Offices in Ottawa and Perth
(613) 722-1500

CONTACT US (613) 722-1500

Employment, Labour, & Human Rights

Our Approach

The Mann Lawyers Employment, Labour and Human Rights service group has extensive experience working with employers, employees and unions in a diversity of work environments.  This experience facilitates our ability to provide advice and recommend solutions that support the business objectives of our corporate clients, and the personal objectives of the individual employees who retain us.

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 considerate 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 develop practical, cost-effective solutions that are tailored to your specific situations, explaining the steps in the legal process along the way.

Advising employers

We take pride in developing long standing relationships with our employer clients so that whether they have a quick question or they are considering making significant changes to their workforce, our clients know that they can reach out for timely advice on how best to move forward effectively, with minimal conflict.

Advising employees

Work is one of the most fundamental aspects in a person’s life, providing the individual with a means of financial support and, as importantly, a contributory role in society. A person’s employment is an essential component of his or her sense of identity, self-worth and emotional well-being.

– Reference Re Public Service Employee Relations Act (Alta.), 1987 CanLII 88 (SCC), [1987] 1 S.C.R. 313, at p. 368:

Our team of employment lawyers are keenly aware of the fundamental role that employment plays in the lives of our clients as well as how difficult it can be for people to candidly discuss their experiences in the workplace; it is why we chose to work in this field and why we enjoy what we do. We strive to provide compassionate, knowledgeable, practical and focused advice to employees. Our approach is to obtain context and discuss options and solutions.

Collective Bargaining
Employment & Labour Legislation
Employment Management Advice
Executive Compensation
Human Rights
Leaves Of Absence
Policies And Procedures
Professional Responsibility
Sale Of Business
Termination Of Employment
Tribunal, Arbitration, & Hearings
Union Certification & Decertification
Workplace Harassment & Violence
Workplace Investigations

Employment, Labour, & Human Rights Team

Connect with our Team

Offices in Ottawa and Perth     (613) 722-1500

Employment, Labour, & Human Rights Resources

Blog |
Employment, Labour, and Human Rights

Posted January 17, 2024

In November of 2023, the Ontario government introduced new legislation, once again, amending the Employment Standards Act, strengthening employment and labour laws in the province.[...]
Newsletters |
Employment, Labour, and Human Rights

Posted November 17, 2023

Blog |
Employment, Labour, and Human Rights

Posted October 16, 2023

In a recent decision, Monterosso v Metro Freightliner Hamilton Inc., 2023 ONCA 413, the Ontario Court of Appeal provided a stark reminder to the tune[...]
Blog |
Employment, Labour, and Human Rights

Posted October 12, 2023

A recent Ontario superior court case had an unusual set of facts but a universal message: employment agreements should be used even when (and perhaps[...]
Blog |
Employment, Labour, and Human Rights

Posted October 3, 2023

The recent decision from Ontario’s Superior Court Justice (“SCJ”), in Griffon Integrated Security Technologies et al. v. Valley Associates Inc. et al., 2023 ONSC 2200[...]
Blog |
Employment, Labour, and Human Rights

Posted August 8, 2023

We are providing this information to remind all federal employers that on July 9th, 2023, numerous changes under the Canada Labour Code became effective, including[...]

Frequently Asked Questions

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.

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.

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

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.

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).

No one needs to know that you sought legal advice. Lawyers can often provide assistance without getting directly involved.

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.

No. Generally speaking, the employer has the right to determine where the work gets done and employees are not within their rights to refuse to return absent a legitimate health and safety or human rights issue.

The Occupational Health and Safety Act allows employees to refuse to work if she/he reasonably believes that the work is dangerous. It is not enough for an employee merely to feel unsafe. That belief must be a reasonable one, based on the real risks of exposure to the virus in that particular workplace. Employers cannot reprise against employees for refusing unsafe work. While sending employees home to work may be a viable option to reduce the risk of infection, absent a stay-at-home order, there is no free-standing right to work from home as a result of COVID-19.

If the employee is unable to return to the workplace due to a human rights need, such as family status or disability, the employer must accommodate these employees up to the point of undue hardship. Accommodation is a two-way street, meaning employees must participate meaningfully in their own accommodation. Moreover, employees are entitled to an accommodation – it need not be their preferred accommodation (such as work from home).

No. The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms is a set of laws that places limits on state action and prevents the state (provincial, federal etc.) from enacting laws that conflict with a particular set of constitutional values (e.g. freedom of expression, right to assemble, right to life and security of the person etc.). The Charter does not apply to employment relationships unless your employer is a state actor. Rather, employment relationships are governed by employment contracts and employment standards legislation.

The Nuremberg Code is a guideline developed after the trial of Nazi doctors for atrocities committed during World War II. It that says humans should not be subject to medical experiments without their consent. The Code does not apply because it is not enacted into Canadian law. Moreover, the vaccines available to Canadians are not experimental, rather they have been approved by Health Canada.

Employers are within their rights to establish vaccination policies. Where employees work with vulnerable populations or in close proximity to one another, employers can implement mandatory vaccination policies.

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