Employment and Labour Law

The Department provides employment and labour law advice to both public and private sector employers in the following areas of law:

Collective Bargaining

  • Conduct and assist clients in the negotiation of collective agreements with trade unions in all sectors of the economy – public and private.
  • Assistance in analyzing a client’s collective agreement language, wages and benefits.
  • Provide comparison information to client with respect to the terms and conditions of employment in other collective agreements, as required.
  • Developing effective strategies for the successful negotiation of collective agreements in a manner that meets client needs.
  • Work with benefit consultants, actuaries and benefit providers to develop strategies for negotiating effective collective agreement language as required by client.
  • Assistance with Conciliation, Mediation.
  • Provide full support in all areas in the event of a work stoppage, including injunctive relief, where needed.
  • Liase with media as required.
  • Coordinate collective agreement language with applicable legislation to ensure compliance.
  • Conducts Interest Arbitration cases for Employers covered by “no strike” legislation (i.e. Hospitals, Police Services and Fire Departments.)

Contacts

David M. Amyot, Nancy Jammu-Taylor, Michael A. Wills

Labour Arbitration

  • Provide advice to clients prior to decisions / actions that may give rise to grievance.
  • Provide analysis and assessment to client regarding the chances of success at arbitration with respect to grievances submitted for arbitration.
  • Assist with arbitrator selection / recommendation.
  • Arranging private investigations and surveillance where appropriate.
  • Conducts Interest Arbitration cases for Employers covered by “no strike” legislation (i.e. Hospitals, Police Services and Fire Departments.)
  • Conduct arbitration litigation on behalf of Employer clients by:
    • Preparing witnesses for testimony at arbitration.
    • Obtaining and preparing expert witnesses, where required.
    • Preparing necessary documents for hearing.
    • Providing legal research and case briefs, where required.
    • Conducting case.

Contacts

David M. Amyot, Nancy Jammu-Taylor, Michael A. Wills

Union Avoidance

  • Advising Employers, including new and/or foreign Employers, on union certification practices and processes
  • Providing Employers with assistance in the development and implementation of comprehensive union avoidance and communication strategies
  • Advising and representing employees with respect to union decertification applications before the Ontario Labour Relations Board and the Canada Industrial Relations Board

Contacts

David M. Amyot, Michael A. Wills

Ontario Labour Relations Act

Providing representation on behalf of Employers with respect proceedings before the Ontario Labour Relations Board with respect to:

  • Union certification applications
  • Decertification applications
  • Sale of business and related employer applications
  • Unfair labour practice complaints
  • Unfair representation complaints
  • Public Sector Labour Relations Transitions Act applications
  • Employment Standards Act appeal proceedings
  • Occupational Health and Safety Act proceedings

Contacts

David M. Amyot, Nancy Jammu-Taylor, Garth M. Kidd

Employment Standards Act Matters

  • Providing proactive advice to employers regarding their obligations under the Employment Standards Act, 2000, including their obligations with respect to hours of work, vacation time and pay, statutory holidays, leaves of absence, and termination and severance of employment.
  • Representation of employers in all dealings with Employment Standards Officers on employment standards matters and complaints.
  • Representation of employers and their directors before the Ontario Labour Relations Board in applications for review under the Employment Standards Act, 2000.

Contacts

Stephen C. Roberts, Michael A. Wills, David M. Amyot, Nancy Jammu-Taylor, Garth M. Kidd

Canada Labour Code Proceedings

Providing representation on behalf of Employers with respect proceedings before the Canada Industrial Relations Board with respect to:

  • Union certification applications
  • Decertification applications
  • Sale of business and related employer applications
  • Unfair labour practice complaints
  • Unfair representation complaints
  • Canada labour standards complaints
  • Unjust dismissal complaints
  • Occupational health and safety matters

