Employment and Labour Law


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.

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.

Related Expertise
  • Constellation Brands, Inc.

    Constellation Brands, Inc. in the sale of its Canadian wine business to Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan for approximately $1.03 billion

  • The Toronto-Dominion Bank

    The Toronto-Dominion Bank in the sale of its indirect home improvement financing assets to Financeit and Concentra

  • Target Canada Co.

    Target in connection with the wind-down of its Canadian operations under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act

  • H.I.G. Growth Partners, LLC

    Canadian counsel to H.I.G. Growth Partners, LLC in connection with its strategic investment in ConvertStar Incorporated dba Go2mobi

  • Towers Watson

    Towers Watson in its acquisition of the assets of Brovada Technologies Inc. for US$15 million

  • Bank of Montreal

    BMO Financial Group in connection with its acquisition of General Electric Capital Corporation’s Transportation Finance Business

  • Tencent Holdings Limited

    Tencent Holdings Limited in its US$50 million investment in Kik Interactive Inc.

  • Torstar Corporation

    Torstar Corporation in its $200 million acquisition of an interest in VerticalScope Holdings Inc.

  • Comark Inc.

    Comark Inc., one of Canada's leading specialty apparel retailers, in its CCAA proceedings

  • Universe

    Universe in its acquisition by Live Nation

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  • Chambers Canada: Canada’s Leading Lawyers for Business, 2016-2017, recognized in the area of Employment and Labour.
    • "They are very, very astute, thorough, and really demonstrate strength in dealing with big, hairy and complex cases." 
    • "Ego-free, and really honour your time. You leave feeling like there's a solution."
    • "Great lawyers who are very responsive."
  • Chambers Canada: Canada’s Leading Lawyers for Business, 2016-2017, recognized in the area of Employment and Labour: Ontario.
    • “Phenomenal – an unbelievably high level of expertise.”  
    • “Very commercial and sensitive advice.” 
    • I find the consistency of the team very valuable. There is completely seamless coverage.
  • Chambers Canada: Canada’s Leading Lawyers for Business, 2017, recognized in the area of Employment and Labour: Alberta.
  • Chambers Global: The World’s Leading Lawyers for Business, 2013-2016, recognized in the area of Labour & Employment.
    • “By far the best in the business”
  • The Legal 500, 2015-2016, recognized in the area of Labour & Employment.
  • The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory, 2010-2015, most frequently recommended in the area of Labour Relations: Toronto.
  • The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory, 2010-2015, repeatedly recommended in the area of Labour Relations: Montréal.
  • The Best Lawyers in Canada, 2006-2016, recognized in the area of Labour & Employment Law.

  • Osler Webinar - Employment Law Update: Preparing Your Business for Changes and Challenges

  • Employment and Labour Law

    Employment law update: New challenges and opportunities for Quebec employers , Webinar

  • Employment & Labour

    Calgary Breakfast Seminar Series: Employment Issues During an Economic Downturn , Calgary

  • Employment & Labour

    Webinar - Know Your Employment Game Plan: Rule Changes That Are Coming (Or Are Here!)

  • Tackling Employment Hot Topics: Managing your Roster, Avoiding Penalties and Scoring a Touchdown

  • Compliance / Employment & Labour

    Employment Law “Cross-Fit” Webinar: Comparing the U.S. and Canada