Emma Phillips practices labour law primarily in the university sector. From complicated policy grievances to every day labour arbitration cases, from Charter litigation to collective agreement negotiations, Emma regularly litigates a range of collective agreement, human rights and equity disputes on behalf of Faculty Associations and their members.
Emma also regularly acts as an independent workplace investigator, including investigating the systemic roots of sexual harassment and discrimination in some of Canada’s most important organizations. In 2014/15, she acted as counsel to the External Review on Sexual Misconduct and Sexual Harassment in the Armed Forces, and in 2015/16 she was counsel to an independent review commissioned by the UN on sexual abuse by peacekeepers in the Central African Republic. In 2016/17, Emma acted as counsel to an external review of harassment in the RCMP.
Emma is a frequent public speaker on workplace harassment and discrimination-prevention, and teaches and conducts training on addressing implicit bias, including as an Adjunct Professor in the University of Toronto’s Global Professional Masters of Law and as co-chair of the Law Society of Ontario’s e-course Advancing Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion in the Legal Professions.
Emma also works and speaks regularly in the areas of privacy in the workplace. She understands and navigates for clients the often difficult balance between right to privacy in the workplace and access to information, in the context of shifting statutory obligations.
Emma joined the firm in 2006, after clerking for former Justice Marie Deschamps at the Supreme Court of Canada. She received her law degree from the University of Toronto in 2005, where she also completed a Master’s degree in Criminology, writing her thesis on the transformation of the labour market in contemporary Cuba. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree (summa cum laude) in Anthropology from Harvard University.
Emma has served as co-chair of The Advocates’ Society’s Labour and Employment Practice Group, and on the executive of the International Labour Rights Committee of the Canadian Association of Labour Lawyers. She is recognized by Best Lawyers as a leading practitioner in labour and employment law.
- Should student evaluations be used in tenure and promotion? No, says arbitrator
- Benefits provision of the Human Rights Code violates the Charter, Tribunal finds