Michael F. Horvat

Partner Admitted to the Ontario Bar: 1999

Michael guides his clients through their labour and employment law issues by providing them with practical solutions that balance their workplace legal needs with the organization’s long-term goals. Michael regularly provides strategic advice for managing human resources, helping his clients navigate their obligations and provides remedies to avoid workplace conflict. Michael provides counsel for developing policies and procedures to help his clients manage their workplace and, when necessary, litigate to defend his clients' interests. 

Michael is a member of the firm's Workplace Law Group. His practice focuses on all aspects of labour and employment law in both the federal and provincial jurisdictions. He advises employers in a number of industries, including manufacturing, transportation, retail, electrical distribution, construction and financial services, on various matters, including employment standards, human rights, discipline, discharge, union certification, grievances, wrongful dismissal, executive employment matters and transactions, as well as general labour and employment law issues.

Michael represents employers before the courts and administrative tribunals, such as the Ontario Labour Relations Board, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, the Ontario Divisional Court, the Ontario Court of Appeal, the Grievance Settlement Board, the Canadian Railway Office of Arbitration, the Ontario Employment Standards Branch, the Ontario Workplace Safety and Insurance Board and in grievance arbitration and mediation.

Michael is a regular speaker and writer on employment and labour law matters.

Awards & Recognition

  • Recognized in The Best Lawyers in Canada in Labour and Employment Law

Selected Speaking Engagements

Aird & Berlis Workplace Law Online Session, November 24, 2020.

"The Canadian Emergency Wage Subsidy Amendments – All Businesses with a Decrease in Revenue Qualify Starting in July," Aird & Berlis LLP Labour & Employment Webinar, August 4, 2020.

"Top Labour and Employment Trends 2019: A Look Back, A Look Forward," Aird & Berlis LLP Labour & Employment Webinar, January 29, 2020.

"Managing Terminations: A Practical Overview and Employment Law Update," Aird & Berlis LLP Labour & Employment Webinar, September 26, 2019.

"The Modern Workplace: Managing to Succeed," Aird & Berlis LLP Labour & Employment Webinar, April 16, 2019.

"Managing Absenteeism in the Workplace," Aird & Berlis LLP Labour & Employment Webinar, March 26, 2019.

"Top Workplace Issues of 2018: Looking Back and Preparing for the Year Ahead," Aird & Berlis LLP Labour & Employment Webinar, January 16, 2019.

"Compliance and Liability in the Era of Cannabis Legalization: Tips, Traps and Strategies for Employers," Aird & Berlis LLP Labour & Employment Webinar, September 25, 2018.

"Workplace Wellness and Mental Health: Emerging Issues, Effective Management," Aird & Berlis LLP Labour & Employment Webinar, April 24, 2018.

"Top Labour and Employment Issues of 2017 and Trends to Watch in 2018," Aird & Berlis LLP Labour & Employment Webinar, January 30, 2018.

"Marijuana Legalization: Is Your Workplace Ready?," Aird & Berlis LLP Labour & Employment Webinar, October 24, 2017.

"Bill 148: The Overhaul of the Employment Standards Act," Aird & Berlis LLP Labour & Employment Webinar, September 26, 2017.

"Employment Law Update," CFAA Rental Housing Conference, June 7, 2017.

"Trending Labour and Employment Issues in the Automotive Parts Industry," Aird & Berlis LLP Labour & Employment Webinar, June 6, 2017.

"Dealing with the Difficult Employee," Aird & Berlis LLP Labour & Employment Webinar, April 25, 2017.

"Emerging Issues in Human Rights: Family Status and Transgender Accommodation in Employment," Aird & Berlis LLP Labour & Employment Webinar, February 28, 2017.

"A Year in Review: Top Issues in Employment Law," Aird & Berlis LLP Labour & Employment Webinar, January 24, 2017. 

"Tough Questions, Difficult Answers and Head Scratchers: A&B Workplace Law Lawyers Answer Your Questions," Aird & Berlis LLP Labour & Employment Webinar, October 25, 2016.

"The Employment Contract: From Marriage to Divorce," Aird & Berlis LLP Labour & Employment Webinar, September 27, 2016.

Selected Publications

"The Pendulum Swings Back," Co authored with Fiona Brown and Lorenzo Lisi, Aird & Berlis LLP Workplace Law Bulletin, June 22, 2020.

"COVID-19 and the Workplace: Remote Working Legal Considerations and Recommendations," Co authored with Fiona Brown and Daria Peregoudova, Aird & Berlis LLP Workplace Law Bulletin, May 26, 2020.

"COVID-19 and the Workplace: Changes to the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy and Summer Jobs Program," Co authored with Fiona Brown and David Mba, Aird & Berlis LLP Workplace Law Bulletin, April 22, 2020.

“Food Delivery Drivers Open to Unionization – Expanding Labour Relations to E-commerce,” Co-authored with Fiona Brown and David Mba, Aird & Berlis LLP Workplace Law Bulletin, March 2, 2020.

“Off-Duty Conduct and the Employment Relationship: Where is the Line?,” Co-authored with Lorenzo Lisi, Aird & Berlis LLP Workplace Law Bulletin, December 18, 2019.

