Laura Williams

Laura Williams
WIlliams HR Law
Founder and Principal
Employment & Labour

Laura Williams, founder and principal of Williams HR Law and Williams HR Consulting in Markham, Ont., has more than 16 years of experience providing advice and legal representation to employers on a full range of labour and employment law matters.

Ms. Williams earned a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Western University before graduating with a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Windsor.

She is also an instructor in the Human Resources Management program at the University of Toronto’s School of Continuing Studies.

Ms. Williams is a member of several professional and community service organizations, including the Women Presidents’ Organization, and acts as the vice-chair of MicroSkills Development Centre, and as a governor of Holy Trinity School in Richmond Hill.

Laura Williams Posts

Implications to employers of changes in court procedures

By Laura Williams On January 1, 2020 the monetary limits for claims proceeding in Ontario’s Small Claims Court, and under Rule 76 simplified procedure of the Rules of Civil Procedure (the “Rules”) in the Superior Court of Justice will be increased. Read more

Good news for employers on termination clause enforceability

By Laura Williams As many employers know, enforceable termination clauses that limit employees’ common law termination entitlements are essential to minimize the costs involved with ending employment relationships, but courts strictly scrutinize and frequently refuse to enforce such clauses, often for very technical reasons. Read more

Another one bites the dust: termination clause enforceability

By Laura Williams The Ontario Court of Appeal (“ONCA”) recently provided further guidance on the enforceability of termination clauses and wrongfully dismissed employees’ entitlement to damages for the lost opportunity to earn a bonus during the reasonable notice period in a recent case. Read more

Termination for off-duty misconduct part 1: the basics

By Laura Williams In the age of social media and perpetual digital interconnectedness, incidents of employee off-duty misconduct are increasingly making their way back to employers. Read more

Workplace relationship guidelines are essential: Williams

Clarity is vital when it comes to a company’s policy governing relationships in the workplace, Markham-based employment lawyer Laura Williams tells Canadian Underwriter magazine. Read more

Is the relationship broken when an employee resigns but is re-hired?

By Laura Williams When an employee resigns, the existing employment relationship comes to an end. At that point, the employer is generally absolved of legal obligations except the duty to pay the employee during the resignation notice period, provided that the employee was not constructively dismissed. Read more

Can an employer suspend an employee accused of workplace harassment?

By Laura Williams In the era of #metoo and #timesup, workplace harassment has become a hot-button issue for employers. Read more

Employers need the right to ask for doctors’ notes: Williams

Employers should have the right to require a doctor’s note to ensure workers are fit to return to the job, Markham-based employment lawyer Laura Williams tells Maclean’s magazine. Read more

Sweeping changes to Canada Labour Code coming into force on Sept. 1

By Laura Williams On June 13, 2019, the federal government proclaimed Sept. 1, 2019, as the coming into force date for a number of amendments to the Canada Labour Code [Code]. Read more

Frustration of contract: Williams

By Laura Williams The doctrine of frustration of contract is one which many employers struggle with when it comes to determining whether or not they are justified in ending an employment relationship. Read more

Failure to take harassment complaints seriously can be costly

By Laura Williams Employers who fail to take allegations of harassment and violence seriously and fail to deal with employee complaints in good faith can face major cost consequences if the matter is brought before a court in Ontario. Read more

Language to limit incentive compensation on termination

By Laura Williams Without an enforceable employment agreement, upon a without-cause dismissal, an employee is entitled to be provided with pay in lieu of reasonable notice including his or her full compensation package during the (often lengthy) common law reasonable notice period, including base salary, benefits, bonuses, stock options and more. Read more

Conflicting statutory obligations do not absolve employer of duties

By Laura Williams . Employers in Canada are subject to a variety of legislation that governs the way they conduct business in areas ranging from environmental compliance to employee relations. What does an employer do when two of those statutory obligations seem to be at odds? While most employment-related legislation interacts with little difficulty, on occasion fulfilling one statutory obligation may cause the employer to violate another obligation at law. Read more

Can an employer rely on the findings of a criminal trial?

By Laura Williams . When an employee is convicted of a criminal offence, employers can be left wondering what to do. Depending on the nature of the crime, an employer may feel that the worker’s continued employment is not tenable and may wish to end that relationship for that reason. Read more

Frustration of contract may be claimed by employees

By Laura Williams . When an employee is on a long-term or indefinite medical leave of absence, many employers find themselves wondering what to do. It can be challenging for employers to understand when they can end the employment relationship of an employee on a medical leave without violating the Human Rights Code . Read more