Professional Background

Melanie Samuels has extensive experience in Labour and Employment Law and has been practicing in this area for more than 25 years. She advises clients on all workplace issues including providing guidance on disciplining and/or dismissing employees, drafting employment contracts and policies and advising on human rights issues, which includes harassment and the duty to accommodate. Melanie provides advice on employment aspects that arise on the purchase and sales of businesses, and on labour issues including collective agreement negotiation, interpretation and administration.

A particular area of focus for Melanie is working with creative industries, including the film and music industry, to help guide and inform their harassment policies and advise them on how best to implement protocols in the workplace to effectively deal with bullying and harassment. Melanie works with employers to investigate these kinds of claims and provides recommendations on how to manage these difficult issues.  Melanie is regularly invited to speak on key workplace issues including bullying and harassment. She also provides hands-on training to various industry groups seeking to ensure respectful work environments.

Melanie also specializes in business related immigration including applications for labour market impact assessments, temporary foreign worker exemption applications, temporary work permits and temporary resident permits and visas. She also determines the best option for permanent residency applications. Melanie has experience in all of the Provincial Nominee Programs, the Canadian Experience Class, Express Entry and Federal Skilled Worker Programs. She also assists with spousal and family sponsorships and rehabilitation applications.

Education

  • Bachelor of Arts, Lee College (University of Judaism/ UCLA): 1986
  • Bachelor of Laws, University of British Columbia: 1989
  • Called to the Bar of British Columbia: 1990
  • Advising on individual termination and group layoffs in non-union and unionized workforces;
  • Advising on employment issues related to sales of business and bankruptcy proceedings;
  • Negotiating and drafting Employment Agreements;
  • Preparing and implementing Personnel Policies including Workplace Harassment Policies and investigating human rights complaints
  • Filing labour market opinion applications and exemptions for mining and hospitality industries and in unusual circumstances
  • Advising on all matters relating to business immigration including work permits, and permanent residency applications