This blog introduces you to all members of the firm and describes the kinds of cases we handle.
Nicole Simes has been working with me for more than four years. She represents and advises employers and employees. She spends a lot of her time in court and at administrative tribunals: she is a real litigator! Nicole has a particularly strong background and interest in human rights issues.
Nadia Halum articled with the firm and has been working as an associate for about 1 ½ years. Nadia also represents and advises employers and employees. Nadia is an exceptional legal researcher. She also has considerable experience assisting employers with compliance issues under the Employment Standards Act, the Occupational Health and Safety Act and the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act.
Fiona Martyn is currently articling with the firm. She supports Nicole, Nadia and me. This includes legal research, drafting pleadings & facta, and putting together court documents.
Judy Lam is our Office Manager and oversees the non-legal aspects of the firm. She is often the first point of contact with the firm.
We mostly advise and represent small and medium sized employers. Many of our clients are owner operators. Most of our clients employ 100 or less employees although we do advise several large employers. Many of our employers do not have a person with a formal human resources designation (i.e. CHRP, CHRL, or CHRE) and for these clients, in addition to providing legal advice we often take on the role of trusted advisor.
When we are first introduced to a new client we make sure the employer has a well drafted employment contract. Then we make sure the client has complied with its obligations under Ontario’s employment laws. Our blog keeps our clients up to date on most employment law developments. We are a phone call away and often answer questions in real time; that is, when you call with a question we can often answer it immediately on the phone.
We advise employees in all positions and all industries.
We review 100s of severance packages each year; this usually involves a one-hour meeting where we: review the background to the termination; discuss the client’s legal rights; discuss the client’s options; and, tell the client whether we think the package is fair.
If we cannot negotiate a fair settlement for our client then we commence legal proceedings. These proceedings may be commenced in small claims court, at the Ministry of Labour, at the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal, or in the courts. It is sometimes in our client’s interest to commence two or more legal proceedings.
We also review scores of employment contracts each year. After reviewing the history of contract negotiations, we inform our clients which parts of the contract are a problem and suggest ways to change the contract so it is more employee friendly. If our client is the employer’s clear first choice then we can often help the person secure significant enhancements to the employer’s initial offer.
ALL WE DO IS WORK
The MacLeod Law Firm will continue to restrict its practice to workplace law which includes employment law, labour law (i.e. workplaces that are unionized), and human rights law.
We have three lawyers to assist you with your legal needs. We operate a collaborative law practice which means we often consult with each other to get different perspectives on a case. I also delegate work to Nicole, Nadia and Fiona as appropriate which means our client receive cost effective service.
We understand that every client has a different risk tolerance. We get to know our clients so the advice we provide is consistent with this risk tolerance and makes business sense.
For those readers who have not retained the MacLeod Law Firm in the past and want to know how we can help your organization, please call me at 416 317-9894 at your convenience.
Waksdale v. Swegon North America Inc.: Ontario Court of Appeal Strikes Down Another Termination Clause
In this case, Mr. Waksdale was terminated without cause after about eight (8) months of employment. Both parties agreed that the “without cause” termination clause in his employment contract was enforceable. Both parties also agreed the “with cause” termination...
COVID-19 Update: Do Reduced Hours of Work or a Temporary Lay Off Constitute a Termination or a Constructive Dismissal? The legal waters just got murkier
The Ontario government has just amended the Employment Standards Act (the "ESA") to address reduced hours of work and layoffs caused by COVID-19. A copy of the new law is found here. Essentially, the definition of temporary layoff and constructive dismissal under the...
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