Jeffrey Mitchell

Partner

Toronto
JMitchell@blg.com
416.367.6385

Jeff has a broad labour and employment practice, serving as “go-to” external counsel to a wide variety of organizations. He advises on issues such as:

  • discipline and dismissals
  • human rights issues (such as discrimination and harassment) and workplace investigations
  • the human resources implications of workplace restructuring
  • sales and acquisitions of businesses
  • employment standards and occupational health and safety
  • employment policies

He also provides training for clients on all aspects of labour and employment law.

In non-unionized work environments, Jeff acts for employers in high-stakes employment-related litigation, such as wrongful dismissal claims, restrictive covenant injunction proceedings and human rights applications. Jeff drafts and advises on employment contracts, including non-competition, non-solicitation and confidentiality agreements. He also provides strategic guidance for proactive union prevention and real-time assistance during union organizing drives.

For employers in unionized workplaces, Jeff litigates significant cases, including grievance arbitrations, picketing injunctions and proceedings before the Ontario Labour Relations Board. He advises on collective agreement interpretation issues, such as contracting out and terminations/layoffs. He also offers expertise on collective bargaining, advising on strategic approaches, drafting proposals, and acting as a spokesperson for clients during negotiations.

Experience

  • Retail industry: Commencing picketing injunction applications before the Superior Court, resulting in limitations on the right of unionized employees to engage in such activities during a lawful strike/lockout. Defending constructive/wrongful dismissal claims, including just cause cases, allegations of discrimination, and claims for post-employment bonuses.
  • Manufacturing industry: Acting as counsel at arbitrations related to drug and alcohol policy issues and advising on labour and employment issues arising from the sale of a business.
  • Information technology industries: Defending against claims of wrongful dismissal, including ones involving disabled employees and for disability benefits, allegations of harassment/discrimination and just cause cases.
  • Professional services/Financial services industries: Defending against claims of wrongful dismissal, including claims involving negligent misrepresentation, claims for post-employment bonuses, discrimination, denial of overtime pay and loss of pension benefits. Acting on injunctions involving the restraint of former employees from competition and solicitation. Defending against claims by trade unions involving the sale of business/related employer.
  • Public sector/Broader public sector: Conducting collective bargaining, acting as counsel at arbitrations and providing strategic advice regarding unionization. Defending overtime claims and wrongful dismissal claims.

Beyond Our Walls

Professional Involvement

  • Member, Ontario Bar Association
  • Teacher, “Blueprints to Buildings: Occupational Health and Safety and Labour Organization in the Construction Industry,” University of Toronto Law School, October 2017
  • Teacher, “Health and Safety, Labour and Unionization in the Construction Industry,” Osgoode Hall Law School LLM Program,June 2016
  • Teacher, “Blueprints to Buildings: Occupational Health and Safety in the Construction Industry,” University of Toronto Law School, February 2016

Community Involvement

  • Board member, Turning Point Youth Services, 2013-present

Awards & Recognitions

  • Recognized in the 2020 edition of Chambers Canada – Canada's Leading Lawyers for Business (Employment & Labour - Ontario)
  • Selected by peers for inclusion in the 2020 edition (and since 2012) of The Best Lawyers in Canada (Labour and Employment Law).

Bar Admission & Education

  • Ontario, 1998
  • LLB, Osgoode Hall Law School, 1996