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Law of Labour Relations, Law in the Workplace, and Labour Arbitration (IRE 1270, IRE 1338, and IRE 1260)

This subject guide is meant to assist students, particularly those enrolled in IRE 1260, IRE 1270 and IRE 1338, with research papers and assignments.

Issues in Employment/Labour Law

Baker McKenzie, December 2018: Top 10 Canadian Labour & Employment Law Developments of 2018,  Baker Mckenziev

Fitzgibbon Workplace Law Journal (Michael Fitzgibbon teaches law in the IRE program)

Canadian HR Reporter, January 15, 2018: Year in review: The most significant developments in Canadian employment law

Cassels Brock Lawyers, January 3, 2018: Five New Year’s Resolutions for Ontario Employers

Baker McKenzie, December 31, 2017: Top 10 Canadian Labour & Employment Law Developments of 2017

Human Resources Director, January 8, 2018: 2017 in review: The top legal cases that impacted your workplace

Norton Rose Fulbright, March 2018: Employment and Labour - 2017 Year in Review

Rubin Thomlinson LLP, January 2017: Top Ten Employment Law Developments of 2016





Knight, J. (2014). Accommodation Issues in the Workplace. Toronto : Wolters Kluwer.

Humphrey, Barbara G. (2013) The duty to accommodate and disability management : human resources guide and tooklit / Toronto, Ont. : Canada Law Book.

Canadian Human Rights Commission (2014) Accommodation Works! (59 pages, PDF)

Disability and Work: The Transformation of the Legal Status of Employees with Disabilities in Canada by S. Michael Lynk, University of Western Ontario - Faculty of Law, December 2007

Investigating Workplace Accommodation for People with Invisible Disabilities (2011) BC Coalition of People with Disabilities (BCCPD) (22 pages, PDF)

Law of Work, 2012: On an Employer’s “Duty to Inquire” Into an Employee’s Disability


Companies shouldn't play hardball with older workers:(CANLII Connects article)    Stephanie Ozorio v Canadian Hearing Society, 2016 ONSC 5440 (CanLII)

Knight, J. (2014). Accommodation Issues in the Workplace. Toronto : Wolters Kluwer. Chapter 16: Age Discrimination After Abolishment of Mandatory Retirement.

Shades of Grey: Law and Aging in the Contemporary Workplace Conference On Friday, April 27th - 28th, 2011. Focused on implications of Canada's aging population for pensions, benefits and workplace human rights. Access Conference Materials.

To access material marked CLELJ -- Canadian Labour & Employment Law Journal cut and paste the title of the article into the search box on the U of T library webpage first clicking on  articles.

Canadian Foundation for Labour Rights

Restrictive Labour Laws Directory (by Canadian Foundation for Labour Rights)

This directory includes back to work legislation from 1982 to the present.


Lancaster House Bargaining in the Broader Public Sector Conference 2014. Panel 3: Public Sector Bargaining: The Implications of Government Involvement (request from CIRHR Library staff)


Federal Back to Work Legislation 1950 to date

Journal of Parliamentary and Political Law, March 2012: "Striking Out: The New Normal in Canadian Industrial Relations?" by Ian Lee (20 pages, PDF -- Includes history of strikes and back-to-work legislation in Canada)

Fudge, D. (2006). Collective bargaining in Canada: Human right or Canadian illusion?. Black Point, NS: Fernwood Pub.
Appendix II: legislation restricting collective bargaining and trade union rights in Canada, 1982-2006. Part A: back-to-work, wage restraint and suspension of collective bargaining. Part B: restrictions on organizing, collective bargaining and union internal affairs.

Panitch, L., Swartz, D., & Panitch, L. (2003). From consent to coercion: The assault on trade union freedoms. Aurora, Ont: Garamond Press. (Appendix II: legislative orders suspending the right to strike 1950-2002)

"Back To Work Legislation, Canadian-Style", Collective Bargaining, March/April 2001 (Lancaster House). Request from CIRHR Library.

