Labour and Employment Law

By virtue of the firm's large institutional and corporate client base, the Taylor MacLellan Cochrane Labour and Employment Group is experienced in all facets of management-side unionized and non-unionized legal needs. We work co-operatively with our clients and tailor our services to suit our clients' needs, recognizing that different clients have different levels of internal Human Resources expertise. We work with clients to identify in advance issues which may result in litigation or a complaint before an administrative tribunal, and provide solutions, advice and risk analysis which is relevant and useful to our clients' decision making. Where our clients face litigation, grievance arbitration, an administrative proceeding or any other form of legal dispute resolution, we have the experience to represent our clients through any process and a proven track record of representing our clients well.

We take an interest in our clients' businesses and internal culture, which allows us to better understand and meet our clients' needs.

We have experience representing employers throughout Western Nova Scotia in both public and private sectors, including the Annapolis Valley Regional School Board, Acadia University, the Town of Wolfville, the Municipality of the District of Digby, the Town of Digby, the Municipality of Kings, corporations, nursing homes, societies and small businesses.

What we do

We regularly provide advice and/or representation to clients in the following areas:

  • Union certification drives, and associated issues
  • Collective Bargaining
  • Interpretation and application of collective agreements
  • Grievance Arbitration
  • Trade Union Act matters
  • Human Rights matters
  • Occupational Health & Safety
  • Canada Labour Code matters
  • Labour Standards Code matters
  • Workers' Compensation matters
  • Discipline & discharge
  • Contracting out
  • Strikes and lockouts
  • Managing illness and disability in the workplace including:
  • Environmental Illness
  • Multiple Chemical Sensitivity
  • Sick Building Syndrome
  • "Toxic Mould"
  • Environmental Hypersensitivity
  • Ideopathic Environmental Hypersensitivities
  • Labour / Employment issues arising from the purchase, sale or reoganization of a business
  • Employment contracts
  • Wrongful dismissal matters

While we do not represent unions and do not represent employees in labour matters, we do represent employees in non-union matters in select cases.

We have experience representing clients before all levels of court and many Boards and Tribunals including the following:

  • Grievance Arbitration Boards
  • Labour Relations Board
  • Labour Standards Tribunal
  • Human Rights Boards of Inquiry
  • Occupational Health & Safety Appeal Panel
  • Workers' Compensation Appeal Tribunal
  • Employment Insurance Board of Referees
  • Boards of Appeal under the Education Act
  • Various Professionl Regulatory Bodies

Recent Work

  • Representation of a nursing home during successful opposition to two union certification drives and an unfair labour practice complaint to the Labour Relations Board
  • Conduct of a series of major arbitration cases for public sector client regarding sickness and disability issues including Multiple Chemical Sensitivity / Environmental Illness / Environmental Hypersensitivity
  • Conduct of Occupational Health and Safety Appeal Panel hearings regarding Work Refusal, including a hearing before the Court of Appeal that clarified the Director's obligations in relation to investigating work refusals
  • Defence of employers regarding Human Rights complaints
  • Advice regarding termination of employees and negotiation of severance
  • Advice regarding absenteeism and management of disability and accommodation issues
  • Representation of public sector client regarding application before Labour Relations Board regarding amendment of bargaining unit
  • Advice to clients during collective bargaining
  • Interpretation and advice regarding collective agreements
  • Conduct of major employee Constructive Dismissal action against a national company
  • Defence and representation of professionals regarding complaints made to governing professional regulatory authorities
  • Conduct of successful wrongful dismissal action involving fixed-term employment contract
  • Successful defence of a home for special care regarding the firing of two employees for mistreatment of residents
  • Represented a public sector Employer in the interpretation of a collective agreement and defence of staffing process
  • Advised public sector unionized Employers regarding Multiple Chemical Sensitivity / Environmental Illness / Environmental Hypersensitivity and Sick Building Syndrome, and associated sick leave, Human Rights, and Occupational Health & Safety issues
  • Advised public sector Employers regarding compliance obligations and associated liability issues arising from Provincial smoking regulations
  • Advised Employers regarding conciliation following breakdown of collective bargaining
  • Prepared employment contracts for employers to use with employees, including executive officer of large employer


The Taylor MacLellan Cochrane Labour and Employment Law Team can be contacted by e-mail at TMC Labour and Employment Law or visit the Contact page for information on how to contact them by phone, fax, mail or to find out where our office is located.


Legal Services

Kentville Office / Mailing Address:
50 Cornwallis Street
Kentville, NS
B4N 2E4

Kingston Office:
643 Main Street
Kingston, NS

t: 902.678.6156 Kentville
t: 902.242.6156 Kingston
f: 902.678.6010
Toll Free: 1-888-4-TMC-LAW

Jonathan Cuming,

Amanda Young