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Labour and Employment Law

Dealing with the many legal issues affecting today’s workplace is complex and time-consuming. At every juncture of the employment relationship from hiring to firing, employers must ensure that they have met their legal obligations to their employees and employees must understand their duties, rights, and entitlements.

Putting the necessary tools in place, such as comprehensive employment agreements, policies and procedures, can head off costly disputes and enterprise-threatening litigation. When disputes arise, their prompt resolution can prevent small matters from escalating into full-scale industrial actions. If termination of the employment relationship is inevitable, doing it properly and negotiating fair resolutions can prevent expensive and acrimonious litigation. 

To minimize the disruption associated with labour and employment disputes, our Labour and Employment lawyers combine lengthy experience with a focus on our clients’ needs. Large international employers, mid-sized businesses, small family-owned enterprises, Canadian subsidiaries, executives, and individual mid-level employees in Brampton, Peel Region, the Greater Toronto Area, and southern Ontario regularly engage us to provide counsel in labour and employment matters. We take a preventive approach, guiding and training our clients in ways to avoid escalation of problems, but vigorously representing them if legal action is inevitable.

We represent both public and private sector employers, unionized and non-unionized, federally and provincially regulated, before all levels of court and tribunal. Our services include:

  • Wrongful dismissal and employment-related litigation
  • Business succession and corporate transactions
  • Union organizing and certification response
  • Labour disputes
  • Grievance management and labour arbitrations
  • Administration of collective agreements
  • Workplace investigations
  • Discipline and termination
  • Human rights
  • Ontario Labour Relations Board and Canada Industrial Relations Board Proceedings
  • Occupational health and safety
  • Management training
  • Employment agreements, workplace policies and procedures

“Lawrences has been around for over 90 years and there is good reason why. I have used the firm for a number of corporate issues, real estate matters, estate planning, employment law, and dispute resolution over the past five years. If there is a deadline, they meet it; if it's returning a phone call, it gets done, and if it's an email to discuss or send, you can rest assured it's being looked after.

Lawrences is not one person trying to tackle every task, but a very experienced team of professionals with expertise in every field—by far the best law firm my company has been exposed to over the last ten years. The lawyers will always give you an honest opinion and always make sure you’re getting the best possible guidance—not just one person in your corner but a whole support team.

Michael Luchenski makes sure to communicate so everyone can understand. Lawrences adds a personal touch to make sure their clients are not only satisfied with the work Lawrences provides to the client, but also—most important—how the clients feel when they leave the office.”

Paul Azzopardi
Kenco Machinery Movers & Millwrights Ltd.
President

“Lawrences’ employment lawyers were instrumental in assisting me to deal with a difficult and confusing time, and untimely litigation. At all times, I felt comfortable with a practice leader who was attentive, supportive and able to effectively communicate legal strategy and processes with me. I received exceptional value for the services provided and would not hesitate to recommend them to anyone.”

Audra Wosik
Major Franchisor
Senior Director

“We have had our share of unusual and deeply concerning employment law matters. Lawrences has always acted in a prompt and attentive manner, providing good solid legal advice as well as options on how to deal with our problems, letting us, the employer, make an informed decision that works for our company.”

Margot Wax
Canadian Measurement–Metrology Inc.
President

“SPS Inc. has been with Lawrences since our inception 15 years ago. We started with one business and now, four ongoing businesses later, our relationship with them is still going strong. We have always received timely and relevant legal advice. Bill Sirdevan is very knowledgeable in all aspects of business and employment law and we are very pleased to have him assist us.” 

A. J. Bajwa
SPS Inc.
President

“We have relied on Lawrences to provide professional legal services for over 30 years. Their lawyers, and in particular their Employment and Labour lawyers, are knowledgeable and provide superior service and advice.”

John Kalverda
Holland Christian Homes Inc.

“As one of the larger non-profit organizations in Peel and an employer of over 300 staff, Brampton Caledon Community Living requires sound legal counsel on a range of issues. From real estate to employment law, Lawrences has provided us with professional and reliable service for over 15 years.”

