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
  • 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.

  • Universe

    Universe in its acquisition by Live Nation

  • CanElson Drilling Inc.

    CanElson in its $505 million merger with Trinidad Drilling

  • JPMorgan Chase & Co.

    JPMorgan Chase & Co. on the Canadian aspects of the sale of its physical commodities business to Mercuria Energy Group Limited, a global energy and commodities trading company, for $3.5 billion.

  • Royal Bank of Canada

    Royal Bank of Canada providing Labour & Employment advice in connection with its acquisition of the Canadian auto finance and deposit business of Ally Financial Inc. for a $1.4 billion investment net of excess capital.

  • A large public sector employer

    A large public sector employer in arbitration proceedings dealing with exclusions from the union bargaining unit resulting in the union’s withdrawal of outstanding grievances.

  • A public sector employer

    A public sector employer in negotiating the withdrawal by the union of a significant jurisdictional dispute filed with the Ontario Labour Relations Board.

  • A global manufacturer

    A global manufacturer restructuring its Canadian labour relations and employment arrangements.

Chambers Global: The World’s Leading Lawyers for Business 2012 cites Osler for its cross-border expertise. Surveys by Chambers Global, the Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory, PLC’s Which Lawyer? and The Best Lawyers in Canada have recognized our firm and our legal practitioners for their expertise in employment and labour law. In fact, Chambers Global: The World’s Leading Lawyers for Business 2012 declared Osler one of the best in Canada”.

  • Compliance / Employment & Labour

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