Calgary & Strathmore Labour Lawyers

The working world is ever-evolving and presents a multitude of legal complexities for employees and employers alike. Getz Collins and Associates understands the disruptive potential of labour disputes in the workplace and the delicate balance between employers and employees. Our combined decades of experience empower us to offer comprehensive guidance to unionized workers and business owners in a variety of labour law matters.

Our team of knowledgeable labour lawyers takes a practical, proactive approach to addressing labour issues, crafting effective legal strategies to resolve disputes while preserving positive relationships among all stakeholders, including businesses, union representatives, and employees, whenever possible.

Collective Bargaining & Collective Agreements in Alberta

Collective bargaining is a critical part of labour relations in Alberta’s workforce, encapsulating the process through which the terms of the employee-employer relationship are determined. Collective agreements can be difficult to amend once finalized, and a carelessly drafted agreement can create years of operational hardships for a unionized workplace.

Getz Collins and Associates positions clients for success from the outset of the collective bargaining process, identifying potential pitfalls and mitigating the risk of future disputes. Our knowledgeable labour lawyers also assist with collective agreement interpretation and represent clients in all issues arising from the agreement’s administration, including grievance arbitrations, unfair labour practice hearings, strikes, and lock-outs.

Employee Discipline & Performance Management

A comprehensive discipline and performance management system is vital to a healthy workplace. Fair, progressive discipline policies and performance evaluation methods help identify and correct issues early. These processes help mitigate the risk of wrongful termination claims while protecting workers from overly inflexible or undue discipline.

Our labour law team will review existing workplace policies and create robust procedures that balance employer and worker rights fairly. If conflict arises, we also offer skilled advocacy in labour actions, including policy grievances.

Employee Terminations

Terminating a unionized employee’s employment requires careful consideration of the workplace’s disciplinary procedures, collective agreement, and the applicable legal framework (such as the provincial Labour Relations Code, Alberta’s Public Service Employee Relations Act, or Canada Labour Code). When mishandled, terminations can give rise to extensive labour action and costly arbitration.

Getz Collins and Associates guides parties on either side of a collective agreement through their rights and available remedies when an employee is terminated. We resolve disputes through alternative dispute resolution methods whenever possible to minimize conflict and workplace disruption. We also offer guidance to employers when embarking on large-scale terminations, such as lay-offs during a restructuring process.

Arbitrations & Labour Relations Board Proceedings

Under the Alberta Labour Relations Code, all collective agreements must contain a method for settling disagreements regarding the interpretation, application, operation, or contravention of the collective agreement. Most commonly, these disputes are solved through arbitration, which provides a final and binding resolution.

The Alberta Labour Relations Board is also critical to resolving disagreements between unions, workers, and/or employers. The Labour Relations Board is an impartial, independent tribunal that oversees the interpretation and application of labour laws in Alberta.

Our talented labour lawyers provide skillful advocacy for parties involved in the arbitration process and appear on clients’ behalf before the Labour Relations Board in a variety of matters, including those relating to bargaining rights and unfair labour practices.

Union Organizing Drives, Certification & Avoidance

At Getz Collins and Associates, we are proficient in navigating clients through every stage of the unionization process. We advise on union organizing drives, advising parties on either side of the table on their rights and ensuring they avoid the pitfalls of unfair labour practices. Our firm also provides adept representation before the Labour Relations Board during the certification process.

Our labour lawyers are also experienced in union avoidance strategies for employers facing a potential union organizing drive or certification application. We assess the client’s operational needs and create individualized strategies for union avoidance while maintaining a positive, supportive workplace.

Workforce Reductions & Corporate Restructuring

Workforce reductions and corporate restructuring of a unionized workplace must be carried out in accordance with the terms of the applicable collective agreement. Most collective agreements include strict protections in the event of a restructuring, including conditions governing the reduction of working hours/shifts, lay-offs, seniority rights, severance pay, and recall rights.

Getz Collins and Associates helps businesses, unions, or employees navigate organizational changes and restructuring. Our knowledgeable labour lawyers develop or review existing workforce reduction proposals to mitigate operational disruptions, preserve our client’s rights and advise clients on options for employee reassignment or re-education.

Contact Getz Collins and Associates in Calgary and Strathmore for Pragmatic Labour Law Advice

At Getz Collins and Associates, we exemplify the essence of a modern, client-centric law practice. Our approach blends tradition with innovation and enables us to offer individualized, out-of-the-box legal solutions to the most complex labour law disputes. Whether we are representing an employer or employee in a unionized workplace, we provide community-based responsiveness with innovative, big-firm professionalism.

Based in Calgary and Strathmore, Getz Collins and Associates proudly serves clients across Alberta, including Airdrie, Cochrane, Okotoks, Drumheller, Chestermere, Hussar, and the surrounding areas. To schedule a confidential consultation with a skilled labour lawyer, please contact us online or call 587-391-5600.