Michelle S. Henry

Partner

Toronto
MHenry@blg.com
416.367.6531

Michelle’s practice focuses on labour and employment law. She advises employers on employment-related matters, including:

  • restructuring, contracts and terminations
  • investigations and discipline
  • workers' compensation
  • occupational health and safety
  • workplace violence
  • employment standards and human rights

Michelle represents employers in employment-related litigation, including wrongful dismissals, constructive dismissals and injunctions proceedings.

Michelle's practice also encompasses labour relations. She advises and acts on behalf of employers in:

  • collective bargaining
  • interest arbitrations
  • collective agreement interpretation
  • grievance arbitrations
  • strikes and lockouts
  • injunction proceedings during strikes

Michelle has vast experience in representing companies in human rights litigation before the Canadian Human Rights Commission and the federal and provincial Tribunals. She is frequently hired to conduct independent investigations into allegations of harassment, sexual harassment, discrimination and other alleged misconduct.

Michelle was corporate counsel for Federal Express Canada from April 2012 to September 2013, where she worked extensively in the area of federal employment-related legislation. She resumed her labour and employment practice at BLG in October 2013.

Experience

  • Advise clients on various employment-related matters, including workplace restructuring, employment contracts, employee terminations, discipline, workers' compensation, occupational health and safety matters, and employment standards.
  • Represent clients in employment-related litigation, including wrongful and constructive dismissal actions, unjust dismissal complaints, mediations, unpaid compensation claims, injunctions pertaining to restrictive covenants, and proceedings before the Workplace Safety and Insurance Appeals Tribunal.
  • Advise employers and human resources teams on the development and implementation of workplace policies and procedures and/or changes to existing policies; assist client teams in communicating and launching employment related policies; conduct management workshops and assist employers with employee training on various employment-related issues and policies.
  • Advise and assist clients in identifying and managing labour and employment-related risks associated with business decisions and/or changing business needs. Work with clients in assessing and determining long term goals and strategies and their impact on labour and employment issues.
  • Advise and act on behalf of employers in collective bargaining (including at negotiations, mediation and conciliation), interest arbitrations, collective agreement interpretation, grievance arbitrations, strikes and lockouts, and injunction proceedings during strikes.
  • Advises and acts on behalf of employers in matters before the Ontario Labour Relations Board and Canada Industrial Relations Board.
  • Advises and acts on behalf of school boards and independent schools in matters including labour matters, development of policies and protocols with respect to court actions and applications, suspension and expulsion hearings, privacy law matters and issues pertaining to human rights.

Beyond Our Walls

Professional Involvement

  • Member, Federal Judicial Advisory Committee (GTA)
  • Member, Canadian Bar Association
  • Council member, Ontario Bar Association (2014-present); chair of the Pro Bono Sub Committee (2016-2018); past executive member, Education Law Section
  • Committee member, Canadian Association of Black Lawyers, 2002-present
  • Co-founder, Black Business Law Clinic, a project in partnership with Pro Bono Ontario, 2016-present
  • Member, Canadian Association of Counsel to Employers

Community Involvement

  • Co-chair, Trial Division of the University of Toronto Tribunal, 2016-present
  • Member, Board of Directors, LOFT Community Services, 2011-present; vice-chair of the board, 2014-present
  • Alumni representative, St. Michael's College, class of 1998, University of Toronto, 2003-present
  • Member, Board of Director, George Brown College Foundation

Awards & Recognitions

  • Recognized in the 2020 edition of Best Lawyers in Canada (Labour and Employment Law)
  • Recipient of the 2019 Lexpert Zenith Change Agent Award
  • Recognized in the 2019 edition (and since 2018) of The Canadian Legal Lexpert® Directory (Workplace Human Rights)
  • Recipient of the 2017 Lexpert® Zenith Awards — Celebrating Women in Law in recognition of exceptional leadership
  • Recipient of the 2017 Ann Wilson and Robert Prichard Award presented by the University of Toronto's Faculty of Law
  • Nominee in the Changemakers category in the Canadian Lawyer's 2017 The Top 25 Most Influential

Bar Admission & Education

  • Ontario, 2003
  • JD, University of Toronto, 2002
  • MA, University of Toronto, 1999
  • BA (Hons.), University of Toronto, 1998