Employees are amongst a business’s most important assets. They can also, however, create its largest contingent liability. It is for this reason that the strategic management of your business’s workforce is critical in today’s competitive economy. With the proliferation of labour and employment legislation and the ever changing common law, businesses need expert legal advice to avoid costly mistakes and to minimize their workforce costs.
Our lawyers act as general counsel for employers of varying size who operate within Ontario and throughout Canada. Our labour and employment law lawyers assist in addressing employment issues before they become a problem and ensure that efficient human resource strategies are created and implemented. When disputes do arise, our lawyers provide experienced strategic and practical representation in all areas of labour and employment law, at both the provincial and federal level.
We provide a full range of employment law services for our employer clients, including the following:
- Attendance Management
- Compensation and Benefits Plans
- Constructive Dismissals
- Disability Leaves and Returns
- Employee Discipline
- Employee Hiring
- Employee Relations
- Employment Contracts
- Employment Standards
- Executive Compensation
- Human Rights
- Information and Privacy
- Labour Board Hearings
- Lay-Offs and Recalls
- Legislative Compliance
- Management Training
- Multinational and Multi-Jurisdictional Employment Issues
- Occupational Health and Safety
- Pregnancy and Parental Leave
- Restrictive Covenants
- Sale or Closure
- Vacations and Holidays
- Workplace Investigations
- Workplace Safety and Insurance
- Wrongful Dismissal Litigation
We act regularly on behalf of management on all aspects of labour relations matters, including:
- Collective Bargaining – We work with our clients to develop negotiation strategies and to reach desired agreement language
- Collective Agreement Administration – We work with our clients to ensure that the collective agreement is properly and effectively interpreted and applied
- Legislative Compliance – We provide quick and expert advice on compliance issues that affect your workplace, including labour relations matters
- Disputes – We provide representation when labour disputes arise, including appearing before arbitrators, tribunals, boards, and the courts in regard to grievance arbitrations, applications for injunctive relief, applications for judicial review, union certification and decertification applications, sale of business/related employer applications, and unfair labour practices complaints
- Organization and transaction advice – We assist our clients in developing effective solutions to labour issues central to the success of corporate mergers, acquisitions, insolvencies and reorganizations. From dealing with who represents whom, and issues of dovetailing and endtailing, we are here to assist
Employee Relations and Terminations
Our labour and employment lawyers regularly advise employers and employees on all aspects of the termination of an employment relationship, including what constitutes constructive dismissal, what constitutes just cause for termination, what restrictive covenants are at issue, notice requirements, and severance and termination pay requirements under the relevant employment legislation and under the common law. We regularly prepare termination packages for employers and review termination packages for employees.
On occasion, the termination of an employment relationship results in litigation. Our lawyers regularly deal with wrongful dismissal matters before all levels of court and before the Ontario Labour Relations Board.
Health and Safety Matters
Occupational Health and Safety
Over the past several years, the scope of occupational health and safety legislation and regulation has become much broader and the requirements much more complex. Further, the number of inspectors investigating workplaces on a day-to-day basis has dramatically increased. In addition, the amount of the fine which can be imposed where a violation occurs has increased and violators can also be prosecuted under the Criminal Code.
With our thorough understanding of the provincial health and safety legislation and regulation, we help our clients understand their obligations and ensure they have proper policies, programs, and practices in place. We also provide representation where there is an occupational health and safety prosecution.
Workplace Safety and Insurance
Compliance with workers’ compensation legislation and the proper response to WSIB claims, can save employers a significant amount of money. Our lawyers provide advice to employers with regard to workers’ compensation program registration, classification and penalty assessment matters. We also assist clients in their interactions with the WSIB and provide representation in matters before the WSIB and WSIAT.
Human Rights Matters
Our labour and employment lawyers assist employers in reducing the risk of human rights complaints by helping our clients proactively address potential human rights issues through the development and implementation of human rights policies, practices, and internal complaint procedures. When a human rights issue or complaint does arise, our lawyers provide experienced strategic and practical representation during investigations, mediations, and appearances before the tribunal or court.