If you are unionized, you know how a good day can turn bad really quickly. Labour law and employment law are different in that labour law covers unionized workplaces and requires the help of a labour lawyer. If you are a business and you are not unionized, click here to see how our Employment Law services may be right for you.
Labour is a body of legislation that regulates the relationship between workers, employers, unions and the government. If your business is unionized, you will need the help of a labour lawyer to navigate issues with your workers and the union in the field and industry you are in. Here are some important details that you should know, including how a labour lawyer can help:
What Is Labour Law?
Labour law generally covers the issues that apply in a unionized workplace. Canada’s collective bargaining system is found in federal and provincial labour relations acts and labour codes.
A union that has been certiﬁed as an agent for a particular bargaining unit has the exclusive right to negotiate with the employer on behalf of the employees. Generally, the collective agreement outlines how disputes will be handled. Often, disputes are handled through a grievance and arbitrations process.
Are There Similarities Between Employment Law And Labour Law?
Although they are two distinct areas of law, there are similarities as both areas deal with issues arising in the workplace. As such, both labour lawyers and employment lawyers should have familiarity with employment legislation, human rights legislation, employment insurance, workers’ compensation legislation, occupational health and safety, and privacy laws, among others.
How Can a Labour Lawyer Assist?
A labour lawyer can assist with any matters pertaining to the unionized workplace and any applications to the Ontario Labour Relations Board. The help from labour lawyers starts before there are issues with employees or unions. Proactive work starts well in advance.
Some of the ways we can help include the following:
- Responding to Unfair Labor Practices
- Unions sometimes bring applications to the Ontario Labour Relations Board for what they call an Unfair Labour Practice – essentially, anything they think is unfair is brought here.
- Common Employer Applications
- Unions sometimes try to join multiple employers or businesses under one common employer to grow the union’s membership.
- Collective Bargaining and Negotiations
- Every number of years, the collective agreement expires, and we are consulted to represent employers in negotiating a new collective agreement.
- Applications for Certification and Decertification
- Certification of a union in your workplace could spell disaster for your bottom line. If a union contacts you regarding a vote to unionize, make sure you reach out to our team.