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Jason  Hanson

Jason Hanson

Partner, Employment & Labour

Chair: Employment and Labour

Contact Information

tel: 416.862.6633



Bar Admission

Ontario, 1982

  • University of Windsor, J.D.
  • University of Toronto, B.A.
  • Certified Specialist: Labour Law

Jason provides business solutions to employers and boards of directors on all areas of labour and employment law, including corporate transactions, executive compensation arrangements, collective bargaining, change of control agreements, privatizations, restructurings, outsourcing, alternative dispute resolution mechanisms, legislative compliance and privacy and data protection. He has represented employers before labour relations and employment tribunals and trial and appellate courts, including the Supreme Court of Canada. He also conducts investigations and works with employers in developing pro­active employment policies and procedures.  He defends corporate employers and individuals in health and safety prosecutions. Local, national and international businesses benefit from Jason’s deep and comprehensive experience grounded in his 30 year career with Osler. Jason is a former two-term elected member of Osler’s Executive Committee and is the Chair of the Firm’s National Employment and Labour Department.

  • Ontario Pension Board

    Ontario Pension Board in the outsourcing of its investment management operations to a $60 billion new investment management entity, the Investment Management Corporation of Ontario (IMCO)

    • Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation on employment matters relating to the outsourcing of its information technology services department to Accenture.
    • Labour relations strategy for major business restructurings.
    • Workplace change strategy in broader public sector employer leading to material decline in workplace disputes. Executive retention and restructuring for national and international businesses.
    • Strategies for multi­national employers to achieve compliance with international export control and domestic discrimination laws.
    • Pro­active strategies and policies in financial services, manufacturing, logistics, retail and broader public sector.

    Selected reported cases include:

    • Toronto Hydro v. Power Workers Unit [2017]. Successfully presented leading case on ability of employer to require attending physician's statements, which include diagnosis, to facilitate willingful accomodation.
    • Toronto Hydro v. CUPE Local One [2011]. Successfully presented leading case dealing with Labour Board discretion to dismiss unfair labour practice complaints on a preliminary, discretionary basis.
    • Toronto Hydro v. CUPE Local One [2008]. Successfully presented leading case dealing with organizational change across multi­location operations.
    • Toronto (City) v. CUPE Local 79 [2003] 3 S.C.R. 77 (Supreme Court of Canada). Successfully presented this leading case before Canada’s highest court requiring labour arbitrators to follow the findings of the criminal courts.
    • General Electric Canada v. Professional & Technical Engineers, [2002] O.L.A.A. No. 516. Successfully presented this leading case preserving management’s flexibility in assigning software design tasks despite union objections.
    • General Motors of Canada Ltd. And CAW­Canada, Local 199 (2001), 93 L.A.C. (4th) 329. Successfully presented this leading case preserving management’s right to determine location of business activities.
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Jason’s expertise and industry knowledge has been recognized by independent agencies, including:

  • Chambers Global: The World’s Leading Lawyers for Business Lawyers, 2015 and 2017-2018, recognized in the area of Employment & Labour.
    • "...respect him a great deal and will happily use him on other matters."
    • "His reputation preceded him - I found him to be super-responsive, always getting to the heart of the issues and always crafting sensitive solutions."
  • The Legal 500, 2018, recognized as a Leading Lawyer in the area of Labour & Employment.
  • Chambers Canada: Canada's Leading Business Lawyers 2016-2018, recognized in the area of Employment & Labour: Nationwide Canada. 
    • ..."he's very clear, articulate, and has very sound judgement, in some fairly stressful situations.” 
    • One source notes that they "respect him a great deal and will happily use him on other matters."
    • “He is just the most calming person!”
    • “…sources praise his “excellent judgment” and “very assertive approach”.
  • Chambers Canada: Canada's Leading Business Lawyers 2016-2018, recognized in the area of Employment & Labour: Ontario.
    • An impressed source adds: "I know he's got my back, and I don't think I could ask for a better partner."
  • The Best Lawyers in Canada, 2006-2018, recognized in the area of Labour and Employment Law.

  • The York School, former Chair of the Board
  • Established an Entrance Scholarship at Windsor Law School, presented to a student with financial need

  • American Bar Association, Alternative Dispute Resolution in Labor and Employment Law Committee
  • Canadian Bar Association, National Labour Law Section, Honourary Executive Member
  • Law Society of Upper Canada
  • Certified by the Law Society as a Specialist in Labour Law

Jason has spoken extensively, was an instructor of the Masters Programme at Osgoode Hall Law School and is the co-author of two employment law books on absenteeism and substance abuse. Other recent publications:

  • Supreme Court of Canada Twin Bill: Court Addresses US Government Profiling Allegations and Clarifies What’s Required to Prove Discrimination, Osler’s Risk Management and Crisis Response Blog, August 2015 (with Allan Wells and Rhonda Shirreff).
  • Expensive Expenses, Osler’s Risk Management and Crisis Response Blog, September 2014 (with Andrew MacDougall and Patricia Wilson).
  • Restrictive Covenants in Employment Contracts: Canadian Approach, Practical Law Company, 2011.
  • Workplace Investigation Tactics and Techniques, November 2009.
  • Effects of the Economic Downturn: Meeting New Challenges, Canadian Labour Board Law Conference, October 2009.
  • Executive and Restrictive Covenants, Canadian Corporate Counsel, June 2007.
  • Executive Compensation, Benefits Canada Program, May 2007.

Because Jason’s clients are located around the world, Jason regularly presents Employment and Labour webinars:

  • Clearing the Hurdles: New Employment Challenges and Solutions to get you to the Finish Line, April 2015
  • Staying out of Court in 2015: Business Risk Management, February 2015
  • Employment & Labour Legal Developments: Key Considerations for Employers, September 2014
  • Legal Risk Management: Recent Canadian Employment Law Developments May Impact Your Business, June 2014
  • Managing Legal Risk: Employment and Labour in Canada, April 2014
  • Business Risk Management Strategies: Key Employment Law Developments to Consider, December 2013
  • Business Risk Management: Key Employment Law Developments, April 2013
  • Key Developments in Employment & Labour Law, September 2012
  • U.S./Canada Labour & Employment Law (Two Part Webinar), December 2011 & January 2012