Employment Law and Litigation

The courts can be a powerful tool for workers and organizations seeking to enforce their legal rights. At Cavalluzzo, our civil litigators have assisted unions, individual employees, associations, professionals, pension plans, investors, benefit trust funds and other organizations in advancing their interests through a range of creative and important litigation in the courts.

Our lawyers also advise individual non-unionized employees at every stage of the employment relationship: from reviewing an offer of employment to wrongful dismissal. We represent employees from all walks of life, including the financial services industry, manufacturing, public service, the health and education sectors.

Our lawyers have experience negotiating with and litigating against major boards, utility companies, non-profit organizations and IT firms. Our employment law practise spans the country and is multi-national: we represent people with employment law issues connected to Canada working around the World. 

Our employment advice and advocacy includes:

  • advising and litigating wrongful dismissal and constructive dismissal claims, including class actions;
  • enforcing Ontario and Federal legislation on collective bargaining, employment standards, human rights, occupational health and safety, workers compensation;
  • advising on human rights compliance, including pay and employment equity plans for workplaces and alternative dispute resolution measures;
  • reviewing and negotiating severance "packages" on termination;
  • preparing and negotiating employment contracts;
  • advising employees on workplace obligations including confidentiality and fiduciary obligations;
  • defending employees against ex-employers alleging breach of restrictive covenants, such as non-compete and non-solicitation clauses;
  • acting for unions in strike and lockout injunction litigation;
  • representing employees and unions in bankruptcy and insolvency trusteeship proceedings; and
  • prosecuting litigation against government entities that abuse their authority.

Notable representations include:

  • Michela v. St. Thomas of Villanova Catholic School, which involved three teachers' wrongful dismissal claims. The school argued that its financial circumstances should be considered when determining reasonable notice. The Court of Appeal disagreed, holding that an employer's financial circumstances are not relevant to the determination of reasonable notice. Michela is now one of the leading wrongful dismissal decisions in Canada, and appears to have ended a thirty-year debate as to whether an employer's financial picture is relevant in wrongful dismissal cases.
  • Oliveira v. Aviva Canada Inc., which is the first Canadian case to consider an insurer's obligations in the face of ever-increasing attempts to hold employees liable for privacy breaches, in which the Firm represented a nurse who had been sued by a patient for alleged breaches of privacy in the workplace. The nurse sought coverage and legal defence from her insurer, which refused. The Superior Court held that the insurer was obligated to defend the claim. The Court of Appeal agreed.
  • Horne v. Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre, in which Dr. Gabrielle Horne, a cardiologist and research scientist, alleged that the hospital, among others, wrongfully varied her privileges on an emergency basis, causing substantial damage to her reputation and her career as a researcher.  After an eight-week jury trial, the jury found that the hospital had acted in bad faith and awarded Dr. Horne $1.4 million in reputation damages. The Nova Scotia Court of Appeal upheld the jury's finding of bad faith, but reduced the damages award, which remains the largest award of reputation damages in Canada outside for a non-defamation claim.
  • McMichael v The New Zealand & Australian Lamb Company, in which the Court awarded 22 months' notice to a senior executive with 12 years' service. This decision is notable for the complex cross-border issues raised, as the plaintiff was employed by a US company headquartered in Connecticut, was working in California, but had an employment agreement governed by Ontario law.
  • Legg v. Simcoe Muskoka Catholic District School Board, in which the Court of Appeal for Ontario considered whether an indemnification clause in an employee agreement was enforceable against the employer in connection with legal fees incurred as a result of an internal investigation. Cavalluzzo won a significant victory for Ms. Legg in one of the only reported decisions in Canada concerning these clauses.
  • Partridge v. Botony Dental Corporation, in which the Court of Appeal considered whether the employer had wrongfully dissed our client, a dental hygienist, when it refused to return her to her original position upon returning from maternity leave, deliberately increased her work to conflict with her child care obligations and then purported to terminate her employment for cause. The Court of Appeal agreed with the Superior Court's decision that the employer had no evidence to support its allegations of cause and award of 12 months' reasonable notice damages and human rights damages.
  • Fioravanti v. OLG, in which Cavalluzzo acted for Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation's former General Counsel, and one of its most senior executives.  Cavalluzzo was entirely successful on the question of OLG's liability to this executive concerning his exit agreement with the company.

