Geetha Philipupillai practices employment law, civil litigation and class actions. She believes the law is a tool to advance social justice and the interests of workers, and brings that commitment to her legal practice.
Geetha advises employees regarding wrongful dismissals, constructive dismissals, and workplace discrimination and accommodation. She also assists employees by negotiating employment contracts and severance packages, and defends workers’ rights in courtrooms and tribunals when litigation becomes necessary. In addition to representing individual employees, Geetha works on class actions involving hundreds of employees, with a focus on unpaid overtime claims.
Geetha regularly represents labour unions and their members in a range of civil proceedings, including when unions have been sued or need to take legal action to protect their members’ interests. She also has a growing practice representing student unions.
As a member of LawPro’s preferred counsel list, Geetha defends lawyers against allegations of negligence and works to repair errors before they can cause harm to clients. This aspect of Geetha’s practice involves a wide range of civil litigation and gives her unique insights into client and practice management.
Geetha also regularly represents clients seeking to achieve systemic change and hold public authorities accountable. She has been involved in a number of constitutional and public law cases including:
- City of Toronto et al. v. Ontario – a Charter challenge to Ontario’s introduction of legislation during the City of Toronto’s 2018 municipal election which halved the number of wards and councillors;
- Canadian Federation of Students v. Ontario – a judicial review challenging the Ontario’s mandatory opt-out for democratically-approved student union dues at public universities and colleges;
- Granger v. Ontario – an ongoing Charter and privacy class action regarding the province’s retention of DNA results from class members, including migrant workers, who were excluded as suspects in criminal investigations;
- R. v. Morris – an intervention on behalf of the Asper Centre in an appeal regarding the role anti-Black racism, systemic factors, and social context should play in sentencing Black Canadians; and
- Sanctuary Ministries of Toronto et. al. v. City of Toronto – a Charter application to ensure physical distancing in Toronto homeless shelters during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Prior to her call to the bar in 2018, Geetha clerked at the Superior Court of Justice in Toronto where she assisted judges in civil, commercial, and criminal proceedings. During law school, she worked in the criminal division of Downtown Legal Services.
Many, if not all, of Geetha’s hobbies involve the great indoors. She is an enthusiastic eater/cook, vintage-shopper, reader, and filmgoer.