Virtually all of our lawyers practise employment law, which is the area of law governing the employment of executives, managers, and all other non-union employees. Unlike our labour law practice in which we exclusively represent trade unions, in our employment law practice we act for both employees and employers.
We provide advice and advocacy relating to all areas of the employment relationship. These range from drafting employment contracts, to dealing with matters arising during employment such as conducting or responding to workplace investigations, to of course those issues arising at the end of employment, including constructive dismissal and termination with and without cause. We are frequently retained to advise and act in respect of non-competition or non-solicitation agreements. The Human Rights Code is often engaged in employment matters, and we provide regular advice with respect to those issues. We are also often consulted regarding change in control provisions, and shareholder or other business disputes in which there is an employment element, as well as all other issues that involve executive level employees.
Employment disputes tend to be resolved by negotiation at a relatively early stage because that is the preferred route for both employees and employers. We also hold the view that a negotiated resolution, before positions become entrenched and costs escalate, is in general in the interests of both sides. That is, we believe employment issues and disputes must be approached in a practical manner. However, we are always prepared to, and do, proceed to litigation where it is required.
- Representative Work
Together with Chris Paliare and Jean-Claude Killey, Megan Shortreed represented Edith Neuberger in Neuberger v. York, 2016 ONCA 191, a leading case about estoppel and the conduct of Estate Trustees. Our client was successful at the Ontario Court of Appeal, and leave was denied at the Supreme Court of Canada, 2016 CanLII 60508 (SCC).
Chris Paliare and Richard Stephenson acted successfully for Tom Mason in the Ontario Court of Appeal in Mason v. Chem-Trend, 2011 ONCA 344. The case is now a leading Canadian authority on the (non) enforceability of restrictive covenants in employment agreements.
Chris Paliare, Richard Stephenson and Susan Brown argued successfully before the Ontario Divisional Court in Weisz v. Four Seasons Holdings Inc., 2010 ONSC 4456 that an arbitration provision stipulating that the decision of an arbitrator will be final and binding precludes an appeal of the arbitrator's decision.
Chris Paliare and Andrew Lewis investigated allegations of unauthorized access to player emails by senior executives of the National Hockey League Players Association, and provided advice to the Executive Board of the Players Association respecting the executives' employment.
In Calabrese v. Weekes, 2003 CanLII 3311 (Ont. S.C.), Rob Centa successfully represented an NHL goaltender in an appeal of an arbitration award arising from a dispute between the player and his former agent.
Saunders v. Chateau des Charmes Wines Ltd., 2002 CanLII 5114 (Ont. S.C.) in which Andrew Lewis successfully argued at trial that the plaintiff employee had been constructively dismissed from his employment by his supervisor's improper conduct.
Don Eady represented a number of trade unions before arbitrators, the Divisional Court and the Court of Appeal on the issue of whether the employer or the employee should be required to pay the Ontario Health Premium.