Despite a shared geographical landscape and similarities in aspects of our political, economic and legal systems, there are key differences in Canadian and US employment and labour relations that companies must contend with when adapting human resources strategies to the Canadian environment. With one of Canada’s largest national practices with offices in each of the major cities across Canada, the Fasken Labour, Employment & Human Rights team has extensive experience strategically guiding US-based employers through cross-border transactions across all industries.
In Canada, labour and employment law is governed predominantly at the provincial rather than federal level, with each province enacting its own labour and employment legislation. As such, these legislative differences across provinces may significantly increase the complexity of an already complex cross border transaction. US entities contemplating or carrying on business in Canada should be aware of the key differences when it comes to the hiring, managing and termination of employees in Canada.
Our Labour, Employment & Human Rights group has a deep understanding of local conditions and extensive experience guiding US counsel, their clients and US-based employers through cross border transactions including merger, acquisition and/or joint ventures, divestitures, spin-offs and restructuring which require in-depth knowledge of Canada’s:
- regulatory regimes
- minimum employment standards
- labour relations
- restrictive covenants
- talent acquisition/hiring policies (personnel expansion)
- employee & executive terminations (downsizings)
- pensions and benefits packages
- union organizing efforts
- employment litigation
We partner with our clients to ensure we have a comprehensive understanding of your organization and the nature of your business. We have a solid track record of successfully representing our clients before arbitration boards, provincial and federal labour boards, various other administrative tribunals and all levels of Court in each of the provinces and countries in which we operate. We have significant experience representing employers at the Supreme Court of Canada – Canada’s highest Court.
Our approach is to emphasize advice and planning to protect our clients from claims and litigation or to minimize time and costs associated with litigation. In many situations we are able to defuse tensions by providing practical, innovative business solutions and timely advice. Additionally, we ensure our clients are kept up-to-date on new legislation, recent court and arbitration decisions and the evolution of policies of labour relations tribunals and government agencies. We authored the Canadian Labour and Employment Law for the US Practitioner – Fourth edition (BNA Bloomberg). This text draws on our years of experience advising US companies and explains some of the key differences, and risks and opportunities of doing business in Canada from a US frame of reference.
Our Labour, Employment & Human Rights team provides practical business-minded counsel to help you maintain a productive and efficient workplace and keep good employees motivated and engaged, while empowering you to focus on achieving your broader business objectives.
Read about our client experience and review the expertise we’ve shared in our publications and presentations. To connect with us, please contact any of our lawyers to discuss how we can help.