Andrea Sobko believes that all workers deserve fairness, equality, and respect in their workplaces. She is committed to addressing systemic discrimination at work and understands that unions improve the economic security and human rights of all workers in the labour market.
As a creative and dedicated advocate, Andrea takes a strategic approach to assisting clients in the areas of labour law, pay equity, human rights, and employment law. She has experience working on cases before a variety of administrative tribunals as well as in mediations, arbitrations, and at all levels of court in Ontario.
In her labour practice, Andrea represents trade unions in matters related to human rights accommodation, job classification, discipline, and termination, to name a few. Whether it is negotiating a settlement with an employer or resolving a grievance, Andrea approaches her files with attention to detail and concern for the client’s needs.
As a pay equity lawyer, Andrea assists union members and individual employees in ensuring that their compensation is free from gender-based discrimination. Andrea has provided pay equity advice to nurses, midwives, personal support workers, social workers, dietary aides, and other workers who are integral to upholding the care economy. As part of her pay equity work, Andrea assists clients in negotiating pay equity plans, developing gender neutral job evaluation tools, and litigating cases under provincial and federal pay equity laws or collective agreements, when necessary.
In 2021, Andrea was part of the legal team that successfully argued that female job classes in proxy workplaces – those that have no male comparators for pay equity comparisons purposes – must have ongoing access to a male comparator for pay equity maintenance (Participating Nursing Homes v. Ontario).
In addition to her domestic legal work, Andrea has been a legal researcher on a range of international human rights law and international criminal law projects, including the Visualizing Justice Project, which raises awareness about systemic racism in the U.S. and the possibility of addressing it under the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD).
Before becoming a lawyer, Andrea worked for almost a decade with the Ontario Justice Education Network (OJEN), a non-profit organization established by Ontario’s three Chief Justices, developing community-based justice education programs and plain language legal resources for teachers across Ontario. Andrea obtained her Juris Doctor from Osgoode Hall Law School and holds a Bachelor of Education and an Honours Bachelor of Arts (sociology/psychology) from the University of Toronto. She was called to the Ontario bar in 2017.