Contacts

David M. Amyot, Nancy Jammu-Taylor, Garth M. Kidd

Wrongful Dismissal Actions

  • General advice to employers prior to termination with respect to legal obligations and liability
  • Assistance in drafting employment contracts, including termination provisions and restrictive covenants
  • After termination, representation of employers in wrongful dismissal proceedings, including but not limited to:
    • Preparation of Statement of Defence
    • Preparation of Statement of Issues, attendance at mediation and all settlement meetings and negotiations
    • Conducting all Examinations for Discovery and Document Disclosure
    • Representation during all court attendances and proceedings and at trial

Contacts

Nancy Jammu-Taylor, David M. Amyot, Michael A. Wills

Human Rights Matters

  • General advice on interpretation and administration of the Ontario Human Rights Code
  • Policy development
  • Assistance with the accommodation process for disabled employees, employees with family status issues, religious accommodation and other such Code-related accommodation issues
  • Processing of Human Rights Code matters, including preparation of Response, attendance at mediation, and acting as counsel at Tribunal hearings
  • Training for management and employees regarding Code obligations, including harassment training

Contacts

Nancy Jammu-Taylor, David M. Amyot, Michael A. Wills, Stephen C. Roberts

Occupational Health and Safety Matters

Representation for employers with respect to:

  • Assistance and advice on understanding the employer's obligations pursuant to the Occupational Health and Safety Act.
  • Advising employers on all issues of health and safety in the workplace including completion of manuals, WHMIS requirements and other relevant programs to provide a safe work environment.
  • Training for supervisors and management relating to required obligations pursuant to the Act and “due diligence.”
  • Representation of employers, directors, officers or supervisors charged with violating the provisions of the Occupational Health and Safety Act.
  • Representation of employers charged with terminating or disciplining an employee in violation of the reprisal provisions of the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

Contacts

Michael A. Wills, Stephen C. Roberts, Nancy Jammu-Taylor

Workplace Safety and Insurance

  • Workplace Safety and Insurance claims control management from the initial stages of a claim to the closure of a claim.
  • Assistance and reviews on completing and filing Form 7 and other WSIA forms and reporting requirements.
  • Assistance in communicating and documenting matters with the WSIB and where appropriate intervening directly with Board employees to ensure prompt responses and effective claims control.
  • Assistance in preparing and/or advising on providing suitable work, work hardening programs, and all phases of the Work Reintegration process, including assistance at Return To Work Specialists and/or Work Transition Specialists meetings.
  • Assistance in arranging and advising on Physical Demands Analysis, Ergonomic Assessments, Job Shadowing and Education, and other related services for the company.
  • Arranging private investigations and surveillance where appropriate.
  • Assistance in arranging and advising on Independent Medical Assessments and Function Abilities Evaluations.
  • Review of individual claim files for cost relief from the Secondary Injury and Enhancement Fund (S.I.E.F.).
  • Assistance and advice on experience rating matters (N.E.E.R. and CAD-7) including assessment reviews with detailed reporting to confirm company's position at any given time and advice on how to maximize your refund or minimize your penalty on a cost effective basis.
  • Assistance and advice on Revenue matters including employer classification, payroll and work-well audits.
  • Assistance with the preparation of objections and written submissions on behalf of employers at all levels of appeal process.
  • Representation at WSIB and WSIAT Appeal Hearings.
  • Representation of employers, directors, officers or supervisors charged with an offence under the Workplace Safety & Insurance Act and with regard to any investigations involving the Regulatory Division.
  • Assistance and advice regarding registering as an employer with the WSIB when starting a business.
  • Assistance and advice regarding WSIB costs and potential on-going liability upon the sale of assets or shares of a business or upon restructuring of a business.