"What U.K Employers Should Know About Canadian Human Rights Employment Law," The Lawyer's Daily, November 1, 2019.

“What U.K. Employers Should Know About Canadian Termination, Dismissal Law,” Co-authored with Fiona Brown, The Lawyer’s Daily, October 21, 2019.

“Compensation, Time Off Differences Between Canadian, U.K., Employment Law,” Co-authored with Fiona Brown, The Lawyer’s Daily, October 7, 2019.

“What U.K. Employers Should Know About Canadian Employment Law,” Co-authored with Fiona Brown, The Lawyer’s Daily, September 20, 2019.

“What American Employers Should Know About Canadian Employment Law,” Co-authored with Fiona Brown, Aird & Berlis LLP Workplace Law Bulletin, August 19, 2019.

“The Duty to Accommodate: A Cooperative and Collaborative Process,” Co-authored with Fiona Brown, Aird & Berlis LLP Workplace Law Bulletin, May 9, 2019.

“You Asked, We Answered: Managing Absenteeism in the Workplace,” Aird & Berlis LLP Workplace Law Bulletin, April 10, 2019.

“Employers’ Dilemma – Did Misconduct at Work Feed the Addiction or Did the Addiction Blind the Employee to Her Actions?,” Aird & Berlis LLP Workplace Law Bulletin, March 18, 2019.

“When You Become Dependent on Independent Contractors: The Risk to Employers,” Aird & Berlis LLP Workplace Law Bulletin, February 28, 2019.

“You Asked, We Answered: Top Workplace Law Issues,” Aird & Berlis LLP Workplace Law Bulletin, January 24, 2019.

“Legalized Cannabis: After the Smoke Has Cleared,” HR Professional, Special Conference Edition 2019.

“Additional Changes to Ontario Employment Standards – Hours of Work and Overtime Averaging,” Aird & Berlis LLP Workplace Law Bulletin, December 7, 2018.

“What Happens at the Office Holiday Party Doesn’t Necessarily Stay at the Party,” Aird & Berlis LLP Workplace Law Bulletin, December 6, 2018.

“Bill 148 – Barely Here and Now Gone,” Aird & Berlis LLP Workplace Law Bulletin, October 24, 2018.

“Cannabis Legalization in Canada is Here,” Aird & Berlis LLP Workplace Law Bulletin, October 23, 2018.

“Bill 148 Update: Getting Ready for “On-Call” Changes to the Employment Standards Act,” Aird & Berlis LLP Workplace Law Bulletin, September 19, 2018.

“ESA Update: Ontario Set to Return to Its Former Public Holiday Pay Calculation,” Co-authored with Fiona Brown and Nicholas Smith, Aird & Berlis LLP Workplace Law Bulletin, May 15, 2018.

“Collective Agreement Benefits vs. Paid Emergency Leave – First Look After Bill 148,” Co-authored with Fiona Brown and Nicholas Smith, Aird & Berlis LLP Workplace Law Bulletin, May 15, 2018.

“Ontario Government Passes Sweeping Changes to Employment Standards Legislation,” Aird & Berlis LLP Workplace Law Bulletin, November 23, 2017.

“Accommodation Before Frustration – Addressing Long-Term Absence from the Workplace,” Aird & Berlis LLP Workplace Law Bulletin, October 27, 2017.

“Breach of Drug Policy Can Support Termination SCC Decides,” Aird & Berlis LLP Workplace Law Bulletin, July 13, 2017.

"Big Changes are Coming for Ontario Workplaces! Ontario Government Announces Intent to Amend Employment Standards Act," Co-authored with Meghan Cowan, Aird & Berlis LLP Workplace Law Bulletin, June 1, 2017.

"Ontario’s Changing Workplaces Review: A Focus on Penalties and Enforcement of Employment and Labour Standards in the Province," Aird & Berlis LLP Workplace Law Bulletin, May 26, 2017.

"You Asked, We Answered: Dealing with the Difficult Employee," Aird & Berlis LLP Workplace Law Bulletin, May 17, 2017.

"Legalized Marijuana – Another Balancing Act for Employers," Aird & Berlis LLP Workplace Law Bulletin, April 18, 2017.

"The Last Word? Enforcing Termination Clauses and Employment Agreements," Aird & Berlis LLP Workplace Law Bulletin, March 22, 2017.

"Employee Surveillance," Aird & Berlis LLP Workplace Law Bulletin, February 22, 2017.

"Reasonable Notice Periods – A Multimillion Dollar Warning," Aird & Berlis LLP Workplace Law Bulletin, January 31, 2017.

"You Asked, We Answered: Top Issues in Employment Law," Aird & Berlis LLP Workplace Law Bulletin, January 31, 2017.

"Off-Duty Conduct: What Can Happen When Employees Go Viral," Aird & Berlis LLP Workplace Law Bulletin, October 19, 2016.

Insights

Publications Article Jun 22, 2020 The Pendulum Swings Back
Publications Article Jan 24, 2019 You Asked, We Answered: Top Workplace Law Issues

Education

  • LLB, Osgoode Hall Law School, 1997
  • BA (Hons), York University, 1993