ELM vancouver speaker Richard Johnson

Richard Johnson

Partner, Kent Employment Law


Richard Johnson* practices in the areas of employment and human rights law. Richard was called to the Bar in Alberta in 2007 and in British Columbia in 2010. Before joining Kent Employment Law, he practiced at a mid-sized firm in the areas of employment and labour law, human rights, education law and general civil litigation. Richard has represented and advised employees, public and commercial employers, not-for- profit organizations and foundations on a wide variety of employment matters.

Richard has appeared at all levels of Court in both British Columbia and Alberta, as well as the Federal Court of Canada and the Federal Court of Appeal.

Some examples of matters that Richard has been involved include the following:

  • Representing a successful plaintiff alleged to have dismissed for just cause for performance concerns. At trial, just cause was found to have existed, and our client was entitled to damages for wrongful dismissal and aggravated damages for the employer’s conduct (Cottrill v. Utopia Day Spas and Salons Ltd., 2017 BCSC 704)
  • Representing the successful appellant before the Federal Court of Appeal on a dispute involving whether the individual was an independent contractor or an employee, and his entitlement to severance
  • Successfully arguing for a 9-month reduction in the plaintiff's severance due to his failure to return to work when recalled (Hooge v. Gillwood Remanufacturing Inc., 2014 BCSC 11)
  • Obtaining a trial judgment, and an award of double costs, in favour of an employee dismissed for just cause (TeBaerts v. Penta Builders Group Inc., 2015 BCSC 2008 (trial); TeBaerts v. Penta Builders Group Inc., 2015 BCSC 2449 (costs))
  • Obtaining a trial judgment in favour of a dismissed, short-term apprentice against his former employer (Geller v. Sable Resources Ltd., 2012 BCSC 1861)
  • Obtaining a trial judgment entitling a dismissed investment banker with seven (7) months’ service to five months’ pay in lieu of notice
  • Successfully obtaining special costs and a reduction in damages in favour of an employer faced with wrongful dismissal allegations (John Graham v. Galaxie Signs Ltd., 2012, S074997)
  • Obtaining a successful Employment Standards decision in favour of a construction supervisor who had been constructively dismissed by his employer
  • Successfully applying to set aside a finding of misrepresentation against a dismissed employee by the Workers Compensation Board, which led to an entitlement to WCB benefits
  • Representing several employees in negotiating severance packages after constructive dismissal
  • Representing employees on provincial and federal Human Rights cases involving disabilities, sex and sexual orientation discrimination, and workplace harassment issues
  • Advising and representing employees regarding proposed severance packages, and claims for outstanding wages, fees and commissions
  • Advising and representing employers regarding a variety of matters, including hiring, discipline, termination/severance, accommodation of disabilities, transition of employees following amalgamation, directors/ officers liability, and non- competition and non-solicitation agreements
  • Preparing comprehensive documentation relating to employment, deductions, discipline and severance

Richard’s litigation experience also includes workers’ compensation and insurance/benefits issues and corporate/commercial litigation. While at law school, Richard worked with the Board of Student Legal Services of Edmonton (a not-for- profit organization providing legal support to the low income community and charitable groups) in a number of capacities, including as the organization's Chairman. He is also very proud to be an alumnus of the University of Alberta Law Golden Bearristers Rugby Club.

Richard is a member of the Canadian Bar Association, the Vancouver Bar Association, and he is Executive Member of the Advocates' Society Labour & Employment Section. He is also a regular contributor to the legal news outlet AdvocateDaily.com. Click here to read Richard's articles. When outside of the office, Richard enjoys travelling with his wife and two young sons, as well as history and learning to cook.


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