blog.

May 24, 2022
Who gets to stay in the house during a divorce in Alberta?

If your marriage breaks down, you and your spouse will have to decide to sell or keep your home. If you choose to keep it, it becomes a question of who gets to stay in the house during the divorce.  The Family Property Act is the law in Alberta that classifies and divides family property […]

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May 12, 2022
What happens to property I owned before marriage in Alberta?

The division of property when a marriage breakdown occurs can be a stressful part of the separation process. Some of your belongings are tied to fond memories or hold sentimental value, but the financial aspect is important too. Who gets what? And what happens to property that one of you owned before your marriage? How […]

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April 21, 2022
Why do I need independent legal advice?

The law in Alberta requires each party in a separation agreement to obtain independent legal advice. What is independent legal advice, and why is it important?  You and your spouse must have separate lawyers for independent legal advice. The same lawyer cannot represent both of you. The benefits of a separation agreement include: Avoiding disputes […]

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April 18, 2022
Should You Sign a Personal Guarantee?

Banks often require a loan be guaranteed by someone other than the party receiving it. While signing a guarantee may seem like simply another box to check, it is important to fully understand the terms of a guarantee before signing one, as it can have serious consequences. What is a Personal Guarantee? A personal guarantee […]

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April 15, 2022
Moving With Your Child After a Divorce in Alberta

Moving with a child after divorce (also called child mobility or relocation) is a complex issue. What if the other parent doesn’t want you to move? What are your responsibilities in the process? This post addresses common questions about child mobility and Alberta law.   Child Mobility & the Divorce Act There is no provincial legislation […]

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March 31, 2022
Adult Interdependent Partner (AIP) Support

Alberta law has made provision for adult interdependent relationships, including adult interdependent partner (AIP) support. This is good news for unmarried couples who must negotiate when the relationship ends. Adult independent relationships now have legal rights and obligations similar to those of married couples. This makes negotiation less complicated by defining clear and fair expectations. […]

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March 28, 2022
Can my employer force me to return to the office?

After two long years of the COVID-19 pandemic, many workers have become accustomed to performing their job duties entirely from the comfort of their own home. Although remote work has come with its share of challenges, it has also offered a host of benefits such as greater work-life balance, flexibility for family and childcare responsibilities, […]

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March 9, 2022
7 Vital Things You Need to Know About Prenuptial Agreements in Alberta

A whopping 38% of marriages end in divorce, yet only 8% of Canadian couples have prenuptial agreements, according to the latest poll from Ipsos. However, that trend is changing as millennials increasingly choose to sign a prenup. In this post, we answer all your common questions about prenuptial agreements in Alberta.  What is a prenuptial […]

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March 1, 2022
DO I NEED TO INCORPORATE MY BUSINESS?

If you have recently started a business, you may be wondering if you should incorporate. It is a good time to incorporate if your business has obtained or developed value, is ready to enter contracts, or is looking for funding. A corporation is a legal entity that is separate and apart from its owners (shareholders) […]

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February 18, 2022
What are the Basic Child Support Guidelines in Alberta?

Every child in Canada has the legal right to child support from both parents because it’s in the child’s best interest. In this post, we’ll look at the basic child support guidelines in Alberta, including: What is child support? What does child support cover? Who is responsible for child support payments? How is child support […]

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February 16, 2022
A Dismissed Employee’s Duty to Mitigate

When an employee is terminated without cause, an employer is obligated to provide the employee with notice. The amount of notice is dependent on multiple factors, including the tenure of the employee and whether there is an employment contract in place that sets out a period. At the very minimum, the amount of notice must […]

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February 14, 2022
For Cause Termination – A Very High Bar

An employer can terminate an employee for any number of reasons, or no reason at all. Most commonly, terminations can be grouped into two categories: without cause and with cause, also referred to as just cause. Without cause terminations trigger reasonable notice or payment in lieu requirements governed by the Employment Standards Code, with minimum […]

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February 9, 2022
Child Custody and Parenting in Alberta

Figuring out what’s best for your child after a separation or divorce can be complex and confusing. This post will give you clarity on what Alberta law says about child custody and parenting, and give you some tips on creating a parenting plan that’s in your child’s best interests.   Parenting Laws in Alberta The Divorce […]

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January 25, 2022
What Are My Rights as an Employee in Alberta?

