Top Employment Lawyers In Toronto
The employment lawyers at Lecker & Associates have helped clients resolve disputes with their employers for over 35 years.
From negotiating fair severance packages, securing disability benefits and offering strategic advice on employment contracts, to litigating egregious human rights violations and workplace harassment cases, we represent our clients aggressively and with swift efficiency.
Unlike others, our focus is singular: To fiercely defend employee rights.
We operate with deep expertise in this field.
As skilled negotiators, our employment lawyers settle most cases without going to trial. However, we don’t shy away from trials when circumstances demand them. We have accrued deep knowledge and experience to litigate your case from Ontario Provincial Courts through to the Supreme Court of Canada.
Every case we manage is unique and distinctive to the circumstances of our clients. But we see a common theme in all. Our clients lack knowledge about their employee rights and entitlements.
We level this playing field
The good news for employees working under a collective agreement as part of a union is that, for employment related disputes, your legal fees are covered through your union dues. Before you contact us however, call your union’s business agent for next steps.
The provisions of the Labour Relations Act prevent us from representing you without expressed consent from your union.
The Exception: We can interject if your union fails to represent you properly for claims against an insurance provider regarding your company sponsored Long-Term Disability Claim.
Do not let legal fees deter you from obtaining your lawful entitlements. This is particularly true for matters that affect you daily, such as your employment. For a vast majority of cases, we do not require a retainer up-front. Instead, we charge a percentage of the settlement we obtain for you.
In fact, legal fees should be one of several factors to consider when selecting your team of employment lawyers. Vet them for their years of experience, efficiencies, chances of success, area of specialty as well as communication style.
The Keenan Case
The Keenan Case represented a watershed moment for contract worker rights. The judge recognized them as a new class of worker, the Dependent Contractor, with rights no different from employees.
The Keenan’s received the highest ever compensation awarded to contract workers dismissed without compensation in Canada. And this case directly influenced changes to our employment laws.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Employees applying for jobs at Canadian subsidiaries of U.S. corporations should review their employment contracts closely. We often find at will termination clauses which supposedly allow employers to fire employees without notice. First of all, our laws completely prohibit such clauses . In this matter, there is little room for a Canadian employer to maneuver. They must offer notice or severance pay in lieu to employees. If you must sign such a contract to land the job, consult with one of our lawyers. In almost all cases, our courts will consider the clause void when taken to trial.
You remain an employee of the company when you are on disability leave or parental leave. You may return to your original or one comparable to it. Your employer cannot fire you for being on leave. And if they do, then they must prove that it was for reasons unconnected to your leave. Our courts will demand evidence and the bar is set very high, indeed.
If your leave extends beyond two years, your employer can fire you by declaring the employment relationship “frustrated”. And in this event, you should consult with one of our lawyers.
When your employer decides to let you go they must offer you fair notice that your job is ending. You can use this time to look for alternative work while earning a salary.
Alternatively, your employer can offer you severance pay in lieu of this notice period. The Employment Standards Act outlines the minimum standards for notice and severance pay. However, if your employer terminates you without cause, then you could be entitled to more than the minimum. The circumstances of your employment come into play to determine the fairness of your severance package, such as your age, your position, length of service and how long it will take you to find another job. If you are close to retirement and at a senior point in your career, chances are you will find some challenges to land an equivalent job any time soon. And in this case, your severance should be much higher than the minimum. Contact us before you sign any termination contract to ensure you don’t leave money behind.
This sometimes occurs when new owners take over a company with existing employees. They start announcing the “new order” and all of a sudden the terms of your employment change. This includes seniority, job descriptions, location and hours of employment, etc. It may even include wage cuts. If these changes are necessary for the survival of the business then your boss has to provide you with options. He cannot unilaterally change the terms of your employment.
In exchange for the wage cut, they should offer you equivalent “consideration”. Examples are more vacation time, signing bonuses, reduced hours etc
If these changes are not acceptable to you, then your employer must offer you an adequate severance package to end your employment relationship.
This is one of the most contentious employment issues of our times. Lecker & Associates fought a precedent setting case which clarified laws that remained open to interpretation before. If you are a true “Independent Contractor”, then you must remain fully in control over your work assignments. Essentially, you would operate like a business. Many project based contractors operate in this manner. They pay their own taxes and generally use their own resources (tools & equipment, etc.); they can set their own hours and also hire employees to complete portions of the work. Often, fees charged by contractors are higher than wages for hourly employees.
Any other type of arrangement is likely that of a “dependent contractor”. They may be skirting the law. They might be avoiding paying out your CPP, EI and severance benefits. Contact one of our lawyers for an assessment of your case.
What our clients are saying
Matthew Fisher of Lecker & Associates represented me in 2 very different situations. He is knowledgeable, thorough, calm and persistent. I felt reassured and well supported throughout, by him and all the staff. Mr Fisher achieved success on my behalf both times. Excellent firm.
Excellent service was provided by the team at Lecker & Associates. Would highly recommend them to represent you in Employment Dismal cases. Very efficient and thorough when dealing with my previous employer legal team. Took control and handled all aspects during this difficult time, they kept me informed throughout the entire process and I couldn’t have been happier with the end result!
A friend of mine recommended this firm to assist with my employment dismissal, I was very pleased with Matthew Fisher and his team support, advise and expertise. They took the time the keep me updated on the case progress, provided excellent advise and finally Matthew negotiated a better deal than the one I was originally offered. I would highly recommend Lecker & Associates.
I had the pleasure of working with Maria Esmatyar in my settlement case. She was professional and informative.She explained the expectation from our first meeting and worked hard to achieved that goal. At the end, she made a negative situation into a positive experience. Thanks Maria.
Jordan Reiner handled my case and I feel very fortunate that I found him. He delivered exactly what he promised the first time I saw him. He did an exceptional job of working with me to get to a fair settlement and exceeded all my expectations. I will highly recommend Jordan to any professional looking to hire an Employment Lawyer.
I recently used this law firm (more specifically lawyer Matthew Fisher and senior law clerk Eslita Ramkishun) to handle my severance case. This team was very knowledgeable, friendly, and accommodating, the issue was handle expertly and efficiently, and I was very happy with the settlement. I would recommend this law firm and team to anyone in need of legal help settling a severance claim.
We Can Help
Awareness of Your Rights Offers You The Power to Level The Playing Field With Your Employer.