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Employee Sued by Employer
Employers sometimes sue employees as a means to scare employees away from pursuing their own claims or to stop former employees from working for competitors. If you are an Alberta employee being sued by an employer, contact the lawyers at Bow River Law to get advice and help you deal with this appropriately.
Employee Sued By Employer Services
I'm being sued by my Employer, what should I do?
In these challenging economic times, it has become somewhat fashionable for Alberta employers to sue their departing employees or recently departed employees. Some of these lawsuits appear to be tactically motivated to scare employees away from pursuing their own claims against their employers or to accept substantially less in severance than they would otherwise be entitled to.
Ordinarily, when an employer feels an employee is dishonest, lacks the necessary competence for the job, or has engaged in misconduct of some kind, the employer’s remedy is that it can fire the employee. If the dishonesty, incompetence or other misconduct is serious enough, the employer might even be able to claim just cause and not pay any severance, but the employer will not usually have a legal claim against the employee.
It can be scary and intimidating to be faced with a lawsuit from your former employer, but it is important that you immediately get experienced counsel on your side to help you. Ignoring the lawsuit will not make it go away, and in fact will likely lead to a judgment of some kind being awarded against you. We are experienced in dealing with claims by former employers against employees for alleged breaches of non-competition, non-solicitation, fiduciary duty and confidentiality.
Let us help you fight back.
The Courts are in Your Favour
Usually, companies do not sue their employees. Even when they do, it is rare for an Alberta court to find an employee liable in damages to an employer, because courts are aware that there is a major power imbalance and economic imbalance in favor of employers. However, employers do sometimes sue employees and it is possible for an employee to be held liable in damages to an employer in some circumstances.
We know it can be extremely distressing to an employee to get sued. However, the lawyers at Bow River Law LLP have dealt with this situation before and we can help. Let us help you.
- If you are an Alberta employee and you have been sued by your employer or think you might get sued, contact our lawyers as soon as possible so we can assess the situation and help you through it
- If you are an Alberta employee and you are thinking of joining a competitor, or want to take customers from a former employer, contact our employment lawyers at Bow River Law in Calgary to understand your legal rights and obligations as soon as possible
- Keep records of everything you can that is relevant, such as emails and handwritten notes of what happened on phone calls. You will likely need this information later
- If possible, speak to a lawyer before signing anything
- If you are a business in Calgary or across Alberta and an employee of yours has done something wrong, we can advise you on whether you have a claim against them
- If you are an Alberta business and a former employee of yours is unfairly competing or stealing clients, we can advise you on your legal rights and help you sue the employee if appropriate
Employee Sued by Employer FAQ
- My Former Employer sued me. What should I do?
If you have been sued, you need to speak to an employment lawyer immediately. You have a very short time to defend against any lawsuit, even you do not agree with anything stated in it. The good news is, often employers will have a tough time holding an employee liable in damages if the employee gets legal advice right away.
- My Former Employer is asking me to help them in an ongoing lawsuit. What should I do?
If you are being asked to help your former employer with a lawsuit that does not involve you specifically, you may rightly be concerned about how assisting them may impact your current work obligations and whether or not you could be subpoenaed to testify or assist them. Depending on your position with your former employer you may have an obligation to provide information and testimony in their current lawsuit, but you also have rights and entitlements as well. Speak with an employment lawyer to understand where your obligations to your former employer ends, and to understand the sort of compensation you can ask for.
- I just received a threatening letter from my former employer which says I need to “cease and desist” contacting clients and working for a competitor or they will sue me. What should I do?
If you have received a cease and desist letter from your former employer about clients or working for a competitor, you need to get an employment lawyer immediately to talk about your rights and obligations and protect yourself from potential liability.
- Can An Employer Sue an Employee?
An employer can sue an employee in some circumstances, such as where the employee has engaged in gross negligence, has stolen money, has unfairly solicited clients, or has misused the employer’s confidential information or property.
- How Long Does An Employer Have to Sue an Employee?
An Alberta employer will generally have two (2) years to sue an employee from when it knew or ought to have known that it had suffered an injury as a result of the employee’s actions. However, there are exceptions to this general rule, so if you think you may have a claim against an employee, contact an employment lawyer immediately.
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