Your rights as an employee in Alberta are protected by federal and provincial laws. These rights include the right to a safe working environment, the right to earn a minimum wage, and the right to dispute any violations of your rights in the workplace without retaliation.  Alberta Employment Standards & Human Rights All Canadian employees […]

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January 19, 2022
3 Key Things You Need to Know About Human Rights in Alberta

Human rights in Alberta are protected by the Alberta Human Rights Act. The Act protects Albertans from discrimination and ensures equal opportunity for all Albertans to earn a living, find a home, and receive public services. The Government of Alberta established the Alberta Human Rights Commission to educate Albertans about discrimination and equality and to […]

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January 11, 2022
What should I do if my employer asks me to sign a release?

In many employment disputes, a signed release is an important tool which can be used to resolve the matter without resorting to a lengthy and expensive court process. A release is a legal contract in which one party (usually the employer) will agree to pay the other party (the employee) a specific sum of money […]

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January 7, 2022
WHAT IS SPOUSAL SUPPORT?

Although commonly referred to as "alimony," this term is not used in Canada. Rather, Spousal support is the act of one spouse financially assisting another following divorce or separation. This is most common when one spouse has not been working for some time in order to support the household or where there is disparity in […]

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January 5, 2022
Averaging Arrangements: What are they and should I be implementing one for my employees?

It comes as no surprise that more workplaces are embracing more flexible work arrangements with their employees. While the flexibility is seen as an attractive tool for promoting work life balance and good corporate culture, it risks imposing some significant liability on the employer, namely with respect to the payment of overtime. Overtime in Alberta […]

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December 30, 2021
Can you be fired for using medical marijuana?

Cultural views toward marijuana have changed drastically over the past decade. Cannabis use now attracts far less stigma, especially when prescribed for medicinal purposes. The law is constantly evolving to reflect these changing societal attitudes. A recent labour decision in Ontario is a good example. Ornge Air v Office and Professional Employees International Union was […]

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December 29, 2021
Best Practices for Departure of Employees

Many companies hire their employees with the intention of keeping them as long as possible. However, due to a variety of factors such as changing business needs, interpersonal challenges, under-performance, or, in rare cases, serious misconduct, dismissing employees is an unfortunate reality faced by nearly every company at some point in time. Although dismissing an […]

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December 22, 2021
Human Rights in the Workplace

When most people hear the phrase “human rights”, they immediately think of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Although the Charter does outline human rights protections that apply across Canada, the Charter only applies to governments and other public actors. Nevertheless, private companies are still bound by human rights obligations. All provinces and territories […]

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December 21, 2021
Digital Document Signing

Different methods of electronic signing have emerged which vary in their respective levels of security and verifiability. More than ever,  individuals are likely to enter into an agreement or contract without shaking a hand or meeting someone in person.  Although unheard of twenty years ago, this is now commonplace. Electronic signatures are governed in Alberta […]

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December 16, 2021
5 Important Things to Know About Restrictive Covenants in Alberta

Restrictive covenants are commonly included in employment contracts. Many employers require employees to sign these clauses at hiring, promotion, or termination. In this post, we’ll look at 5 important things you need to know about restrictive covenants in Alberta.  1. What are restrictive covenants in Alberta employment law? Restrictive covenants are legally binding clauses that […]

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December 15, 2021
Remote Work and Time Theft

At the onset of the pandemic in March 2020, many employers transitioned their employees to a temporary work-from-home model. Although some employees have since transitioned back to the office, many others are continuing to work from home on a permanent basis. The rise of remote working has been accompanied by a debate about the impact […]

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December 13, 2021
My employer changed my employment. Is it constructive dismissal?

