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 is Co-Chair of the Employment and Labour Group at Singleton Urquhart Reynolds Vogel LLP, and she is a member of the firm’s Management Committee. 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, including harassment and the duty to accommodate.

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, exemption applications, work permits and temporary resident permits and visas. She determines the best option for Permanent Residency Applications, Provincial Nominee Programs, Canadian Experience Class, Express Entry and Federal Skilled Worker Programs. In addition, she assists with Spousal and Family Sponsorships and Rehabilitation Applications.

Melanie is a regular speaker on workplace law issues for the legal profession, and various industry groups and associations.

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

Rankings + Recognitions

  • Recognized in Benchmark Canada – The Definitive Guide to Canada’s Leading Litigation Firms & Attorneys as a “Litigation Star”.

Community + Volunteering

  • Founder, Lipstick Brigade (providing needed services to Women’s shelters)
  • Past President, Jewish Community Centre of Greater Vancouver
  • Trustee, Jewish Community Foundation
  • Cabinet Member, Jewish Federation
  • Family Visionary, Jewish Family Service Agency
  • 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.
  • Advising as a Roster Investigator for the Canadian Media Producers Association (CMPA).

Publications

Presentations

Speaker, “Respectful Work Places,” Inclusivity in Publishing Workshop, Association of Book Publishers of BC, May 2019