Welcome to MHRM 6700, Summer 2021

Hello everyone.  Welcome to MHRM 6700, Workplace Law,  Practice, and Policy.

This class explores the Three Regimes of Work Law: (1)  The Common Law;  (2)  Employment Regulation (Employment Standards and Human Rights); and (3)  Collective Bargaining Law.

The course objective is to familiarize you with key issues and policy debates that shape the law of the workplace.  You will learn key legal rules relevant to HR managers, and you will engage the key ‘big’ debates that shape all labour policy and the role of law in trying to influence employment conditions.  Thus, the course is a mix of practical law and theoretical and policy debate.

Course Blogs

We will use the York University Moodle/eClass website for uploading assignments only.


The outline is posted above under the Outline tab. You need to enter the password, which I will send to you via email.  I understand that the textbook has been mailed out.  I have attempted to map out a schedule for the classes that involve a mix of live interaction on Zoom, group discussion, and time to work alone on readings, watching lectures, and trying exercises.

Lecture videos

I have posted some prerecorded lectures that align with the assigned readings from the textbook.  Here can find them here.

Please let me know if you have any questions about the first assignment or anything else, and otherwise I will “see” you on September 11.   Best, David

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Protected: Zoom, Class Schedule for Class Two

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

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ZOOM Schedule, Day One

Here is the Zoom schedule for Day One (minus the passwords, which I sent to you in an email)

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Finding Case Law and Work Law Texts On-Line

You will need to access case law and law texts in this class.  Here is a quick guide to finding material on-line.

1. Free Internet Case Law

A lot of cases (not all) are now available for free on CanLII.  You need to use CanLII for your first 3 Minute Lawyer exercise.  It uses a simple search engine.  You can access statutes and case law decisions.

You can search nationally or by province.  If you click on Ontario, for example, your searches will be confined to Ontario.  You’ll see when you click on a province that specific courts and tribunals are listed. For example, if you click Ontario you will find a list of Boards and Tribunals.  In that list is the Ontario Labour Relations Board, the Human Rights Tribunals, and Labour Arbitration Awards.  These are tribunals that are important in the Law of Work.

2.    Quicklaw

Quicklaw is the main case law database used by lawyers.  It’s expensive, but you have free access to it while you are a student.  Just search Quicklaw in e-resouces, and then “click on access this resource”.  On the next page, click “Register Later”.  Then on the next page click “Accept”.    That gives you access to the database.  You can search by topic or case name.  Quicklaw includes all courts and tribunals in Canada.  It has more cases than CanLII, since not every case makes it onto CanLII.

3.   Work Law E-Texts

There are several good e-texts available using York University’s library e-resources database.   You will need to enter your passport York information.

For the Common Law and Regulatory Standards Regimes [often referred to as “Employment Law”]

On E-Resources, search for “Employment Source”.  Follow the link to the database of that name by WestLawNext Canada.  There you can ask several Employment Law texts, including:

S. Ball, Canadian Employment Law

H. Levitt, The Law of Dismissal in Canada

You can also access the text by Geoffrey England, Individual Employment Law, by searching the name of the text in e-resources. This is a leading text on common law and regulatory law, but was last updated in 2008 so it is dated now.

For the Collective Bargaining Regime [often referred to as Labour Law]

On E-Resources, search for ‘Labour Source”. Follow the link to the database, where you can find several labour law texts, including:

Canadian Labour Arbitration (known in the field as “Brown & Beatty” after the names of the authors).  This book is the leading textbook on labour arbitration in Canada, which is the litigation of grievances in unionized environment.  The book explains the law and links to arbitration decisions.

Canadian Labour Law  by George Adams.  This is a leading text that explains all aspects of collective bargaining law (unionization, collective bargaining, labour arbitration, strikes and lockouts).

Labour Arbitration Cases (L.A.C.), is the leading case law reporter for arbitration decisions.

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Here are a bunch of possible essay topics off the top of my head in no particular order. If none of these interest you, and nothing else is coming to mind, I recommend you email me and tell me in a general way what interests you. We can then think about possible topics.

Possible Essay Topics

  • Examine the academic literature dealing with the impacts of unions on such things as productivity, profitability, and employment levels.
  • Examine academic and policy debates surrounding the employment status of “gig” (i.e. Uber, etc) workers.  Issues to consider include: What are arguments for and against treating gig workers as “employees” rather than independent contractors?  Are gig workers “employees” under existing Canadian work law?  What are some proposals for reform?
  • Examine the academic debates about the effects of an increase in the minimum wage on poverty and employment levels. 
  •  In recent years there has been a flurry of court cases that examine the interaction of notice of termination clauses in employment contracts and statutory minimum notice requirements.  Research that case law and explain to HR professionals how to draft a proper (enforceable) notice of termination clause.
  • Examine and compare how Canada’s various governments responded to COVID-19 in relation to employees and employers.
  • Mischaracterization of employees as “independent contractors” has been identified as a serious problem in the regulation of work.  Examine this issue through the lens of HRM, drawing on HRM literature as well as legal literature.
  • Explore the law that governs an HR issue that you or your organization has had deal with.  Do you think that law strikes an appropriate balance between the employer’s interests and the employees’ interest?
  • Choose any academic/professor in the field of industrial relations or employment/labour law and explore themes and ideas in their work.
  • How does the Human Rights Code deal with employees with addictions or mental illness and what is the extent of an employer’s duty to accommodate those employees?
  • Examine cases in the common law and regulatory regimes that involve the use of social media by either employers and employees and provide advise to HRM professionals about the law’s treatment of social media.
  • Research issues that will arise in relation to the legalization of marijuana and the workplace and how the law will deal with those issues.

And other topic related to work law and/or labour relations and approved by Professor Doorey.


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