Non-unionized employee? Click here

Ongoing Class Actions

Last Modified: 18 February 2021

CTS of Canada Class Action

Notice of Proposed Class Action Settlement A settlement agreement has been reached between CTS and the Representative Plaintiffs, Claudette Wood, John...
Last Modified: 27 March 2020

Blyth Academy Class Action - See Below for Settlement News

Notice of Class Action Settlement Have you ever taught a course at a Blyth Academy Ontario campus? If so, you might benefit from a Court-approved clas...
Last Modified: 24 February 2020

Factual Television Class Action

Class action lawsuits are being contemplated against factual television producers.   If you work or worked for Cineflix, Insight Productions, Boa...
Last Modified: 15 August 2019

Uber Class Action

Cavalluzzo was co-counsel with Samfiru Tumarkin LLP in a proposed class action against Uber Technologies Inc. and related companies (collectively...

Completed Class Actions

Last Modified: 21 December 2018

Ontario Government Retiree Benefits Case

Our firm commenced an action against the Ontario government with respect to its decision to reduce the health, dental and other benefits of approximat...
Last Modified: 21 December 2018

Krones Machinery Co. Ltd.

This is an action which was initiated with respect to the closure of this manufacturing facility in Brampton, Ontario.
Last Modified: 21 December 2018

Viskase Companies Inc. and Viskase Canada Inc.

A settlement was reached reinstating paid life insurance coverage and compensating certain class members for the loss of their other paid benefits.
Last Modified: 21 December 2018

North Shore Catholic District School Board

When mutual insurance companies “demutualized” several years ago, a number of employers received substantial benefits as a result of the g...
Last Modified: 21 December 2018

Johnson Controls Inc.

This action was commenced on April 16, 2010 after Johnson Controls Inc. announced that it was closing its manufacturing plant in Orangeville, Ontario ...
Last Modified: 21 December 2018

Ontario Nurses' Association CCAC Pension Action

For current and former ONA members who worked for municipalities or home care services between 1996-1998, whether you were an ONA member or not when y...

Related Cases

Case/
13 March 2019

Cormier v. 1772887 Ontario Limited

In Cormier v. 1772887 Ontario Limited, Christopher Perri and Alex St. John represented Kelly Cormier in a wrongful dismissal action against a com...
Case/
2 January 2019

Heller v. Uber Technologies

Cavalluzzo LLP acted for David Heller in Heller v. Uber Technologies.
Case/
12 November 2018

Ministry of Correctional Services v. McKinnon

Ministry of Correctional Services v. McKinnon, 2010 ONSC 3896 (Div. Ct.) This is an application for judicial review brought by the Ministry of Correct...
Case/
21 September 2018

McMichael v The New Zealand & Australian Lamb Company, 2018 ONSC 5422 (CanLII)

McMichael v The New Zealand & Australian Lamb Company, 2018 ONSC 5422 (CanLII)
Case/
27 June 2018

Fioravanti v. OLG, 2018 ONSC 3777

Fioravanti v. OLG, 2018 ONSC 3777 (CanLII)

Related Resources

Commentary/23 February 2021

"Longer Notice Periods Should be the Norm for Pandemic Terminations"

Stephen Moreau discusses how employees terminated from their jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic shoul...
Commentary/5 February 2021

"Better Investigations are Needed to Complement Workplace Safety Law"

In today's Legal Matters' Commentary, Jeff Andrew discusses how legislation aimed at addressing hara...
News/28 January 2021

New Partner Announcement

Cavalluzzo LLP is very pleased to announce that Niiti Simmonds and Michael Mandarino have joined our...
Article/21 January 2021

"Don’t Panic: 10 Things to Do if You are Let Go"

Genevieve Cantin comments in moneytalkgo.com's article: "Don’t Panic: 10 Things to Do if You a...
Blog/1 March 2021

How CERB and EI Impact Wrongful Dismissal Damages

In the context of wrongful dismissal damages, CERB benefits are likely to be treated in the same manner as Employment Insurance benefits despite differences between the two programs.

The federal government introduced the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) in March 2020 to provide financial support to individuals unable to wor...
Blog/1 March 2021

How CERB and EI Impact Wrongful Dismissal Damages

In the context of wrongful dismissal damages, CERB benefits are likely to be treated in the same manner as Employment Insurance benefits despite differences between the two programs.

The federal government introduced the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) in March 2020 to provide financial support to individuals unable to wor...
Blog/26 February 2021

Case Law Review: The Impact of COVID-19 on Employees' Reasonable Notice Period

According to four recent decisions, Courts are taking note of the pandemic's impact on employees' ability to

In Part II in our two-part series on COVID-19's impact on wrongful dismissal law, this blog post reviews four recent cases to discuss the Court's resp...
Blog/10 February 2021

How the Global COVID-19 Pandemic May Impact Employees' Notice Periods

Are employees entitled to a longer notice period when their employment is terminated during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Are employees entitled to a longer notice period when their employment is terminated during the COVID-19 pandemic? This blog post explains that an emp...
News/28 January 2021

New Partner Announcement

Cavalluzzo LLP is very pleased to announce that Niiti Simmonds and Michael Mandarino have joined our partnership.

