Employment and Labour Law

The Mann Lawyers Employment, Human Rights and Labour service group has extensive experience working with employers, employees and unions, allowing us to bring a unique perspective in advising our clients and assisting them to resolve employment-related disputes.  In the Human Rights context, we also assist service providers and patrons.

We appreciate that employment relationships are some of the most long-lasting and important relationships people have.  We know that our clients need practical and caring advice for their particular situations.

Whether you are an individual, a business, a non-profit organization, or a union, we will work with you to build a strategy that meets your needs, explaining the steps in the legal process along the way.

Employment

We provide advice and representation to employers and employees on:

  • Civil actions, Ministry of Labour Complaints
  • Creating and interpreting policies
  • Employment contracts
  • Employment Insurance and Canada Pension Plan
  • Employment Standards Act interpretation
  • Independent Contractor / Consulting Agreements
  • Leaves of Absence
  • Long term disability issues
  • Occupational Health and Safety Act interpretation
  • Pay Equity
  • Performance Management and Discipline
  • Privacy and Confidentiality
  • Restrictive Covenants (Non-Competition and Non-Solicitation Clauses)
  • Sale of Business
  • Severance Package Assessment
  • Workplace conflict and investigations
  • Wrongful and Constructive Dismissal
  • Other Related Areas

Human Rights

We provide advice and representation to employers, employees, service providers, and patrons on:

  • Accommodation
  • Employment and service-sector human rights issues
  • Discrimination and harassment issues
  • Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario and the Canadian Human Rights Commission Complaints
  • Investigations
  • Return to Work Facilitation
  • Other Related Areas

Labour

We advise employees, employers, and unions on navigating the unionized environment in the following areas:

  • Arbitration and grievance representation
  • Certification and de-certification
  • Collective bargaining
  • Duty of fair representation advice
  • Human Rights
  • Opinion on rights
  • Ontario Labour Relations Board and Canada Industrial Relations Board proceedings
  • Unfair labour practice advice

We understand that it can be emotionally and financially stressful to be in a situation that necessitates seeking legal advice about employment and services.  We work with clients to develop practical, cost-effective solutions that are tailored to their specific situations.

A few FAQs:

I was just fired. Should I sign this “release” they gave me?

Being terminated from your job can be one of the most stressful situations that you will ever face, and it is important to remember that you should never let yourself be pressured into signing something before you understand all of your rights and options.

We strongly recommend that you give us a call before you sign anything, to schedule an appointment to review your employment contract, the offer, and the release with us. We can quickly and inexpensively review your situation, and advise you as to your options.

You may be entitled to additional benefits or compensation, and if you sign a “release”, you may lose significant rights.

You should also be aware that while filing a complaint through the Ontario Ministry of Labour may be an option for you, depending on your situation, there may be other avenues that will be more advantageous.  Speaking to a lawyer about your options may assist you in making an informed choice about what is the best course of action for you.

I have an employee who just isn’t working out. Can I let them go?

An employer can only terminate an employee without notice or pay in lieu of notice if the employer can establish that it has “just cause”.

Employers should be aware that the Courts have set a high standard regarding the conduct and steps necessary to prove “just cause” to terminate an employee. Employers who have improperly alleged just cause for dismissal have been penalized by the Court in wrongful dismissal lawsuits.

If just cause cannot be established, an employer can generally terminate the employment of any employee as long as it provides “reasonable notice” of the termination or pay in lieu of notice.

Terminations are a difficult but sometimes necessary reality of doing business. Before terminating anyone’s employment, we recommend that you speak to one of our employment lawyers about it. There are a number of legal issues to consider, including whether there are sufficient circumstances to prove just cause, the effect of any employment agreement, and the amount of notice of termination or pay in lieu of notice required by the Employment Standards Act, 2000 and the common law.

Our employment lawyers can help you to understand your legal options and obligations when making difficult business decisions regarding termination of employment. We are also experienced and effective negotiators, and when the deal is done we get the paperwork done right.

Why should I get legal advice before signing an employment contract?

  1. This is an opportunity to make sure you understand your rights and obligations (including possible post-employment obligations such as non-solicitation agreements) before you sign. You may still decide that you will not request changes, but at least you are walking into the relationship fully aware of what you are agreeing
  2. The way certain clauses are drafted, like termination clauses, can make a significant difference to how smoothly you are able to transition to a new opportunity if your employment comes to an early end. It is not uncommon for people to only read their termination clause for the first time after they were let go and that they wished they had understood the terms earlier.
  3. In the event changes are needed, an employment lawyer can often provide guidance on how to negotiate modifications to your contract in a constructive and non-confrontational way.  We understand that you are looking to preserve your relationship and not end it — in our experience, employers are often open to negotiating the terms of the agreement. The purpose of the agreement is to help both parties arrive at conditions that are fair (and provide some certainty).
  4. Discretion — no one needs to know that you sought legal advice. Lawyers can often provide assistance without getting directly involved.
  5. Finally, sometimes what you will learn is that the employer is offering a very fair, well-balanced contract that provides certainty to both parties. This knowledge can help build trust and loyalty from the beginning.

To learn more about our Employment Law service area and some of the legal issues as they may arise, please visit our blog.

For more information about employment and labour law, or for information or advice specific to your own situation, please contact us at (613) 722-1500 or by email at employment@mannlawyers.com.

Our Employment, Human Rights & Labour Lawyers

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