Swimmer, G., Thompson, M., & Queen's University (Kingston, Ont.). (1995). Public sector collective bargaining in Canada: Beginning of the end or end of the beginning?. Kingston, Ont: IRC Press, Industrial Relations Centre, Queen's University.
(table: Back-to-work legislation in the public sector 1987-1993, p. 436 - unpublished data from Labour Canada)

Enman, S.R. (1992). Ruminations on public sector restraints and back to work legislation. In Kuttner, T. (Ed.), The Industrial relations system: future trends and developments: volume II: proceedings of the XXIXth Conference of the Canadian Industrial Relations Association (681-691) (request from CIRHR Library)

(see also Drug and Alcohol Testing in the Workplace page in this research guide)

Random Drug and Alcohol Testing Justified and Allowed…For Now

CANLII Connects, November 2017: Suncor: Employer's random alcohol and drug testing policy was not unreasonable, Alberta's appeal court rules, quashing arbitration board ruling: Suncor Energy Inc v Unifor Local 707A, 2017 ABCA 313 (CanLII)

Mathews DInsdale, August 2015: Random Drug & Alcohol Testing: Commentary on Current Legal Limits and Requirements in Canada (5 pages, PDF)

  • Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union, Local 707 v. Suncor Energy Inc.: "In light of the Alberta Court of Appeal’s decision in Suncor, must all employers refrain from implementing drug and alcohol policies that are the subject of a union grievance? How does the Alberta Court of Appeal make use of the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision in R. v. Cole? Is this decision a clear signal that courts will be more protective of employee privacy rights than they have been in the past?" [Lancaster House]

Family Status Discrimination - Duty to Accommodate

Valentini, M. & Bernstein, S. (2017). Family responsibilities accommodation in Canada: individual solutions to a collective dilemma. In De Groof, S. Bulletin of comparative labour relations 98: work-life balance in the modern workplace: interdisciplinary perspectives form work-family research, law and policy (341-358). Alphen aan den Rijn, The Netherlands: Kluwer Law International.

Author, A. A., & Author, B. B. (Year of publication). Title of chapter. In A. A. Editor & B. B. Editor (Eds.), Title of book (pages of chapter). Location: Publisher.

RT Blog Rubin Thomlinson LLP , October 21, 2016: No More Clarity on Family Status

Borden Ladner Gervais LLP, October 2016:  What is the Test for Family Status Discrimination? The Saga Continues

Knight, J. (2014). Accommodation Issues in the Workplace. Toronto : Wolters Kluwer. Chapter 15: Family Status Discrimination and Accommodation.

Lancaster House Labour Arbitration Conference 2014. Panel 1: Obligations vs Choices in Family Status Discrimination Cases: Does the Federal Court's Distinction Make Sense? (request from CIRHR Library staff)

What do I do with the kids? Finding a reliable babysitter – now an employer issue, by Michelle McCann. Atlantic Employers' Counsel, Fall 2014. Stewart McKelvey Lawyers

Labour Arbitration Yearbook 2012-2013. Toronto: Lancaster House.

  • "Accommodating Family Responsibilities in the Workplace: A Management Perspective", by Michael Fitzgibbon.
  • "Accommodating Family Responsibilities in the Workplace: An Employee Perspective", by Jo-Anne Pickel and Elizabeth McIntrye.

Ontario Human Rights Commission

Ontario Human Rights Commission, December 8, 2016: “Ontario Human Rights Commission Strategic Plan 2017 – 2022: Chief Commissioner’s message: Human rights at the crossroads,” by Renu Mandhane, Chief Commissioner of the Ontario Human Rights Commission

Ontario Human Rights Commission, December 8, 2016: “Putting People and their Rights at the Centre: Building Human Rights Accountability: Ontario Human Rights Commission Strategic Plan 2017 – 2022″ (28 pages, PDF)

The Report of the Ontario Human Rights Review 2012 by Andrew Pinto

Watershed LLP, November 16, 2012: Ontario Government releases Pinto Report (Pinto Report described and explained)

Looking Forward: Some Considerations Post Pinto Report on Building a Culture of Human Rights Compliance, (2012) by Mary Cornish and Jen Quito (19 pages, PDF)

Canadian Human Rights Commission Archived Publications

Knight, J. (2014). Accommodation Issues in the Workplace. Toronto : Wolters Kluwer. Chapter 16: Age Discrimination After Abolishment of Mandatory Retirement.


