Jeffrey Mitchell  

Partner

Executive Summary

Jeffrey Mitchell practices employment and labour law in our Toronto office. 

Jeff has a broad labour and employment practice serving as "go to" external counsel to a wide variety of companies, charities and public sector organizations.

Jeff's experience includes advising on the full range of labour and employment issues, including discipline and dismissals; employment policies; human rights issues, such as discrimination claims, harassment claims and workplace investigations; as well as employment standards and occupational health and safety matters.  Jeff has expertise in advising on the human resources implications of workplace restructurings and the sale or acquisition of a business, as well as providing training for clients on all aspects of labour and employment law.

Specifically in the non-union space, Jeff's experience includes acting for employers in high-stakes employment-related litigation, such as wrongful dismissal claims, restrictive covenant injunction proceedings and human rights applications.  Jeff drafts and advises on employment contracts, including non-competition, non-solicitation and confidentiality agreements; and advises on a full array of employment matters, such as strategies related to proactive union prevention and providing real-time advice and assistance during union organizing drives.

In respect of employers who are unionized, Jeff regularly litigates significant cases, including grievance arbitrations, picketing injunctions and all types of proceedings before the Ontario Labour Relations Board. Jeff regularly advises on collective agreement interpretation issues, such as contracting out and terminations/layoffs.  Jeff has expertise in respect of collective bargaining, including drafting proposals and advising on strategic approaches to bargaining, as well as acting as primary spokesperson for clients during collective bargaining.

Jeff is a frequent speaker and author on labour and employment law topics.

Representative Work

  • Retail industry: Commencing picketing injunction applications before the Superior Court, resulting in limitations on the right of unionized employees to engage in picketing activities during a lawful strike/lockout. Defending constructive/wrongful dismissal claims, including just cause cases and discrimination claims, as well as claims for post-employment bonuses.
  • Manufacturing industry: Acting as counsel at arbitration respecting drug and alcohol policy issues.
  • Manufacturing industry: Advising on employment and labour issues arising on the sale of business.
  • Information technology industries: Defending against claims of wrongful dismissal including claims involving disabled employees and claims for disability benefits, harassment/discrimination claims and just cause cases.
  • Professional services/Financial services industries: Defending against claims of wrongful dismissal including claims involving negligent misrepresentation, claims for post-employment bonuses, discrimination, denial of overtime pay and loss of pension benefits, and acting on injunctions involving the restraint of former employees from competition and solicitation. Defending against claims by trade unions involving claims of a sale of business/ related employer.
  • Public sector/Broader public sector: Conducting collective bargaining, acting as counsel at arbitrations and providing strategic advice regarding unionization. Defending overtime claims and wrongful dismissal claims.

Publications & Presentations

Publications

  • Author, “Wrongful Dismissal Claims and Summary Judgement” Paper, featured in Employment Law Manual by The Honourable Mr. Justice John R. Sproat
  • Author, January 2013:  White Paper for Bureau of National Affairs (“BNA”) — “Canadian Outlook for 2013”

Presentations

  • Teacher, University of Toronto Law School, “Blueprints to Buildings”, occupational health and safety and labour organization in the construction industry, October 2017
  • Speaker, "The State of Collective Bargaining", Ontario Public Transit Association Northern Regional Conference, October 2016
  • Speaker, “Update on Non-Competition and Non-Solicitation Covenants”, Human Resources Professionals Association (HRPA) Webinar, June 2016
  • Teacher, Osgoode Hall Law School LLM Program, Health and Safety, Labour and Unionization in the Construction Industry, June 2016
  • Speaker, “Drug and Alcohol Testing and the Duty to Accommodate”, Ontario Transportation Conference, April 2016
  • Teacher, University of Toronto Law School, “Blueprints to Buildings”, occupational health and safety in the construction industry, February 2016
  • Speaker, “Ontario OHSA Update: Sexual Violence and Harassment Action Plan Act (Bill 132)”, Human Resources Professionals Association (HRPA) 2015 Webinar, December 2015
  • Speaker, “Summary Judgments – Where are We, and Where are We Going”, 16th Annual Employment Law Summit, Law Society of Upper Canada, October 2015
  • Speaker, “(In)Dependent Contractors: Update on the Risks and Liabilities”, Human Resources Professionals Association (HRPA) 2015 Webinar, September 2015
  • Speaker, “Hiring, Firing and In Between: Employment Law 101”, FuturPreneurs Conference, May 2015
  • Speaker, “Discipline and Discharge: Tips, Traps and Strategies”, Ontario Transportation Conference, April 2015
  • Speaker, “Public-Private Partnerships — how do they work, and when do they work?”, Ontario Transportation Conference, February 2014
  • Teacher, University of Toronto Law School, “Blueprints to Buildings”, occupational health and safety and labour organization in the construction industry, February 2014
  • Speaker, “Update on Accommodation of Employees and Family Status”, Human Resources Professionals Association (HRPA) 2013 HR Law Conference, October 2013
  • Teacher, Osgoode Hall Law School, Primer on the Occupational Health and Safety Act, February 2012.
  • 2001-2011: Adjunct Professor, Labour Law, Woodsworth College, University of Toronto

Rankings & Recognitions

  • Selected by peers for inclusion in the 2018 edition (and since 2012) of The Best Lawyers in Canada (Labour and Employment Law).