Summary

We advise hospitals, long-term care homes and other healthcare organizations on a wide range of labour law issues (those involving unionized workplaces and employees), and employment law issues (those involving non-unionized workplaces and employees).

We have an in-depth understanding of the health sector and the unique human resource issues affecting healthcare organizations. Our team is the permanent Facilitator to the Physician Services Committee of the Ministry of Health and the Ontario Medical Association (OMA). Our involvement in the SARS Commission has given us significant insight into the interplay between Ontario hospitals and the Ontario Ministry of Labour, including the implementation of initiatives as the Ministry of Labour and hospitals worked together to address recommendations made by the SARS Commission.

We recognize that labour and employment matters do not exist in a vacuum, and that decisions respecting staff have broader implications for healthcare organizations. In many instances, employment issues are deeply interconnected with health law considerations. Our labour and employment team is unique because it works closely with, and draws upon the expertise of, our health law colleagues who are in health-related institutions on a daily basis and immersed in their culture. We often consult and work together on issues that involve human rights (of patients or employees), health and safety obligations, discipline or discharge of regulated health professionals, termination of physician appointment/privileges, executive contracts and compensation, and workplace investigations. This collaboration means that we can understand and assess issues within the proper context, and provide responsive and practical solutions.

Publications

Rankings & Recognition

The Healthcare Law Group or its members are recognized for labour and employment law in:

  • The 2015 edition of Chambers Global — The World’s Leading Lawyers for Business.
  • The 2016 edition of Chambers Canada — The World's Leading Lawyers for Business (Band 1).
  • The 2016 edition of The Legal 500 Canada.
  • The 2016 edition of The Best Lawyers in Canada®.
  • The 2015 edition of the Canadian Legal Lexpert® Directory.
  • The 2015 edition of the Lexpert®/American Lawyer Guide to the Leading 500 Lawyers in Canada.
  • The 2015 edition of Who's Who Legal: Canada.
  • The 2015 edition of Who’s Who Legal — The International Who’s Who of Management Labour and Employment Lawyers.

Representative Work

  • Lakeridge Health Corporation and OPSEU (Koscik Arbitration). Labour arbitration before Arbitrator Carrier. Decision issued March 12, 2012. We successfully represented Lakeridge Health Corporation in upholding the discharge of an employee for time theft
  • Nina Unantenne v. The Hospital for Sick Children – Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario. Decision issued June 21, 2012. We successfully represented Sick Kids in an application brought under the Human Rights Code by a former employee who claimed that she had been discriminated against in the hiring process and during her employment.
  • The Scarborough Hospital and OPSEU, Local 581. Labour arbitration before Arbitrator Johnson. Decision issued February 3, 2012. We successfully represented The Scarborough Hospital in an arbitration where its clerical unit sought to re-classify 25 employees into a higher pay classification. The back-pay exposure for the Hospital exceeded $1 million. The grievance was dismissed in its entirety.
  • The Scarborough Hospital and OPSEU, Local 581. Interest arbitration under the Hospital Labour Disputes Arbitration Act before Gerry Lee. Decision issued March 15, 2011. Although there were multiple issues in this arbitration, the most contentious was the union’s attempt to create a new and higher pay classification. We successfully resisted this argument.
  • Provide labour and employment counsel to a hospital-owned purchasing entity and nursing group. Their services include a transportation business catering to the healthcare industry (including hospitals, private labs and the Ministry of Health). They also provide nursing services, and formerly provided security services. We have represented this client in a wide range of legal services, including labour and civil matters as well as providing day-to-day advice.
  • Provide all L&E work for an Ottawa hospital service provider, including advice relating to and defence of grievances and arbitrations, human rights complaints; terminations etc. While the service was originally set up to service needs of several Ottawa region hospitals, it now has more and more contracts with other entities in the private and para-public sector.
  • Provided legal advice with respect to wrongful dismissal, layoffs and non-competition agreements with respect to a supplier of hospital equipment in Canada.
  • Represented a large Toronto community hospital in all labour relations matters arising out of the SARS crisis, including Ontario Labour Relations Board hearings and arbitrations.
  • Facilitated the current staffing of Community Care Access Centres in the province, including what is now the Champlain Community Care Access Centre, and for many years served as the permanent Facilitator for the joint Physician Health Services Committee of the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care and the OMA.
  • Acted as counsel for the Eastern Ontario Regional Laboratory Association in its restructuring under the Public Sector Labour Relations Transition Act, and in negotiating the first collective agreements and pay equity plans for the new entity with the Ontario Public Service Employees Union and the Canadian Union of Public Employees.