B.A. (Hons.), J.D.
Maria Esmatyar is a Partner with Lecker & Associates in Toronto. Her practice focuses on employment law and employment-related disability matters.
Maria advocates on behalf of individuals seeking to enforce their legal rights in the workplace. She provides strategic advice and representation to employees on matters including, wrongful dismissal, constructive dismissal, employment contracts, employment standards, human rights, sexual harassment, workplace discrimination and disability claims.
A skilled litigator, Maria has been instrumental in helping her clients negotiate substantial severance settlements, win significant judgements and achieve effective return-to-work solutions. Over her career, she has represented clients in matters involving intricate legal issues and has appeared before the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, Ontario Labour Relations Board, and the Canada Labour Code Adjudication. Known for her sound knowledge of statutes and legal processes, Maria has authored numerous articles on employment law.
Maria obtained her Juris Doctor from Bond University and holds an Honours B.A. in history from the University of Toronto. She is multi-lingual (English, Dari, Farsi, Hindi, Urdu), well travelled and able to represent a diverse client base with expertise, professionalism and empathy.
Maria was part of the team that represented plaintiffs Marilyn and Lawrence Keenan in Keenan v. Canac Kitchens, 2015 ONSC 1055. Classified “independent contractors” by their employer, they were let go with no severance pay after three decades of service.
Maria with her team, was not afraid to wade into uncharted waters with this important and precedent setting case. In true style, she defended her clients vehemently, strategically identifying them as a new class of worker in Ontario: “Dependent Contractors“. Not only were the Keenan’s awarded the highest ever compensation for wrongfully dismissed contractors, this case was declared one of the most influential in 2016 by Law Times Magazine.
The Keenan case directly lead to a re-writing of Ontario’s Employment Laws. Dependent Contractors have the same rights as employees and are now clearly identified in Bill 148, Ontario’s Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act.
What our clients say about Maria Esmatyar
I was directed to the law firm of Lecker & Associates by a friend who also used them. If you want to be confident regarding the outcome of your claim, Maria Esmatyar is the person to put your trust in! Maria Esmatyar will work with you and support you! She is knowledgeable, caring, compassionate and prompt. Maria is a sincere fighter for what she believes is right. Trust Maria Esmatyar and you will not be disappointed! I am thankful that I did! I would definitely recommend Maria Esmatyar!
I initially had doubts about retaining a lawyer over an employment matter. It’s a scary move, especially when you’ve worked for a company for many years. I’m glad that I decided to move forward with hiring Lecker & Associates to represent me and I’m happy with the outcome. I had a positive experience working with the team of Maria Esmatyar and her assistant Jass Pakirisamy. They were very patient with me and achieved fast and efficient results.
I recently was fortunate enough to have been referred to Lecker and Associates in my wrongful dismissal case and cannot stress enough how incredibly excellent they were representing me. In particular, I would like to thank Maria Esmatyar for making me feel comfortable, supported and confident during the entire process. Her strong knowledge in employment law is very obvious and was demonstrated throughout. I highly recommend this law firm for employment matters.
I approached Lecker & Associates based on reviews on the internet, since the first employment lawyer l had hired, did not have that “fire under him”, that I needed for my case. I had the opportunity to work with a wonderful lawyer, Ms. Maria Esmatyar. She was exactly who l needed in resolving my employment matters. Ms. Esmatyar was professional, thorough, and guided me every step of the way. She was my “tiger in the ring” and got the job done. I would highly recommend Ms. Esmatyar and the Lecker & Associates team to anyone who may be seeking legal assistance with their employment situation. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all your hard work!
Keenan v. Canac Kitchens, 2015 ONSC 1055. Maria was part of the team that represented plaintiffs Marilyn and Lawrence Keenan who were classified “independent contractors” by their employer and let go with no severance pay after three decades of service. This precedent setting case
directly lead to a re-writing of Ontario’s Employment Laws, recognizing a new class of worker, the dependent contractor, who has the same rights as employees, and are now clearly identified in Bill 148, Ontario’s Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act.
Bassanese v. German Canadian News Company. Maria represented Heidi Bassanese in an egregious case of workplace harassment. Because of their inaction, the judge found the employer equally culpable of of harm as the employee who perpetrated the harassment, awarding our client a notable $200,000 in damages.