 See the Tumblr: work&labour news&research for the latest on: cannabis (or marijuana) and the workplace

Fitzgibbon Workplace Law, January 2018: Marijuana and the Workplace

The Conversation, January 10, 2018: “Eating weed gummies at work? Marijuana rules may take a decade to sort out,” by Tamara L. McCarron and Fiona Clement

The Conversation, January 22, 2018: "Marijuana in the workplace: What is unsafe?" by Andrea Furlan and Nancy Carnide

CBC News, May 5, 2017: "'There's a duty to accommodate': employment lawyer on medical marijuana at work," by Sarah McMillan

Human Resources Professional Association, July 2017: “Clearing the Haze: The Impacts of Marijuana in the Workplace” (26 pages, PDF)

For more sources check:

(see also Public Sector Labour Relations research guide)

"In the Wake of the Drummond Report and Ontario Budget: Prospects for Reform of Industrial Relations in the Ontario Broader Public Sector Workshop On Friday, June 22, the Centre hosted a workshop that brought together many of the leading labour relations and labour law experts and industrial relations leaders to consider the prospects for policy reform in industrial relations in the Ontario broader public sector, in light of the recent Drummond Commission Report on the reform of Ontario's public services and the recent Ontario budget." Speaker Presentations can be found here

Supreme Court of Canada Ruling on Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the Right to Collective Bargaining, January 16, 2015:

"Supreme Court backs Mounties’ right to unionize", Globe & Mail, January 16, 2015

"Landmark Case on the Freedom of Association from the Supreme Court of Canada", CANLII Connects, January 22, 2015

"Mounted Police Association of Ontario v. Canada", Lancaster House, January 16, 2015

SSRN, January 25, 2014: Slinn, Sara, Non-Union Employee Representation in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police: Resistance and Revitalization (January 25, 2014). In P. Gollan, B. Kaufman, D. Taras, and A. Wilkinson, eds., Voice and Involvement at Work. New York : Routledge, 2014. 

Mounted Polic Association of Ontario v. Canada (Attorney General), 2015 SCC 1 (CanLII)


Norton Rose Fulbright, March 2016: Employment and Labour Update: a year in review

Top 10 Employment and Labour Law Cases in 2014 from the Cassels Brock & Blackwell's Employment and Labour Group

Lancaster House Audio Conferences, 2015:  we DO NOT have access - but the list of topics and there description is useful for choosing a topic

2015: An Important Year for Workplace Violence Laws?

Canadian Occupational Health & Safety Law Dentons Canada LLP

The Globe and Mail, January 30, 2014: "Workplace Law: Legal pendulum swings toward workers" by Daniel Lublin

International Women’s Day: Top 10 employment law cases, March 2013: In light of International Women’s Day, employment lawyers at Rubin Thomlinson LLP have been pondering some of the most significant court decisions for women in the workplace over the last 25 years.

Lancaster House Canadian Labour Board Law Conference 2014
Panel 4: Major Caselaw and Legislative Update: Legislation; Constitutional and Charter Cases; Jurisdiction; Certification and Decertfication; Collective Agreements; Unfair Labour Practices; Industrial Conflict (request from CIRHR Library staff)

Lancaster House Labour Arbitration Conference 2014
Panel 2: Game-Changers: Recent Decisions You Need to Know About (request from CIRHR Library staff)
­­-  Jurisdiction and damages for compensable workplace injuries
-  High cost of human rights violations in recent arbitral awards
-  Random drug and alcohol testing in the post-Irving world
-  Appropriate penalty for sick leave fraud
-  Non-apparent disabilities and the duty to accommodate
-  Grievor anonymity and the open court principle
-  Management rights, privacy rights, and influenza control
-  Discrimination in pregnancy and parental leave benefits
-  Deference, evidence, and estoppel
-  Ghomeshi-gate

work&labour  news&research: right to strike

Oxford Human Right Hub, University of Oxford, June 30 2015: "OxHRH Webinar: The right to strike: A menace to hardworking people or fundamental human right?"