Contacts

Stephen C. Roberts, Nancy Jammu-Taylor

Workplace Investigations

  • Conducting internal investigations for clients on:
    • (1) Human Rights Code–related matters, such as allegations of sexual harassment or discrimination, and
    • (2) Occupational Health and Safety Act matters, such as allegations of workplace harassment or violence
  • Providing disciplinary and non-disciplinary recommendation in light of investigative findings
  • Resource to HR professionals during their own investigations

Contacts

Nancy Jammu-Taylor, David M. Amyot

Workplace Management Training

  • Conduct meetings, training and seminars with clients on such topics as:
    • Collective bargaining updates and trends.
    • Recent statutory amendments, new caselaw developments.
    • Intensive documentation and record keeping training.
    • Collective bargaining training.
    • Witness preparation training.
    • Bill 168 / Workplace Harassment seminars.
    • Workplace solutions.
    • Accommodation obligations.
    • Complying with OHSA obligations.

Contacts

Nancy Jammu-Taylor, Stephen C. Roberts

Sale of Business, Mergers, and Acquisitions

Providing advice and assistance to Employers in relation to labour and employment law implications associated with corporate asset sales, share sales and mergers, including:

  • Assessing corporate employment and labour liabilities upon sale and/or acquisition
  • Assessing WSIB, disability, pension and benefits costs and liabilities
  • Assisting in corporate reorganizations associated with sales and acquisitions
  • Providing new and/or foreign Employers with advice pertaining to union certification practices and the development of union avoidance strategies

Contacts

David M. Amyot, Michael A. Wills

Police Law

Providing labour and employment assistance to police services and police service boards in relation to:

  • Collective bargaining and interest arbitration proceedings under the Police Services Act
  • Police Service Act disciplinary proceedings and prosecutions
  • Grievance arbitrations before the Ontario Police Arbitration Commission
  • Appeals and proceedings before the Ontario Civilian Police Commission
  • Representation on behalf of police services at Coroner’s inquests

Contacts

David M. Amyot, Nancy Jammu-Taylor

Plant Closures and Restructuring

Providing labour and employment assistance to police services and police service boards in relation to:

  • Assist clients in all aspects of a plant closure including, but not limited to:
    • Develop and execute effective strategies to minimize severance and termination costs / strategies for both union and non-union employees.
    • Operational issues.
    • Retention bonuses for key staff.
    • Negotiation of closure agreements with affected union(s).
    • Security arrangements.
    • Inventory management / production continuation strategies (up to and following announcement.)
    • Media interface.
    • Transition assistance.
    • Liase with other business support sources such as accountants, outplacement counsellors, actuaries, benefit consultants, corporate solicitors.
  • Develop and execute effective strategies to assist clients in restructuring / downsizing operations with respect to all of the issues listed above

Contacts

David M. Amyot, Nancy Jammu-Taylor, Michael A. Wills

Construction Labour Law

Providing labour and employment advice to contractors and subcontractors in all sectors of the construction industry with respect to:

  • Union avoidance
  • Union certification applications
  • Decertification applications
  • Sale of business and related employer applications
  • Grievance referral applications
  • Collective bargaining

Contacts

David M. Amyot

Freedom of Information and Privacy Law

  • Providing advice to public and private sector clients regarding their obligations under applicable privacy legislation and the common law.
  • Representation of public sector entities and affected third parties in freedom of information requests.
  • Providing advice to employers regarding employment-related privacy concerns related to the workplace and social media.

Contacts

Garth M. Kidd

Sickness and Accident/Disability Insurance Matters

  • Assisting and advising employers on disability management and controlling the costs of sickness and accident/disability claims filed by employees.
  • Advising employers on reducing costs of sickness and accident/disability claims including assistance in preparing and advising on return to work programs, arranging Independent Medical Examinations or Functional Abilities Evaluations, Ergonomic Assessments, Job Shadowing and private investigations and surveillance, where appropriate.
  • Representation of employers in any actions commenced by employees to pursue sickness and accident/disability claims.
  • Advising employers regarding severing/terminating employees who are collecting sickness and accident/disability benefits.

Contacts

Stephen C. Roberts, Nancy Jammu-Taylor