime pay. [51:00]

  • Whether an employer can require an employee to provide their own computer, phone and other equipment required for the employee to do their job. [51:25]

  • Whether an employer can require an employee to attend training that the employer feels is necessary for the employee to do their job. [53:05]

  • Whether notice is required (and if so, how much) when an employer reduces an employee’s hours, for example, from 35 to 28 hours per week. [54:05]


Jessica Forman

Jessica Forman

Jessica Forman is an employment lawyer with Forte Workplace Law. Her practice focuses on assisting employers and employees to solve their workplace problems. Originally from California, where she attended law school and practiced as a commercial litigator, Jessica relocated to Richmond, BC over 10 years ago. She regularly conducts seminars on issues such as harassment and workplace safety.

Jim Wu

Jim Wu

Jim Wu is an employment lawyer with Forte Workplace Law. He drafts and reviews job offers and severance packages, and fights for and defends against wrongful dismissal claims. A former EI adjudicator, he also advises on the ins and outs of employment insurance and represents both employees and employers at the Social Security Tribunal. He is a mentor for the Federation of Asian Canadian Lawyers, and can offer services in Mandarin and Shanghiese in addition to English.

Attendee feedback

“This webinar covered the topic in an informative manner. Everyone involved in this session was top notch. Thank you!”

"Topic was fascinating, discussion awesome, no distractions, clear conversations."

“Great panel and the host was on point.”

“You are always on point. Super clear.”

“Thanks so much for all this employment information.”

“Wonderful session, please send invite for part 2.” (Here it is!)

Additional resources

Your rights at work:

Leaving a job:



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This website explains in a general way the law that applies in British Columbia, Canada. The information is not intended as legal advice. The cases we refer to reflect real experiences, but names have been changed. See our full disclaimer.

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