Jim Triantafilou
Brampton Caledon Community Living
Executive Director

Dec 01, 2014 | Article

Company Holiday Parties: Festivity or Liability?

Happy Co. hosts its company holiday party for 200 staff and management at its head office, during work hours. Alcohol is served, but no one monitors consumption. Ted Garland consumes eight alcoholic beverages at the event and stops at the local pub on his way home for a few more drinks. While driving home from the pub, Ted loses control of his car, rolls into a ditch, and sustains catastrophic injuries that leave him a quadriplegic.

Dec 01, 2013 | Article

Terminating Employees: The Termination Meeting

Terminating an employee is one of the most difficult decisions employers face. Once the decision to terminate has been made, employers mu...

Dec 01, 2012 | Article

Occupational Health and Safety Act: Do the New OHSA Poster Requirements Apply to Your Workplace?

Jagdeep and Mahesh Gupta run a family business employing 11 people, all of whom speak English as a second language. They received notification from the Ontario Ministry of Labour about the new requirement to post workplace health and safety information prominently on their premises.

Dec 01, 2012 | Article

Injuries in the Workplace: When Does Liability Begin – and End?

A recent Ontario court decision about liability for accidental death on premises makes it clear how different the outcome can be for different parties in a case—and how important it is to anticipate and prevent potential legal problems before they arise, if possible.

Oct 01, 2011 | Article

Is Your Business Accessible to People with Disabilities? Part Two

If your organization has 20 or more employees or is in the public sector, you must also: Document in writing all your policies, practices and procedures for providing accessible customer service and meeting other requirements set out in the Customer Service Standards.

Oct 01, 2011 | Article

Is Your Business Accessible to People with Disabilities? Part One

Joan and Preeti are the franchisors of a small chain of fast-food restaurants. Each restaurant is owned and operated by a different franchisee. Each franchisee has up to ten employees. Three of the five franchised restaurants are in neighbourhoods where there are long-term care facilities and retirement homes, so each restaurant has a percentage of customers who suffer from a disability. One of their franchisees has just called to ask about a reminder they’ve received from the Ontario government about complying with new accessibility standards by January 1, 2012. She wants to know when the franchisor (Joan and Preeti) is going to take care of the new requirements.

Oct 01, 2010 | Article

Employment and Labour Law: Preventing Violence and Harassment at Work

Janet manages a dry cleaning branch that employs six people in different shifts. On receiving government notices about new regulations concerning violence and harassment in the workplace, she calls her regional manager for guidance. He tells her, “Oh, you don't have to worry about that. It’s just for big places like factories and hospitals.” Janet responds: “But it says here that any workplace with five or more employees has to comply with these regulations.”

Apr 01, 2009 | Article

Implementing change in the workplace: How Do You Cut Costs to Stay in Business?

The current economic climate is affecting workplaces both large and small. Many employers need to cut costs to stay afloat, but they want to retain good performers to help the business survive as the economy recovers. Here are five ways to lower costs while keeping the company going in anticipation of better times.

Apr 01, 2008 | Article

Workplace Health and Safety: An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure

Workplace accidents are costly, not only to the injured party and to productivity, but also to the employer’s liability, since failure to provide a safe workplace can
now be a criminal offence.

Apr 01, 2007 | Article

Independent Contractor or Employee? Not Knowing the Difference Can be Costly

Gordon Braiden, a longtime employee of furniture maker La-Z-Boy Canada, was required to sign on as an independent contractor in order to retain his sales position with the company. Braiden was required to incorporate and begin charging and paying GST for his services, paying his own Employee Health Tax and WSIB premiums. His benefits and RSP contributions ceased. However, nothing else changed in terms of the requirements and restrictions of his position, remuneration, or day-to-day routine and performance expectations. The agreement that Braiden signed allowed La-Z-Boy to terminate his contract with 60 days’ notice. When the company sought to enforce
that provision, Braiden sued.

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43 Queen Street West, Brampton, ON, Canada L6Y 1L9
Telephone: 905.451.3040 Fax: 905.451.5058 Email: lls@lawrences.com

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