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Laura DeVries is Counsel in our Labour & Employment Group in Vancouver. Recognized for her practical yet detail-oriented approach, she maintains a labour, employment, and human rights law practice which includes advising clients on a broad range of workplace issues.
Laura regularly conducts workplace investigations regarding allegations of bullying and harassment and other forms of alleged misconduct, including with respect to sexual harassment, fraud, expensing practices, and alcohol-related conduct issues. Laura has conducted investigations for both private-sector clients and local government bodies, and in both unionized and non-unionized environments, and has investigated allegations regarding the conduct of employees, elected officials, and members of the public.
Laura has extensive experience drafting employment and consulting contracts, workplace policies and other employment related documents; providing strategic advice on a wide variety of workplace issues including employee hires and terminations, employment standards issues, employee disability and accommodation, collective agreement interpretation, and privacy matters; and litigating wrongful dismissal actions, human rights complaints and union grievances. Some of Laura’s recent representative experience includes:
- advising employers on human resources and labour relations issues including employee disability and accommodation, taking action to avoid human rights risks and liabilities, attendance management, privacy issues, human rights and employment policies, and terminations of employment;
- advising on labour and employment issues in corporate mergers, acquisitions and reorganizations;
- representing employers in mediation and other dispute resolution processes, including resolving human rights and employment standards complaints, disputes before the British Columbia Provincial Court and British Columbia Supreme Court, and WorkSafeBC discriminatory action complaints;
- assisting unionized employers in grievance arbitration and labour relations board proceedings, including discharge, discipline, interpretation of collective agreements, contracting out disputes, policy grievances, unlawful strike and unfair labour practice complaints;
- representing employers in employment related litigation, including wrongful dismissal, human rights, privacy, and departing employee matters; and
- preparing and providing workplace training such as anti-bullying and harassment training and human rights law training.
Laura obtained her BSc in Environmental Science from the University of Ottawa in 2006, completed her MA in Resource Management and Environmental Studies at the University of British Columbia in 2009, and obtained her law degree from the University of British Columbia in 2013. Her book, “Conflict in Caledonia: Aboriginal Land Rights and the Rule of Law,” received the 2012 Canadian Law and Society Association Book Prize.
Laura joined the firm after clerking at the Supreme Court of Canada for Justice Andromache Karakatsanis from 2013-2014.
Laura was called to the British Columbia bar in 2014 and is a member of the Canadian Bar Association and the Vancouver Bar Association. She served for four years as a member of the Board of Directors of The Children’s Foundation, and is currently the Chair of the Labour Law section of the Canadian Bar Association, British Columbia Branch.