What Canadian Employers Need to Know to Ring in 2024

In 2023, we helped Canadian employers overcome a host of new challenges across the employment law landscape. Many companies started the year with difficult cost-cutting decisions and hybrid work challenges. We’ve worked hard to keep our clients ahead of the curve on these issues, as well

Special thanks to co-authors Andrew Shaw, Dave Bushuev and our articling student Ravneet Minhas for sharing this update from Canada.

In the United States, there have been many union-friendly changes at the NLRB and a number of high profile strikes making headlines in 2023. Our neighbors to the north are also experiencing an uptick in union activity.

With pervasive inflation and an uncertain job market, many Canadians are emerging from the pandemic with bolder workforce demands. For example, in the spring of 2023, federal public servants made headlines with the largest strike in Canadian history. More recently, 3,000 Metro grocery store workers went on strike across Toronto, demanding higher wages. In mid-October 2023, GM narrowly averted significant disruptions to its operations by reaching a deal with Unifor, which represents 4,300 workers in Ontario.

Employers are rightly concerned about the potential for increased union activity, which can cause significant disruptions to operations. There are many things employers can do to stay union free, but it requires treading carefully because labour laws offer extensive protections to employees’ right to unionize. One wrong step by an employer can lead to penalties, fines, and potentially automatic certification.

Understanding how quickly the 3-step certification process unfolds

The certification process formalizes the collective bargaining relationship. And, understanding how this process works and appreciating how quickly it can move forward is essential for developing an effective union avoidance strategy.

Generally speaking, the process for certification in Ontario involves three steps:

1. The Organizing Drive

In this first step, to the extent possible, the union will try to keep the organizing drive a secret. During this period, the union will typically attempt to gauge employee interest by having union representatives approach them inside or outside the workplace, as well as online, talking to them about any issues they may have with the workplace, and sharing union information with them. Most union organizing campaigns involve signing up employees as union members and collecting union membership cards. One way that unions target employers for a union drive is by obtaining the names, contact information, and/or home addresses of the employees of a certain workforce, which they use to send them propaganda.

Employers are often unaware that this step is occurring even though a union organizing drive can last for months (or, in some cases, even longer). It is important for management to have reliable sources in the workforce to advise them when a union drive is happening. Timing is critical here.Continue Reading Best Practices for Employers Amidst Signs of a Labor Union Resurgence in Canada

With special thanks to our presenters Matías Herrero (Argentina), Leticia Ribeiro (Trench Rossi Watanabe, Sao Paulo*), Andrew Shaw (Canada), Maria Cecilia Reyes (Colombia) and Liliana Hernandez-Salgado (Mexico).

In this session, US-based multinational employers with business operations in the Americas region hear directly from Benjamin Ho and local practitioners on the major developments they need to

Special thanks to co-presenters, Daniel Urdiain and Nell Slochowski.

Our on-the-ground immigration and mobility attorneys explore considerations for US employers looking to send foreign national employees to work in Canada or Mexico if they were not selected in the H-1B visa lottery this year and what steps to take before the next H-1B cap lottery

 With special thanks to our colleagues in Canada, William Watson and Dave Bushuev.

In December 2021, the Ontario government passed Bill 27 – Working for Workers Act, 2021 requiring employers with 25 or more employees to create a “Disconnecting from Work Policy” by June 2, 2022. The Ontario government is following the lead of

Special thanks to presenters Jeremy Hann (Toronto), Liliana Hernandez-Salgado (Mexico City), Leticia Ribeiro (Sao Paulo – Trench Rossi Watanabe), Maria Cecilia Reyes (Bogota) and Matias Herrero (Buenos Aires).

Our four-part Global Guided Tour for US Multinational Employers webinar series is your passport to ensure that your organization is up to speed on the key labor

Special thanks to Matthew Gorman, Stephanie MacIntosh and Ginger Partee

In part one of our global video series on employee mobility in the current environment, our attorneys discuss the challenges of employee travel into and out of the US and Canada during the upcoming holiday season. We cover immigration complications due to COVID, including