Is it constructive dismissal if my employer changes my pay or another aspect of my employment? In this post, we’ll answer common questions about constructive dismissal and what to do if it happens to you. What is constructive dismissal? Constructive dismissal is a form of wrongful dismissal. It typically occurs when an employer doesn’t directly […]

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December 9, 2021
Can my employer force me to take a vacation?

If your employment agreement does not mention vacation time, how much time off are you owed? Even if your agreement does not set out how much time you can take, you are still entitled to some paid time off. In Alberta, it is the Employment Standards Code which sets out the basic minimum rules for […]

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December 2, 2021
Should I Sign an Employment Contract?

Maybe you just received a job offer, and your new employer presented you with an employment contract. Or maybe you got a job and were not offered a contract and now you’re wondering if the arrangement is legal or if your rights are protected. You’re wondering, “Should I sign an employment contract?”  In this post, […]

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November 25, 2021
3 Benefits of having your severance package reviewed by an Employment Lawyer

Your employer offered you a severance package, but it’s not quite what you expected. Is it what you’re entitled to? And what happens if it’s not? No matter what amount you’re offered, you would benefit from a severance package review by an employment lawyer.  Termination Pay vs Severance Pay in Alberta First things first: What […]

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November 23, 2021
Employment Lawyers Discuss Statutory Holidays and Pay

If a statutory holiday falls on a weekend, are employees entitled to statutory holiday pay for that day? It is a common misconception that employees are automatically entitled to pay for statutory holidays. The truth is that it depends on the circumstances. The Employment Standards Code sets out the rules in Alberta for non-federally regulated […]

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November 12, 2021
Civil Litigation Lawyers in Alberta Explain the Garnishment Process

Winning a court case or being granted default judgment is a huge step for a successful party in litigation. Where the court makes a monetary award (called “damages”) the person who owes the money is called a judgment debtor and the person to whom the damages are owed is called a judgment creditor. A judgment […]

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November 8, 2021
CERB and the Duty to Mitigate

Under employment law, any reasonable notice or payment in lieu that is due and owing to an employee at termination is not meant to reward the employee for past service or punish the employer. Instead, it is designed to put the terminated employee back into the same position they would have been had they not […]

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November 2, 2021
Dismissed Employee Ordered to Pay Significant Costs for Unsuccessful Lawsuit

A recent decision from the Ontario Superior Court provides a word of caution to employees who bring questionable wrongful dismissal claims. In Goruk v Greater Barrie Chamber of Commerce, the plaintiff Ms. Goruk was terminated from her employment with cause and she brought a claim for wrongful dismissal, seeking a damage award equal to two […]

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October 28, 2021
EMPLOYMENT LAWYERS DISCUSS WRONGFUL DISMISSAL

Wrongful dismissal occurs when an employee is dismissed from their position in a manner that violates the terms of their employment contract or the Employment Standards Code (the “Code”). Wrongful dismissal can occur in several different forms. Employees are typically terminated from their employment in one of two ways: (1) without cause; or (2) with […]

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October 18, 2021
Civil Litigation Lawyer Breaks Down the Litigation Process – Court of Queen’s Bench

For parties who have never been involved in a lawsuit before, the court process can seem daunting. That is why we have provided below a comprehensive overview of the civil litigation process in Alberta, from start to finish. A civil action can usually be broken down into four stages: (1) pleadings; (2) discovery; (3) settlement; […]

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October 6, 2021
Litigation Lawyers Discuss Defamation

Defamation is widely understood as public statements that damage a person’s reputation. While this may seem a simple concept, the legal test for defamation is quite onerous and, depending on the circumstances, bringing a legal action for defamation may be quite complex. The general rule is that a plaintiff must file a claim within 2 […]

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September 21, 2021
Alberta Court Recognizes New Claim for Sharing Private Images without Consent

In a groundbreaking judgment released last week, Madam Justice Avril B. Inglis of the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench recognized a new claim in law with respect to the public sharing of private information without consent. Justice Inglis’ decision in ES v Shillington has created a new tort in Alberta called “Public Disclosure of Private […]

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September 7, 2021
Employment Lawyers in Calgary & Strathmore - Can employers require their workers to be vaccinated?

