Whether you are buying, selling or operating a business in Canada, Hicks Morley can help. With over 120 lawyers in five cities across Ontario, we can help you develop proactive best practices and expertly represent your interests when disputes arise.

We help our U.S.-based clients in the following areas:

  • Employment Law: We regularly advise on the purchase and sale of businesses and workforce restructuring. We also advise on the recruitment and hiring of employees (including drafting complex executive employment contracts) as well as the termination of employees. And we’re the recognized leaders in wrongful competition cases and restrictive covenants.
  • Labor Relations: We provide advice on all aspects of the unionized workplace, and are involved in the negotiation of collective agreements and rights arbitrations of unionized employees.
  • Employee Benefits: We are a recognized leader in the field of employee benefits in Canada, with expertise relating to corporate transactions, restructurings, and health- and welfare-related class actions.
  • Litigation: We have extensive experience at all levels of courts and administrative tribunals, in all areas of our practice—from provincial offenses matters, to injunctions and labor board hearings, to wage and hour class actions, to the most complex appellate court work in Canada.
  • Information and Privacy: Our leading-edge practitioners can proactively help you with your privacy-related matters, including topical issues such as video surveillance and computer monitoring.
  • Client Education and Training: We keep you informed about new developments in your areas of interest through seminars and electronic publications.
  • Global Incentive Plans: We review incentive plans for compliance with Canadian income tax, securities and employment laws.
  • U.S. Human Resources Policies: We review HR policies (privacy, drug testing, harassment, employment equity, human rights and accommodation) for compliance with Canadian laws.
  • Wrongful Competition: We litigate wrongful competition cases involving Canadian and foreign employment contracts on your behalf.
  • Unions: We develop and implement national union-free strategies for a Canadian workforce with a U.S.-based parent. With respect to companies and operations that are already unionized, we regularly participate in or advise on collective bargaining, and represent employers in large numbers of arbitrations each year.


The Hicks Morley Advantage

We have created the “Workplace Law in Canada: A Primer” as a resource for U.S. businesses regarding employment and labor laws in Canada. Issues of note include:

  • Termination: There is no “at will” employment in Canada. In the non-unionized workplace and in the absence of “cause”, statutory minimum payments must be made upon termination – generally with additional “common law” notice payable. In addition, the federally-regulated sector and some provinces have “just cause” type protection for non-union employees.
  • Pay Equity: Ontario’s pay equity law applies to employers with 10 or more employees and provides for equal pay for work of equal value. Pay equity plans, which among other things identify female job classes entitled to adjustments relative to their male counterparts, must be in place from the date operations begin and must be maintained up to date.
  • Leaves of Absence: Employment laws provide for mandatory unpaid pregnancy, parental and a variety of other leaves of absence.
  • Privacy: There is a comprehensive privacy law that applies to all personal information collected, used and disclosed in the course of commercial activity in Canada.

For further information on the main differences between Canadian and U.S. workplace laws, review our FTR Nexus, articles and videos, and obtain your copy of the “Workplace Law in Canada Resource Guide” by contacting Katherine Ford.