The Canadian Foundation for Labour Rights (CFLR), June 15, 2015: “The 2015 New Labour Trilogy" (54 pages, PDF) 

Supreme Court of Canada Ruling on the Right to Strike, January 30, 2015:

Canadian Labour Board Law Conference 2014, Lancaster House. Panel 1: Collective Bargaining in Survival Mode: the Impact of Government Restrictions on the Right to Strike (Restrictions on collective bargaining through wage restraint legislation; other legislated limits on collective bargaining; the right to strike) (document in CIRHR Library. Request from library staff)

The Great Canadian Debate: On November 26, 2013 at the Canadian War Museum, in an debate hosted by the Macdonald-Laurier Institute and moderated by the Hon. Peter Milliken, professor Tom Flanagan and economist Jim Stanford debated the resolution “The right to strike has no place in the public sector.” The Ottawa Citizen has published their opening arguments in its opinion section. You can view the debate on CPAC

Ottawa Citizen, November 26, 2013: Should the public service have the right to strike? YES, Jim Stanford

Ottawa Citizen, November 26, 2013: Should the public sector have the right to strike? NO, by Tom Flanagan

Canadian Labour & Employment Law Journal, V. 15, No. 2, 2009-2010:

  • "The Freedom to Strike in Canada: A Brief Legal History", by Judy Fudge & Eric Tucker
  •  "What is a Strike?", by Brian Langille
  • "The Right to Strike under the United States Constitution: Theory, Practice, and Possible Implications for Canada", by James Gray Pope
  • "The Labour Trilogy’s Last Rites: B.C. Health and a Constitutional Right to Strike", by Jamie Cameron
  • "Does Freedom of Association under the Charter Include the Right to Strike after B.C. Health? Prognosis, Problems and Concerns", by Brian Etherington
  • "ILO Law and the Right to Strike", by Jean-Michel Servais

The Globe and Mail, October 22, 2013: “Budget bill broadens federal power to curb public-sector strikes,” by Steven Chase

CBC News, October 17, 2013: “Supreme Court will hear Sask. labour law appeal”

Lancaster House, May 23, 2013: “Sask appeal court ducks issue of right to strike under Charter"

The Saskatchewan Way: Help us protect Saskatchewan workers and their families: Government is rushing through labour changes in this spring’s legislative session that will tilt the playing field drastically in favour of employers.

The Canadian Press, September 9, 2013: B.C.Teachers seek damages as latest court battle begins Province says taxpayers could be on the hook for as much as $6 billion

Ontario Ministry of Education: Education Labour Updates

The Globe and Mail, October 21, 2013: “New Ontario bargaining legislation for teachers aims to stave off labour unrest,” by Caroline Alphonso

Peykov, Pavel (2003). Labour Issues in the Provision of Essential Services. Saskatchewan Institute of Public Policy. September. Public Policy Paper 18.

Legislative Assembly of Ontario: Bill 115, Putting Students First Act, 2012

Canadian Foundation for Labour Rights: Restrictive labour laws in Canada

International Labour Organization, 2000: "ILO principles concerning the right to strike" (64 pages, PDF)

Rose, J.B. (2008). "Regulating and Resolving Public Sector Disputes in Canada". Journal of Industrial Relations, 50 (4), 545-559.

Hebdon R., Stern, Robert (2003). "Do Public-Sector Strike Bans Really Prevent Conflict?" Industrial Relations, 42 (3), 493-512

Gunderson, M., Hebdon R., Hyatt D. (1996), "Collective Bargaining in the Public Sector: Comment".  American Economic Review, 86 (1), 315-326.

Tumblr search: work&labour news&research: sex workers

“The court’s willingness to spend its political capital on the protection of prostitutes, by striking down laws with roots that go back decades, and even to pre-Confederation days, sends an unmistakable message to the Conservative government: Any new laws would have to “take seriously the safety concerns of people who are engaged in sex work,” said Elaine Craig, a law professor at Dalhousie University.” from The Globe and Mail, December 20, 2013: “Reach of unanimous ruling extends beyond prostitution issue,” by Sean Fine


Canada (Attorney General) v. Bedford, 2012: A legal challenge to Canada's prostitution laws

Selected Sources

(see also Social Media page in this research guide)

Blakes, January 29, 2015: “New challenges for old laws: B.C. Court considers employee misuse of social media,” by Eleni Kassaris and Skye McGinley.
"The Supreme Court of British Columbia’s ruling in Kim v. International Triathlon Union (International Triathlon Union) is the first reported court decision to consider termination of a non-union employee for postings made on a social media platform".

Lancaster House Labour Arbitration Conference 2014. Panel 3: Provocative Postings: Balancing Rights in a Tech-Savvy World. Monitoring Off-Duty Social Media Use (request from CIRHR Library staff)

Employment Law and the New Workplace in the Social Media Age , Toronto : Irwin Law, 2013. 397 p. (available for 3 hour short-term loan in the CIRHR Library) E-book.

