Labour and employment law refers to the vast array of laws governing the employment relationship for both unionized employees (labour law) and non-union employees (employment law). It is a truly exciting area of practice given its breadth, the advocacy opportunities it presents and the scope it provides to directly impact the working lives of Canadians.
A career in labour law offers an opportunity to practice in a rapidly expanding area of the law. Labour lawyers are involved in major and topical issues with far-reaching legal and social ramifications. Management-side labour law is a litigation-centric legal practice that is fast-moving, challenging and extremely rewarding.
Breadth of Practice
Labour and employment law encompasses everything from basic employment entitlements such as overtime and holiday pay to workplace injuries and fatalities, human rights issues, and issues regarding union organizing and representation. We deal with a large variety of statutes and regularly deal with challenging legal issues. Our students and lawyers have been involved in countless decisions of national significance. We regularly deal with such important issues as teachers’ rights to free speech outside the classroom, the scope for employees to be swept into a union without the opportunity to vote, and the duty to accommodate disabilities.
Labour and employment lawyers litigate more regularly than lawyers in virtually any other practice area, including more traditional civil litigation practitioners. Our lawyers regularly appear before the courts and administrative tribunals, often with multiple hearings each week. We represent clients before:
- The Federal and Provincial Courts;
- Arbitrators and the Grievance Settlement Board;
- The Ontario Labour Relations Board
- The Canada Industrial Relations Board
- The Canadian and Ontario Human Rights Tribunals
- The Workplace Safety and Insurance Board
- The Workplace Safety and Insurance Appeals Tribunal
- The Pay Equity Hearings Tribunal
- The Financial Services Tribunal