David Côté

PartnerCote Professional CorporationEmployment

David is an employment and labour lawyer who acts for both employers and employees and also acts as a consensual mediator. His work includes wrongful dismissal, human rights, health and safety, workplace safety and insurance, and employment standards litigation. He negotiates and drafts employment and compensation agreements and human resource policies. David assists employers in expanding and curtailing business operations. He frequently provides employment/labour law advice to companies when purchasing or selling businesses. David also negotiates collective agreements on behalf of employers and appears before collective agreement arbitrators and labour relations boards. He acts for both employees and employers in privacy law disputes. David represents employers in maintaining union-free workplaces. He also acts as an independent investigator in workplace harassment and discrimination situations.

David has been practising exclusively employment and labour law since 1983 and focuses in four main areas: (i) providing a full range of proactive management side advice to both domestic and international clients in the areas of labour, employment and regulatory law; (ii) assisting executives in all aspects of employment law; (iii) work with other law firms; and (iv) consensual mediation and independent investigations.

On the management side, David's work includes: negotiating and drafting employment agreements; preparing employer handbooks and policies; presenting supervisory training seminars for managers; and advising clients on maintaining union-free work environments. David also assists employer clients in defending wrongful dismissal, employment standards, health and safety, workplace safety and insurance (workers' compensation) and human rights claims.

Throughout his career, David has also provided creative advice on defending union-organizing campaigns and, where necessary, both defended and pursued complaints on behalf of clients before labour relations boards and the courts.

David assists executives in the following areas: negotiating and drafting employment agreements; providing advice in constructive and wrongful dismissal cases and where necessary, litigating those cases; representing executives in discrimination and harassment cases brought against them before human rights tribunals and the courts; and representing executives in restrictive covenant cases in the courts.

David acts as a consensual mediator in sophisticated employment law cases. David also acts as an independent investigator in workplace harassment cases.

David regularly plans and participates in cross-border and multi-jurisdictional conferences and seminars. He has lectured at Queen's, McGill and Ryerson Universities as well as Sheridan College. He has taught negotiation skills for the Law Society of Ontario and routinely lectures at, and chairs, conferences on labour and employment issues, including conferences for the Law Society of Ontario and the Conference Board of Canada.

David frequently writes and speaks on current issues in his practice areas and has written numerous articles on labour and employment law that have been published in various publications. David is also a frequently sought-after media commentator on labour and employment law issues (The Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, CBC Television and Radio, CBC Newsworld, National Post). 

Education

  • Harvard University, Negotiation Program, 1988
  • Queen's University, LL.B., 1980
  • University of Toronto, B.A., 1977
  • Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, 2-week residence Executive Management Program

Bar Admission

  • Ontario, 1983

Experience

  • Providing a full range of proactive management side advice to both domestic and international clients in the areas of labour, employment and regulatory law
  • Assisting executives in all aspects of employment law
  • Consensual mediation and independent investigations
  • Assisting clients in closing/scaling back business operations
  • Acting as lead counsel in numerous wrongful dismissal actions and human rights complaints
  • Acting as lead spokesperson in numerous collective agreement negotiations
  • Assisting both domestic and international clients in establishing green field operations in Canada
  • Negotiating and drafting employment agreements
  • Providing advice in constructive and wrongful dismissal cases and, where necessary, litigating those cases
  • Representing executives in discrimination and harassment cases brought against them before human rights tribunals and the courts
  • Representing executives in restrictive covenant cases in the courts
  • Representing lawyers/law firms in discrimination/harassment cases brought against them
  • Providing employment and labour law advice to law firms (including non-Canadian law firms) who do not have an existing focus in employment and labour law

Associations

  • Ontario Bar Association
  • Canadian Bar Association