Anaka, L., & McLeod, K. (2012). Social Media and Digital Evidence at Arbitration: A Union Perspective. In Labour Arbitration Yearbook 2012-2013 (pp. 39-62). Toronto: Lancaster House.

Michaud, J. & Feth, K. (2012). Social Media and Digital Evidence at Arbitration: A Management Perspective. In Labour Arbitration Yearbook 2012-2013 (pp. 17-37). Toronto: Lancaster House.

The Law of Employee use of Technology / Howard Simkevitz, Avner Levin. Aurora, Ont. : Canada Law Book, 2011.(available for 3 hour short-term loan in the CIRHR Library)
Fired over Facebook: The Consequences of Discussing Work Online [article]  Western Journal of Legal Studies, Vol. 2, Issue 2 (November 19, 2012), pp. [xi]-22 Teitel, Jared 2 W. J. Legal Stud. [xi] (2012)

Blurred boundaries: Social media privacy and the Twenty‐First‐Century employee. Sánchez Abril, P., Levin, A., & Del Riego, A. (2012).American Business Law Journal, 49(1), 63-124. (do a title search in the Summons box provided to link to this title)

Slaw, November 11, 2010: Employees Fired for Facebook Comments

Glowings, Februrary 2011: Facebook and Workplace Privacy: New Developments and Implications for Businesses [PDF]

Centre for Free Expression at Ryerson University, March 2017: CFE Whistleblowing Initiative (2 pages PDF)

European CEO, February 25, 2019: Whistle while you work: the benefits of corporate whistleblowing

Whistleblowing Impact website 2016: We are university academics who research various aspects of whistleblowing. We have developed clear and practical guides, based on our research. Feel free to view, download and use. We just ask that you cite our work, and we would really appreciate your feedback.

The impacts of whistleblowing bibliography (2016) with links to academic articles

The Globe and Mail, January 23, 2013: Is Ottawa losing another crucial whistleblower?

The Globe and Mail, January 16, 2013: Whistleblower prompts call for more debate on whether bills violate Charter


For the latest on whistleblowing visit our Tumblr, work&labour  news&research

  • R. v. Metron Construction Corporation and R. v. Swartz: "How will the criminal conviction of Metron Construction and its directing mind affect prosecutions for workplace health and safety violations? Do the sentences create an unsatisfactory precedent that will deter criminal prosecution for health & safety violations resulting in employee deaths?" [Lancaster House] R. v. Metron Construction Corporation, 2012 ONCJ 506 (CanLII) R. v. Swartz, 2012 ONCJ 505 (CanLII)
  • Lancaster House Construction Industry Labour Law Conference 2014. Panel 1: The Impact of the Metron Case on Health and Safety Prosecutions and Other Major Caselaw Developments (request from CIRHR Library staff)
  • Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic: Workplace Privacy (current to 2007)
  • Gratton, E. & Wasser, L. (2013). Privacy in the Workplace. 3rd ed. Toronto : Wolters Kluwer/CCH.
  • Jones v. Tsige: "What effect will the Ontario Court of Appeal’s decision recognizing a right to sue for invasion of privacy have on labour and employment law? Specifically, how will it affect an employer’s ability to monitor employee e-mail and social media activity, access employee medical information or conduct video surveillance of employees inside and outside the workplace? Will the decision affect unionized and non-unionized workplaces differently? How will the common law right to privacy interact with statutory privacy rights found in federal and provincial privacy legislation?" [Lancaster House]
  • R. v. Cole, 2012 SCC 53 "In what circumstances will an employee have a reasonable expectation of privacy in information stored on an employer’s computer/computer network? How, if at all, does Cole change employers’ legal ability to monitor workplace computer use? Will Cole affect public sector workplaces differently than private sector workplaces? Will it affect unionized and non-unionized workplaces differently? What modifications to workplace policies should employers make in light of Cole?" [Lancaster House]
  • Labour Arbitration Yearbook 2012-2013. Toronto: Lancaster House.
    • "Privacy Legislation and its Impact on Arbitration: An Analytical Framework", by Mary O'Donoghue
    • "Privacy Legislation and its Impact on Arbitration: An Arbitrator's Perspective", by Nicholas Glass.
    • "Privacy Legislation and its Impact on Arbitration: A Management Perspective", by David Corry.