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Thompson Rivers University
Thompson Rivers University

BLAW 3921: Employment Law

Students investigate the legal principles and law relating to the individual employer-employee relationship and how it influences business decision making. Case law and statutes are studied in depth to reinforce an understanding of the legal concepts. Topics include human rights issues; the contract of employment; legal issues during employment; statutes that impact the employment relationship; monitoring the employment relationship; and termination of employment.

Learning outcomes

  1. Identify jurisdictions relevant to an employment issue and the judicial and administrative systems used to interpret employment law.
  2. Analyze recruiting advertising, application forms, interview questions and drug testing procedures to preclude discrimination on prohibited grounds.
  3. Distinguish between contracting with an employee as opposed to contracting with an independent contractor, and the advantages and disadvantages of each arrangement.
  4. Articulate the impact of lack of fresh consideration, unequal bargaining power or obsolescence on an original or amended contract.
  5. Assess the practical implications of an employer’s duty to accommodate on the four most common grounds, evaluating undue hardship factors in the process.
  6. Demonstrate familiarity with the key features of employment standards, workers’ compensation and occupational health and safety legislation.
  7. Discuss the protection of personal information and protection of privacy in the workplace.
  8. Explain common employer pitfalls in the termination of employment process and procedures to preclude them.
  9. Outline the employer actions that can constitute constructive dismissal.
  10. Review relevant case law to determine the factors determining the payment of reasonable notice to employees who are dismissed without cause.

Course topics

  • Module 1: Overview of Legal Framework
  • Module 2: Hiring—Common Law and Human Rights
  • Module 3: The Employment Contract
  • Module 4: Human Rights and Employment Standards in the Workplace
  • Module 5: Workplace Safety
  • Module 6: Employment Equity and Workplace Privacy
  • Module 7: Discipline, Resignation and Retirement
  • Module 8: Terminating the Employment Relationship
  • Module 9: Dismissal Without Cause and Post Employment Obligations

Required text and materials

Students will need to source the following on their own:

  1. McKay, G., Gaetz, B., Filsinger, K., Harris, T., & Williams-Whitt, K. (2017). Employment Law for Business and Human Resources Professionals: Alberta and British Columbia, 3rd ed., Toronto, ON: Emond Montgomery Publications.
    Type: Textbook, ISBN: 978-1-55239-674-2


Please be aware that should your course have a final exam, you are responsible for the fee to the online proctoring service, ProctorU, or to the in-person approved Testing Centre. Please contact with any questions about this.

To successfully complete this course, students must achieve a passing grade of 50% or higher on the overall course, and 50% or higher on the final mandatory exam.

Assignment 1: Employment Advertisement 5%
Assignment 2: Employment Contract 15%
Assignment 3: Human Rights Tribunal Decision 15%
Assignment 4: Preparing a discipline and termination letter 5%
Assignment 5: Journal Entries and Online Discussions 10%
Final Exam (mandatory) 50%
TOTAL 100%

Open Learning Faculty Member Information

An Open Learning Faculty Member is available to assist students. Students will receive the necessary contact information at the start of the course.

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