Home Law What to Do When You Experience an Employment Dispute

What to Do When You Experience an Employment Dispute

by Paul Watson


It can feel a bit overwhelming when you experience an employment dispute as an employer. How do you resolve employment disputes and establish harmony in the workplace again? This article outlines a few different strategies for dealing with employment disputes. Read on to find out more. 


The best way of dealing with a dispute is to try to prevent it from happening in the first place. This is not always possible, but it’s something to strive for. Companies often have team building days that are designed to help employees get to know each other better and to provide a sense of unity. These types of initiatives can help avoid employment disputes by building a better understanding between co-workers of each other’s personalities and preferences. 

Look at the Employment Contract

When employment disputes pop up, the first thing you should do is look at the employment contract and see if any of its terms apply to the dispute. The whole point of an employment contract is to try and avoid disputes by putting in writing the expectations of both the employer and the employee and what their rights and obligations are by one another. If you’ve done a good job in drawing up a comprehensive employment contract, then it may dissolve any employment disputes that arise. 


If you’re dealing with a dispute between co-workers, you need to take time to listen to each side of the story. Invite each employee to speak with you in a private space, and assure them that there will be no negative consequences for them sharing what’s on their mind. Ask other employees for their take on the situation if they witnessed the incident so you can get an outside view. Listening well can give you all kinds of clues about what is really going on in employment disputes


Sometimes when employment disputes come up, it’s necessary to get an objective mediator into the office to work out a plan for moving forward between two parties. A mutually beneficial agreement needs to be put into place so that the dispute can be resolved. Bringing in someone who is outside of the workplace can be a good idea, as it prevents bias. Mediation can be done in a formal way or an informal way – it doesn’t really matter, as long as it works. Mediation can be led by a lawyer or a licenced counsellor.


If it’s deemed that harassment or discrimination has occurred, this needs to be taken very seriously. Discrimination refers to different treatment based on sex, race, disability, sexuality, age, religion and many other labels. Each employer should have a policy and processes to follow in order to rectify cases of harassment or discrimination.   

Call Your Lawyer

If you’re an employer and you’re feeling in over your head with employment disputes, then it might be time to call your lawyer. A good employment lawyer will know all of the latest legislation concerning employment disputes and exactly what your obligations are in all situations. So if you’re not sure what to do about employment disputes, give your lawyer a call to get some clarity.