Labor and Employment Lawyers

There are all kinds of labor and employment lawyers in Canada given that this branch of law has many different sub-fields. It is easy to browse these sub-fields and locate their representatives in the various provinces of Canada. One key sub-field of labor and employment law is Alternative Dispute Resolution, better known as ADR. It entails processes and methods of dispute resolution with the aim to ensure that disagreeing parties come to an agreement instead of taking the case to court. Basically, ADR is an alternative to litigation, which involves the assistance of a third party. ADR is gaining popularity in Canada and worldwide in recent years. Today, many courts require entities to use alternative dispute resolution before a formal hearing is carried out. This is because obviously, as everywhere, courts in Canada are overloaded with work, and efforts are made to resolve conflicts by all means necessary before resorting to traditional litigation. There are many advantages to alternative dispute resolution over litigation – it is cheaper, more confidential, and you have more control over the person or people who will decide on your conflict or dispute.

Another branch of labor and employment in which lawyers specialize is arbitration. The Arbitration Roundtable of Toronto plays a key role here. This institution consists of several litigators and arbitrators from the area of Greater Toronto. The establishment is similar to ADR because it promotes arbitration as a method of resolving conflicts. Among the members are commercial lawyers from Toronto firms, of which notable are some of the so-called Seven Sisters of Bay Street. The seven sisters are top firms with head offices located at Bay Street, the financial hub of Toronto.

The third important sub-field is Employment Contracts. Its sub-sub-fields are wrongful dismissal, constructive dismissal, unjust dismissal, bad faith discharge, and more. Canadians must be aware that dismissing an employee who is not a member of a union in violation of the rules that exist in Canadian employment law may involve a breach of the terms of the employment contract. There must be an objectively just cause for dismissal. If not, this is where wrongful dismissal comes in. You can sue your ex-boss and can receive compensation because he failed to give you notice and a just cause for letting you go.

Other sub-fields in this area of law involve human rights, fiduciary obligations, tort law and vicarious liability issues, restraint of trade, remedies, occupational, health, and more.

Among the remaining sub-fields of labor and employment are Employment Equity, Employment Insurance (EI), Employment Standards, Management Representation, Pensions, Professional Discipline Hearings, and others.

In general, labor and employment lawyers offer legal advice on matters related to labor and employment laws, as well as human resource practices. Lawyers who work for corporate entities may investigate cases involving employee misconduct; they advise HR personal, prepare new employee contracts, and ensure that the company’s policy is in compliance with government laws. Labor and employment lawyers have crisis and risk management responsibilities as well and advise executive employees on handling complicated employee and labor situations. In addition, lawyers assist with organizational restructuring, write employee communications, and research the effects of mergers and acquisitions on human resource management. Lawyers who specialize in labor and employment law must acquire a number of skills, including the ability to work together with fellow lawyers in different time zones. Labor and employment lawyers should have excellent communication skills, too, because they work with external corporate and counsel lawyers, HR personnel, and business executives. Other qualities that lawyers should demonstrate and companies seek include self-confidence, resilience, and dedication.