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 & Labour

Toronto, Montréal

Damian Rigolo

Partner, Employment & Labour


Brian Thiessen, KC

Calgary Managing Partner

Calgary, Vancouver

Lynne Lacoursière

Partner, Corporate


Julien Ranger

Partner, Pensions & Benefits


  • AfterSell

    AfterSell in its business combination with Rokt

  • Contractor Compliance

    Contractor Compliance in its acquisition by VelocityEHS

  • Inversago Pharma

    Inversago Pharma in its US$1.075 billion business combination with Novo Nordisk

  • Russell Reynolds Associates

    Russell Reynolds Associates in its acquisition of Kilberry

  • First Quality Enterprises LLC

    First Quality Enterprises in its acquisition of Domtar’s Pulp and Paper Mill in Dryden, Ontario

  • OneComply Inc.

    OneComply in its acquisition by GeoComply Inc.

  • Legault Group

    Legault Group closes strategic partnership with Homes Alive Pets

  • Nimble Science

    Nimble Science in its raising of US$ 2 million in a Series A financing round

  • CNH Industrial

    CNH Industrial in its agreement to acquire Hemisphere GNSS for $175 million

  • MoonPay

    MoonPay in its acquisition of Nightshift

  • VAALCO Energy

    VAALCO in its US$307 million business combination with TransGlobe

  • Signal 1

    Signal 1 in its collaboration with Unity Health Toronto and TD Bank Group along with its US$10 million Seed financing

  • Assembly Digital

    Assembly Digital in its acquisition by St. Joseph Communications

  • BBH Capital Partners

    BBH Capital Partners in its $120 million investment in Synex Group insurance

  • Verisk Analytics

    Verisk Analytics in its acquisition of Opta

  • Goldman Sachs Asset Management

    Goldman Sachs Asset Management in its US$250 million investment in Hydrostor

  • Agilysys

    Agilysys in its US$25 million acquisition of ResortSuite

  • Security Compass Technologies

    Security Compass Technologies in the sale of its consulting business to Kroll

  • Kinross Gold Corporation

    Kinross Gold Corporation in its US$1.4 billion acquisition of Great Bear Resources

  • Frontenac Company

    Frontenac in its acquisition of EFC International

  • Outside Interactive

    Outside Interactive in it acquisition of Pinkbike, CyclingTips and Trailforks

  • Hootsuite

    Hootsuite in its $60 million acquisition of Heyday

  • Tantalus Systems Holding

    Tantalus Systems Holding Inc. in its $90 million Qualifying Transaction with RiseTech Capital Corp., concurrent financing and graduation to the Toronto Stock Exchange

  • Yolk

    Yolk in its acquisition by Astreya

  • Borrowell

    Borrowell’s acquisition of Refresh Financial

  • Find More

  • 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