Photo of William Watson

Bill Watson was called to the Bar in Ontario in 1981 and has practiced with Baker McKenzie for much of his career, becoming a Partner Principal in 1987. Bill has twice served as the Practice Group Leader for the Labour, Employment, Employment Benefits and Immigration Practice Group and is a former Managing Partner of Baker McKenzie in Canada. Bill’s practice focuses on large issue litigation and the conduct of complex negotiations, domestically and internationally, in the following fields:  arbitration and dispute resolution; collective bargaining; education law and university governance; employment law; health law; human rights; inquests; international labour standards; labour relations; occupational health and safety; and privacy law. Bill served as the Canada-wide negotiator in the negotiation of the first compensation package for victims of HIV tainted blood in the 1990’s. Bill served for 5 years as a member of the Canadian Employer Delegation to the International Labour Organization including a term as the head of that Delegation and Vice-President of the Annual ILO Conference. Bill has served as a member of the Board of Governors of the University of Waterloo since 2011 and previously served as President of the University of Waterloo Alumni Association. Bill was an initial recipient of the University of Waterloo 50th Anniversary Alumni Award in recognition of professional achievement and public service. Bill and his wife, Jeanne, are active supporters of the theatre community and are members of the Governor’s Council at the Shaw Festival Theatre - Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario. Bill and Jeanne have been recognized for their commitment to philanthropy by the Golden Horseshoe Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals.

Social media has never been more popular and employers are facing a growing number of risks as a result. In our recent article, we provide guidance on dealing with social media as it impacts the workplace. In addition to outlining the prevailing risks, we suggest proactive steps to avoid issues before they occur. This article was published in the August 7th edition of the Canadian HR Reporter – access the article here.

For highlights from our recent #SocialMediaAtWork seminar – see here.

On June 16, 2015, Bill C-525, commonly known as the Employees’ Voting Rights Act (“EVRA“), will come into force. EVRA will make some minor, but impactful, changes to the processes in which unions gain and lose bargaining rights in the federal public sector. Continue Reading No More Stacking the Deck: Employees’ Voting Rights Act Brings Changes to Federal Union Certification and Decertification Processes

On July 1, 2014, key components of Canada’s “anti-spam legislation” came into force, but the full impact is still uncertain, particularly with respect to labour relations communications.  Our colleague, William Watson, has posted an interesting article on this in his blog, The Legal Playing Field Click here to read.

In R. v Metron, 2013 ONCA 541, Metron Construction Corporation (“Metron”) was found to have committed criminal negligence in failing to take reasonable steps to prevent bodily harm to its workers.  Metron is the first case decided under the criminal negligence provisions of the Criminal Code where the parties did not agree on the sentence.  At the trial level, Metron pleaded guilty and was sentenced to a fine of $200,000.

Continue Reading Court of Appeal Imposes Criminal Liability and Significant Fine for Workplace Accident

In Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada, Local 30 v. Irving Pulp & Paper, Ltd., 2013 SCC 34 [“Irving”], the Supreme Court of Canada (“SCC”) issued a landmark decision concerning workplace drug and alcohol testing. Irving strikes a new balance between the competing interests of employee privacy and workplace safety.

Continue Reading Workplace Drug and Alcohol Testing: Current Best Practices

The Ontario Labour Relations Board’s decision in Service Employees International Union, Local 1 Canada, Applicant v. PRP Senior Living Inc. o/a Sunrise of Aurora, 2013 CanLII 15847 has given rise to further debate about the scope of an employer’s right to free speech during a union campaign.  Our colleague, William Watson, has posted an interesting article on this in his blog, The Legal Playing Field.  Click here to read.