In my column last week, I shared employers’ biggest money-saving workplace law schemes, designed to keep money in their own pockets and less in their employees. However, employees also have some tricks up their sleeves. Here are some of my favourites:

Alleged constructive dismissals:

Many employees, unhappy with their jobs and their employers, will conjure up perceived workplace injustices in an effort to leave and collect severance. Some of these claims are meritorious —many are not. Worse, in a number of cases, these employees have already received another job offer, and therefore, have no right to compensation no matter how long or commendable their service.



Mitigation:

The single biggest source of employer mistrust with employees is with those who are no longer employed but are still on their payroll receiving severance — and for good reason. Ex-employees who are receiving severance are required to report any job offers or any income they receive, which would then eliminate further payments. Many do not and they usually get away with it.

 

Harassment claims:

Today, a tough boss can no longer criticize employees without fear of a human rights or harassment complaint.

This is because liberalized human rights laws and employee-friendly human rights tribunals often extend legal protection to even superficial harassment claims. Employees, aware of employers’ fears, can illegitimately assert they were “harassed” when something did not go their way and they frequently do, as a means to achieve a right or benefit they did not otherwise deserve.

Loyalty:

Most employers believe that unhappy ex-employees will stop at nothing to derail them. However, the biggest workplace conspirators often come from inside.

These employees strategize about competing but while still employed. They steal confidential data and take steps to cripple their company — and then swiftly leave for a rival.



Malingerers:

If you ask just about anyone what the biggest problem with workplace law is today, most will invariably announce that disability cheaters are at the top of their list.

Although they are few in their numbers, their scams are often magnificent ones as they find ways to get paid, without ever having to go to work.



• Daniel Lublin is an employment lawyer with Whitten & Lublin LLP.

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