Our approach to advocacy is driven by practicality. We have an impressive track record in negotiating resolutions that avoid or minimize litigation costs, regardless of the forum. Litigation, however, is sometimes unavoidable. In such cases, our lawyers are well equipped to guide you through the litigation process with professionalism and a vigorous prosecution or defence of your position. As your advocate, BLC matches its litigation strategy to your business values and outcome objectives.
Employment contracts may be terminated without cause, or with cause. A ‘without cause’ termination requires lawful notice of termination to be provided. A ‘with cause’ termination is reserved for matters of serious employee misconduct where notice of termination may be highly prejudicial or damaging to an employer’s business interests. In a wrongful dismissal action, a former employee claims that the notice period provided by the employer (or the absence thereof) is deficient.
BLC provides strategic and privileged legal advice to help employers avoid wrongful dismissal lawsuits by advising on notice periods and misconduct issues that may give rise to a ‘with cause’ termination. We defend and prosecute wrongful dismissal suits when necessary.
Unilateral changes to an employment agreement, or treatment of an employee that makes continuing the employment relationship unreasonable, can lead to claims of constructive dismissal. In such cases, the employee may initiate legal action to recover damages in lieu of notice of termination.
In some cases, an employee’s dismissal may bring claims for damages that extend beyond claims in lieu of notice of termination. Claims for bad faith, mental distress, discrimination and harassment and punitive damages often form part of an action for wrongful dismissal. Our depth of experience in handling such matters gives our clients a key strategic advantage in defending and prosecuting such claims.
At times, an urgent court application may be necessary to prevent harm to an employer’s business. An application for injunctive relief seeks to temporarily restrain unlawful conduct. In the employment context, such conduct can include unfair competition or picketing activity intended to disrupt an employer’s business through illegal means.
The Ontario Human Rights Code affords protection to employees who belong to historically disadvantaged and marginalized groups. Our employer clients rely on our expertise in human rights law, administrative law and tribunal advocacy to defend their interests.
In the unionized workplace, the collective agreement establishes the complete set of contractual rules applicable to the employee-employer relationship. The Union, as the employee’s bargaining agent, has the right to “grieve” violations of the collective agreement before an independent arbitrator. We act for several unionized employers, advocating their interests at arbitration when necessary.
Certification of trade unions, unfair labour practice complaints pursuant to the Labour Relations Act, appeals of Ministry of Labour orders and complaints under the Occupational Health and Safety Act are all matters that require specialized labour and advocacy expertise before the Ontario Labour Relations Board. Our lawyers have the experience and knowledge necessary to guide any employer in relation to such matters.