Cavalluzzo LLP is very pleased to announce that Niiti Simmonds and Michael Mandarino have joined our partnership. We wish them both ongoing success as...
News/20 September 2019

Advocate Daily: "Be wary of termination agreements that limit entitlements"

Advocate  Daily:  "Be wary of termination agreements that limit entitlements"
News/7 May 2019

Workplace Bullying and Doctors: How Dr. Horne Fought Back on the CBC Podcast White Coat Black Art

Dr. Horne, a Halifax cardiologist and researcher, was bullied by her coworkers who destroyed her reputation in the process. She spent 14 years fightin...
News/13 March 2019

Superior Court Rules that Employee was Misclassified as an Independent Contractor and Termination Provision Violated the ESA

In Cormier v. 1772887 Ontario Limited, Cavalluzzo lawyers Christopher Perri and Alex St. John recently represented Kelly Cormier in a wrongful dismiss...
News/12 February 2019

Tassia Poynter quoted in Law Times

Tassia Poynter was quoted in the January 28, 2019 edition of Law Times regarding a recently proposed class action lawsuit alleging that television pro...
News/14 January 2019

Advocate Daily: "Ride Sharing Class Action Back on Track Despite Province Bailing"

Advocate Daily: "Ride Sharing Class Action Back on Track Despite Province Bailing"
Event/Oct 24, 2019: 09:45 - Oct 17, 2019: 11:00

Sheilagh Turkington Speaks at Osgoode's Advanced Issues in Special Education Conference

Sheilagh Turkington is a faculty member at Osgoode Hall’s 14th Annual Program on Advanced Issues in Special Education conference.  She will...
Event/Oct 29, 2019: 10:30 - 11:45

Stephen Moreau Speaks at the Ontario Bar Association Conference on "Ending the Employment Relationship"

Stephen is speaking at the Ontario Bar Association on ensuring that the employment contract has appropriate and enforceable termination provisions, av...
Event/Nov 1, 2019: 14:30 - 15:10

Stephen Moreau and Chris Perri Speak at 20th Annual Employment Law Summit

Stephen Moreau and Chris Perri speak at  the Law Society of Ontario's  20th Annual Employment Law Summit.  They will be speaking on the...
Event/Oct 2, 2019: 09:00 - 16:00

Elichai Shaffir Speaks at Lancaster House Training Session on Handling Personal Health Information

Elichai Shaffir speaks at Lancaster  House's Skills Training Session:  "Handling Personal Health Information:  An In-Depth Training Ses...
Event/Feb 23, 2019: 02:30 - 05:30

Danielle Bisnar Speaks at Federation of Asian Canadian Lawyers Annual Conference

Danielle Bisnar speaks at the Federation of Asian Canadian Lawyers Annual Conference. She will be participating in a panel on Top Employment and Labou...
Commentary/23 February 2021

"Longer Notice Periods Should be the Norm for Pandemic Terminations"

Stephen Moreau discusses how employees terminated from their jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic should expect an extended notice period in looking at t...
Commentary/5 February 2021

"Better Investigations are Needed to Complement Workplace Safety Law"

In today's Legal Matters' Commentary, Jeff Andrew discusses how legislation aimed at addressing harassment and violence in federally regulated workpla...
Article/21 January 2021

"Don’t Panic: 10 Things to Do if You are Let Go"

Genevieve Cantin comments in moneytalkgo.com's article: "Don’t Panic: 10 Things to Do if You are Let Go". She discusses recourses available to e...
Commentary/11 January 2021

"Fair Comment or Foul? That Online Post Could Cost you Your job"

In today's Legal Matters' commentary, Jeff Andrew discusses the impact of posting private opinions on social media, and the possibility of dismissal w...
Commentary/4 January 2021

"A $1.2-million Lesson About the Dangers of Fixed-term Contracts"

In today's Legal Matters commentary, Stephen Moreau discusses how companies that sign a fixed-term contract covering a long period of time could be li...
Commentary/11 December 2020

"One Size Does Not Fit All When it Comes to a Termination"

In today's Legal Matters' commentary, Jeff Andrew discusses the importance of seeking advice after being terminated to avoid making costly mistakes an...