Sara Forte

 

 

Legal Problems at Work?

 I can help.

Sara Forte, Employment Lawyer

Services

Employment Law and Workplace Human Rights is all I do.

For Employees

I have helped many employees tackle:

  • Severance Package Review and Negotiation
  • Employment Offer Review and Negotiation
  • Exit Strategies and Non-Competition Clauses
  • Workplace Human Rights
  • Bullying and Harassment
  • Other workplace issues - too many to list!

For Employers

I work with businesses of all sizes on:

  • Employment Contracts and Offer Letters
  • Performance Management
  • Discipline and Termination of Employment
  • Workplace Human Rights
  • Workplace Investigations
  • Employment Policies
  • Manager training on Human Rights and Employment Law
  • Other workplace issues - too many to list!

Approach

Employment Law Solutions to Reduce or Eliminate Workplace Conflict

Experienced

Employment Law is all I do

I have been working in employment law and workplace human rights since my call to the bar in 2004. That is 12 years of advising hundreds of employee and employer clients.

Practical and Compassionate

I care about my clients

I love solving problems. I also love getting to know my clients and their work. I give straightforward advice and don't sugarcoat. You will know where you stand.

Empowering Clients with Knowledge

You will understand your rights

My job is to help you understand your rights and your options. Once you have knowledge, you have the power to take control of the situation.

Transparent and Cost-Effective Fees

You will know what it costs

In most cases, I charge at an hourly rate, but I also offer a flat fee option, where appropriate, and take some files on contingency. I always give cost estimates, and we will do a cost-benefit analysis at every stage.

Local and Community Integration

Based in Surrey, BC

I was raised in Langley and now live in South Surrey with my family. After 12 years of practicing with leading firms in Vancouver, I am very happy to be serving clients in my community.

Don't Live in Surrey? I can still help

I have advised employees across BC

I have worked with clients from Vancouver Island, Northern BC and in the Interior. I can handle any issue by email or phone.

Testimonials

Employer Client

Ted Reid, President, Paladin Security Systems Ltd
Sara has the ability to use her extensive experience and knowledge to put practical solutions in place. She was a key part of Paladin Security's drive to promote awareness of employment law amongst our management team through better processes, education sessions and timely advice on employment law issues.

Employee Client

(name withheld for confidentiality)
Sara Forte's legal services were very helpful to me. I recently transitioned from a professional employee at a firm to self employment. It was critical for me to understand the obligations I had as an employee to ensure that I was meeting those obligations during my last days at the firm. More importantly, Sara helped me with the strategy of how to inform my former employer of my intentions with the goal of minimizing any negative responses - not an easy task. Thankfully, her strategies worked for me.

Employee Client

(name withheld for confidentiality)
Sara is extremely professional, wise and a tactful negotiator. She cared deeply about my case, provided excellent counsel/advice and worked very hard to get a great outcome for my case.

Employee Client

(name withheld for confidentiality)
Sara's caring and approachable demeanour was very comforting during a challenging time for my family after an unexpected job loss. Sara is extremely knowledgeable in her field and she ensured I was very well informed and understood all of my options. She patiently answered my questions and made sure I felt secure in my decisions before moving forward. I would highly recommend Sara and confidently refer any of my friends and family to her firm.

Employee Client

(name withheld for confidentiality)
When things started to go sideways for me at work I didn’t know my rights, I was highly emotional and I was given a lot of terrible advice from well meaning friends and family. I spoke to Sara who had seen my problems many times before. Sara has a calm and direct way of explaining the complexities of the law. I felt more in control of my situation after speaking with her. She explained the outcomes of my actions should I choose to quit, speak up or do nothing. She gave me her legal opinions and reviewed the complicated documents that my employer sent to me. Signing a legal letter from a large corporation is intimidating and scary but Sara’s explanation of the documents made me feel confident. I felt thoroughly supported through a very stressful and emotional time. Having someone in your corner makes all the difference. Now when ever someone tells me their work challenges I always recommend they call Sara. It is always worth consulting with an expert to know your rights. I have referred a number of friends and family to Sara since my personal experience working with her and they have all had the same great experience.

Employee Client

(name withheld for confidentiality)
When I encountered an employment issue while living and working in an isolated area of British Columbia, I had very few options for proper counsel. I was lucky enough to be referred to Sara by a close friend and she was beyond accommodating, accessible, and quick to respond, making me feel like a priority. She was able to help me, by phone or email almost same day, every time I requested it. She is intelligent, compassionate, and when I was in desperate need of advice she was there for me. Sara was absolutely out for my best interests and I would recommend her in a heartbeat.

Employer Client

Darren Gibbons, President, OpenRoad Communications Ltd.
I have relied on Sara for employment law advice for many years. Sara is responsive and personable, and takes a practical approach. Sara also is kind and compassionate, so her advice fits well with our organization. I would highly recommend Sara as employment counsel for any company looking for employment law advice.

About

I am an employment lawyer, and have practiced exclusively in the areas of employment/labour law, and workplace human rights since 2004. Solving work-related legal problems is all that I do, from hiring to firing, and everything in between.

I grew up in Langley, BC. After attending law school in Ontario and working and living in Vancouver for a few years, my valley girl roots brought me back home to South Surrey to raise my own young family. I kept working in Vancouver, and spent many hours on the 351 bus and Canada Line. After 12 years of working for leading firms in Vancouver, in November 2016, I took the leap to open my own firm near my home, here in Surrey. I am very excited to be serving clients in my own community, and loving the 2 KM commute.

Community is a big part of my life and work. Outside of the office, you might run into me, with my husband and children, shopping at the White Rock Farmers’ Market, walking, jogging or biking the trails in our local parks and forests, at the beach, or attending local charity events. I am a member of Semiahmoo Arts and on the Board of Directors for Sources. You will also find me enthusiastically cheering on my children at the sidelines of the local baseball diamonds, pools, ice rinks, piano recitals, riding rings, and school performances.

I give back to the business and legal community by speaking and writing on employment law and other topics. I am a member of the Surrey Board of Trade and BC HRMA (Human Resources Management Association), and have a CPHR designation (Certified Professional in Human Resources).

In addition to my Forte Law Blog , some of my recent and upcoming speaking engagements and publications are listed here:

Media

I have been interviewed as an employment law expert for TV, radio and print news.

Snow day daycare crunch

Feb 06, 2017
Snow days can put a lot of pressure on parents., who are often forced to scramble for child care at the last minute. But what if you can’t find anyone, and you’re worried about your job? Aaron McArthur has the details.

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Need to take a snow day for your kids?

Feb 06, 2017
"Working parents are worried this is going to negatively impact them if they can't make it in," Sara Forte told On The Coast host Stephen Quinn.

"Parents are legally obligated to take care of your children, and if they're not able to provide alternate care, for instance, you have a kindergartener, you just have to stay home with them."

Forte says B.C.'s Human Rights Code has protections which guard against discrimination based on one's family status.

What to do when you’ve lost your job

October 25, 2013
So how can you tell if you’re eligible for a severance package in the first place?

“If you have worked somewhere for more than three months, and you are not being fired ‘for cause’, then you should get some amount of severance, though the amount you are entitled to receive varies dramatically,” Forte says.