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James K. McDonald

James K. McDonald



Jim McDonald has a reputation for getting the job done. We see him as a no nonsense labour lawyer and civil litigator. Jim has a way of cutting through unimportant details to get to the crux of a dispute. Both unionized and non-unionized employees can expect Jim to give them a frank assessment of their case, an explanation of their legal options, and steadfast representation down whatever legal route they choose to go.

In his labour law practice, Jim represents both private and broader public sector unions and their members in grievance arbitration before private arbitrators and the Grievance Settlement Board, as well as in human rights proceedings before the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario. He gets discharged employees put back to work, disabled employees provided with proper accommodation, laid-off grievors access to their contractual bumping rights, damages for those whose human rights have been violated, and management held to account for breaches of the collective agreement.

When an employer seeks to challenge an arbitration award in court, Jim will vigorously defend the case. He also fights picketing injunctions filed against unions and their striking or locked out union members.

In his civil litigation practice, Jim represents employees who are not members of trade unions in a wide variety of employment law matters. This includes advising managers and other employees on negotiating employment contracts or on dealing with their particular and unique workplace problems. He advises individuals whose employment has been terminated about their severance entitlements regardless of how complicated or straightforward those entitlements might be, and is not reluctant to litigate with employers when his clients aren’t satisfied with what the employer is prepared to offer. Jim also litigates disability or other claims when insurance companies aren’t prepared to treat those individuals fairly.

As part of his civil litigation practice, Jim has developed an expertise in defamation law (for either those defaming or those being defamed) and has had a broad experience in representing our firm’s union/association clients in various other litigation matters. He has drawn on that broad experience to assist other members of our firm’s litigation team in civil actions they are pursuing on behalf of their clients.

As a leader in the firm’s class action practice, Jim has been an essential part of our team representing employees in large class actions seeking enforcement of employees’ pension entitlements and overtime pay claims – and even whether Major Junior hockey players should be recognized as employees for purposes of minimum pay entitlement.

Jim is recognized as a leading employment and labour lawyer in the Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory and in Best Lawyers. He is a member of the Canadian Association of Labour Lawyers, the Ontario Bar Association (former Chair of the Labour Law sub-section) and The Advocates’ Society. He has presented on numerous employment-related panels, and has taught courses in Constitutional Law and Labour at Osgoode Hall Law School.

In his spare time, Jim is a hockey player, an ex-hockey coach, and an active participant at sporting events. He is looking forward to the Toronto Maple Leafs winning the Stanley Cup at some point during his lifetime.

Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory
Best Lawyers Award Badge



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