Employment Lawyers in Calgary & Strathmore - Can employers require their workers to be vaccinated?

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August 16, 2021
Real estate still moving in Strathmore

“Real estate has just been going nuts this fall,” said Getz. “We had more closings in October than we’ve had in any month since 2007.”

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August 11, 2021
Randi Collins has been nominated for the 2021 AWE Celebration of Achievement award

Getz, Collins & Associates is proud to announce that Randi Collins has been nominated for the 2021 AWE Celebration of Achievement award, recognizing exceptional women entrepreneurs! Congratulations, Randi!

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July 26, 2021
Joint Accounts

Estate planners often recommend that seniors create joint accounts in order to avoid the probate process. However, there are benefits and risks associated with joint accounts such as the unintended consequences that cause family rifts.

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June 9, 2021
Ontario Superior Court Revisits Whether COVID-19 Layoff is Constructive Dismissal

In its April 27, 2021 decision in Coutinho v Ocular Health Centre (2021 ONSC 3076), the Ontario Superior Court found a COVID-19-related temporary layoff was a constructive termination. Understandably, employers were concerned about the impact this would have on their liability as a result of COVID-19 layoffs that many of them engaged in. We now […]

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October 25, 2020
Layoff vs. Termination in 2020: Calgary and Strathmore Employment Lawyer Breaks it Down

What’s the difference between a layoff and a termination? Layoff vs. Termination in 2020: Calgary and Strathmore Employment Lawyer Breaks it Down Although many assume using the words “laid off” is a more polite way of saying “fired” or “terminated,” the terms are actually quite different. When an employee is terminated, their employer is ending […]

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September 4, 2018
When Can Employers Legally Impose Drug Testing After Workplace Incidents?

In April 2018, the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench released their decision in Canadian Energy Workers’ Association v ATCO Electric Ltd, a case concerning the legality of drug and alcohol testing in the workplace. The Court was asked to review an Arbitrator’s ruling that ATCO Electric was legally permitted to test two employees after a […]

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October 12, 2017
Safety v. Privacy: The Random Drug Testing Dilemma

On September 28, 2017, the Alberta Court of Appeal released its decision in Suncor Energy Inc v Unifor Local 707A, 2017 ABCA 313.  This decision is significant in understanding when an employer can justify random testing in a workplace. Prior to this case, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that an employer cannot unilaterally introduce […]

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June 7, 2017
Independent Contractor vs Employee: A Costly Difference

Independent contractor versus employee, they may seem easy to distinguish but are you sure you know the difference?  The difference between the two can have huge financial implications and liabilities for both the employer and worker if a court or Canada Revenue Agency determines that an independent contractor is more like an employee.     Companies […]

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May 30, 2017
Master Service Agreements: Managing Your Risks

Calgary and Strathmore Oil and Gas Lawyers Explain The emergence of companies requiring in-depth Oilfield Service Agreements or Master Service Agreements (“MSA’s) has been a large shift in how business is done in the oilfield sector. MSAs help avoid contractual disputes and reduce the risk of litigation by establishing the basic terms of the relationship […]

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March 4, 2017
TransCanada Temporarily Suspends $15 Billion Dollar NAFTA Challenge

With an executive order in January, President Trump has resurrected hopes for what seemed to be a lost cause, the previously rejected TransCanada Keystone XL pipeline project.  Such hope has also led to TransCanada temporarily suspending its $15 billion-dollar North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) challenge filed last year in response to the rejection.  Reasons […]

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July 18, 2016
Our Launch!

We are very proud to announce that Collins Thomas will officially be launching on August 1, 2016. We are excited to get started! Give us a call to say hello!

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