Employment and Labour

Contract with pen on desk.

Osler’s Employment and Labour Department delivers clear, practical and results-oriented legal advice on all aspects of employment and labour law.

We offer strong, effective representation where workplace disputes arise and valuable insight into the best way to establish and implement realistic and reliable employment and labour practices. We partner with a broad range of companies, from small- and medium-sized to global entities, and have worked closely with clients in most industries and understand the business and legal issues that are unique to different business sectors. Our lawyers understand the reputational risks inherent in implementing workplace initiatives. We respond promptly because we recognize that employment and labour issues are usually pressing ones and need to be addressed quickly and effectively.

Our lawyers regularly represent clients before Labour boards and other tribunals dealing with employment and labour-related issues, at arbitration hearings and before the courts. We provide comprehensive advice and representation in all areas of employment and labour law including:

  • Collective Agreement Administration
  • Collective Bargaining
  • Directors’ Liability
  • Employment Contracts and Executive Compensation
  • Employment Standards
  • Grievance Arbitration
  • Human Rights
  • Mergers and Acquisitions
  • Occupational Health and Safety
  • Pay Equity and Employment Equity
  • Privacy
  • Restructuring Solutions
  • Strikes and Lockouts
  • Terminations and Layoffs
  • Union Certification and Decertification
  • Workers’ Compensation
  • Workplace Investigations

We keep our clients up-to-date on new legislation, recent court and arbitration decisions and the evolution of policies of labour relations tribunals and government agencies.

We can call on legal professionals in our Toronto, Calgary, Ottawa, Montréal and New York offices. In addition, we are a founding member of a network of Canadian law firms and we are able to call on local counsel in all Canadian jurisdictions.

U.S/Cross-Border Expertise

Our lawyers receive frequent inquiries about Canadian employment and labour law from U.S. counsel and clients. We have extensive experience guiding U.S.–based employers through downsizings, executive terminations and union organizing efforts, all of which raise different issues and require different solutions in Canada.

Emerging Companies

Osler is at the forefront with respect to advising emerging and high growth technology companies in Canada.

Our Employment & Labour team has extensive experience working with clients in this increasingly important sector of the Canadian economy. Our Employment & Labour lawyers understand and routinely advise on the unique business and legal issues that these organizations face, including providing critical advice with respect to: “make or break” financings, difficult founder departures, key hires needed to scale the business, workplace policy design and resolving employee disputes. We are keenly aware of the need to effectively manage reputational and brand risk given the competition for top-end talent in the marketplace and we provide proactive and practical solutions, creative advice and a deep understanding of market practice, all in order to help your company minimize cost and management distraction.

The Employment & Labour team is routinely sought out for our breadth of expertise in this area, and our lawyers regularly speak on the variety of issues that affect emerging and high growth workplaces, including the following topics from recent client seminars:

Executive Compensation

As part of our firm’s Executive Compensation Group, we help domestic and multinational businesses create appropriate employment arrangements for their employees and senior executives. We also advise boards of directors and their human resources committees in discharging their duties related to executive compensation matters.


Allan Wells

Partner, Employment and Labour


Sven Poysa

Partner, Employment and Labour

Toronto, Montréal

Damian Rigolo

Partner, Employment and Labour


Brian Thiessen, KC

Calgary Managing Partner

Calgary, Vancouver

Lynne Lacoursière

Partner, Corporate


Julien Ranger

Partner, Pensions and Benefits


  • Chambers Canada: Canada’s Leading Lawyers for Business: Recognized in Employment and Labour (Nationwide; Ontario; Alberta)
    • “Phenomenal – an unbelievably high level of expertise.”
  • The Legal 500: Recognized in Employment and Labour