Labour & Employment
Our labour and employment team is one of the largest in Western Canada. We act for employers in all sectors. Several of our lawyers have been awarded Lawyer of the Year – Labour and Employment Law by Best Lawyers, and we are consistently recognized as leading management-side labour and employment lawyers by Best Lawyers in Canada and The Canadian Lexpert Legal Directory.
We help employers to respond quickly and effectively to workforce challenges, providing proactive, practical and innovative advice and assistance on all labour and employment matters. This includes discipline and terminations; employment standards, occupational health and safety, human rights law and the duty to accommodate; privacy issues; personnel policies and contracts; drug and alcohol testing, personal searches and all types of litigation including wrongful dismissal and constructive dismissal claims, human rights complaints, employment standards complaints, and OH&S complaints before all relevant tribunals and courts, including the Supreme Court of Canada.
Our experience representing employers dealing with unions extends back to the very origins of trade union legislation in Western Canada. We provide advice on negotiating strategies and the dynamics of bargaining, negotiate collective agreements on behalf of management, advise on collective agreement interpretation and the grievance process, and represent employers before labour relations boards, arbitration boards and courts. We have comprehensive experience addressing issues such as applications for union certification, unfair labour practices and de-certifications. Our labour law practice is one of the most well-regarded in Western Canada.
We are well-versed on all aspects of compensation, pension and benefits law, including the tax implications of pension, disability and other group benefits plans and the resolution of disputes involving such plans.
- Whatcott v. Saskatchewan (Human Rights Commission), 2013 SCC 11, Supreme Court of Canada decision dealing with hate speech under Saskatchewan Human Rights legislation.
- Represented employers in essential services litigation at the Supreme Court of Canada and courts below.
- Represented companies in mining, construction, industrial, retail, oil and gas, transportation, food services and health care in wrongful dismissal trials, arbitrations and human rights complaints.
- Successfully obtained injunctions for federally and provincially regulated employers during work stoppages.
- Successfully obtained an injunction for a large international corporation in an action for breach of a non-competition agreement and the removal of proprietary information.
- Successfully defended private and public employers in arbitrations involving the duty to accommodate, human rights and harassment issues.
- Drafted drug and alcohol testing policies for several private-sector employers with safety-sensitive operations, and successfully defended those policies at arbitration.
- Provided advice to public sector employers on compliance with statutory duties including freedom of information and protection of privacy
- Conducted interest arbitrations on behalf of public sector employers including urban and rural school divisions.