Natalie MacDonald

Natalie C. MacDonald

Owner and FounderMacDonald & AssociatesEmployment

Natalie MacDonald, named "Employment Lawyer of the Year" in 2018 at the National HR Awards, following her landmark case of Galea v. Wal-mart in which she achieved the highest amounts of extraordinary damages in Canadian Employment Law and set record precedents in doing so. She is also the leading authority on extraordinary damages and author of the text, Extraordinary Damages in Canadian Employment Law, which received critical acclaim as an authority on the subject by courts and members of the bar.

Natalie MacDonald, named "Employment Lawyer of the Year" in 2018 at the National HR Awards, following her landmark case of Galea v. Wal-mart in which she achieved the highest amounts of extraordinary damages in Canadian Employment Law and set record precedents in doing so. She is also the leading authority on extraordinary damages and author of the text, Extraordinary Damages in Canadian Employment Law, which received critical acclaim as an authority on the subject by courts and members of the bar. The book reviews extraordinary damages in wrongful dismissal cases across Canada, including moral damages and the meaning of 'bad faith' in wrongful dismissal situations, damages for mental distress, punitive damages, damages based on actions in tort, personal injury damages in an employment law context, as well as human rights remedies under provincial and federal legislation.

She is the owner and founder of MacDonald & Associates, a boutique law firm specializing in Canadian Employment Law. MacDonald & Associates formed following the dissolution of Natalie's former firm, which had been in existence for four years, the last two for which it had been selected as one of the top three Employment & Labour Law firms in Canada, according to Canadian HR Reporter Readers' Choice Awards.

Natalie has also been selected as one of the leading Labour and Employment law practitioners in the world in both 2016 and 2017, according to the 6th and 7th editions of the Expert Guides Women in Business Law guide. Lawyers listed in the Expert Guides Women in Business Law publication are nominated by in-house counsel and peers and selected through independent research and peer evaluations.

Natalie was also chosen to be the Employment Litigation Law Expert in Canada in 2017 by both Global Law Experts and Leaders in Law. The accreditation process is by invitation only, with recommendations coming via the research team. She has repeatedly been named among Canada's Top Employment Law Practitioners. She was recently nominated as one of Canada's Top 25 Legal Influencers, in the category of Changemakers. The term "legal influencers" of this highly prestigious nomination encompasses both judges and lawyers. One of Natalie's cases, Antidormi v. Blue Pumpkin Software Inc., is touted as a leading decision in the area of inducement of employees to organizations. She achieved extraordinary damages in this case.

Natalie provides senior counsel on all issues in employment law, including policy and contract drafting, hiring processes, terminations, discipline, restrictive covenants, employment contracts, employment standards issues, workplace bullying and harassment, human rights and sexual harassment. She represents both employees and employers, assisting each with clear, practical advice, in an effort to help them understand their rights and obligations.

She is the founding Co-Chair of the Employment Law Practice Essentials' annual Conference, an on-line course hosted by the Law Society of Upper Canada. She is also a Program Director of Osgoode's Professional Development HR Law for HR Professionals course, and an instructor since its inception. Natalie is the architect of and founding Program Director of Osgoode's Certificate in Advanced HR Law for Experienced HR Professionals. She also enjoys sharing her knowledge and experience through teaching, and regularly chairs and speaks at conferences, including those offered by Human Resources Professional Association, Ontario Bar Association and the Law Society of Upper Canada.

She currently serves on the Employment Advisory Board of Directors for Practical Law in Canada and is the author of the chapter on Extraordinary Damages for its online publication. She has also authored a chapter on Damages for LexisNexis.

Natalie is also a volunteer for Pro Bono Law Ontario, which operates a number of services to assist low-income, self-represented litigants with civil matters. Natalie provides Senior Counsel to assist litigants with employment law matters.

Natalie was the Editor-in-Chief of the Employment Bulletin for several years, as well as a routine contributor to Canadian HR Reporter, Canadian Employment Law Today and Canadian Employer. Natalie is regularly called upon by the media to offer her expert opinion on employment law matters. In addition, Natalie currently serves as Founder and Advisor for a group dedicated to eradicating domestic abuse. She was formerly a Board Member of a Women's Shelter. She has also served as a Director on two, not-for profit Boards, which addressed social housing needs. Natalie is also deeply committed to actively supporting various other charitable causes. In 2008, Natalie was a member of a Task Force for Social Justice spearheaded by the Chief Justice of the Ontario Court of Appeal and also provided opinion to University of Toronto Law School in that same vein. Natalie's expertise is regularly sought by other organizations within the legal community, to provide guidance on complex employment law issues. She is a leader in the legal community donating her time and expertise on a regular basis.

A world traveller, Natalie has backpacked throughout Australia, South East Asia, China, India, Africa, Europe and various parts of South America. Natalie enjoys running, golf, and skiing; she is an active member of both her golf and ski clubs. Natalie is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada as well as the Ontario and Canadian Bar Associations.

A graduate of the Faculty of Law of the University of Windsor, Natalie received her B.A. (Hons) from Queen's University and was called to the Bar in 2000.

Education

  • University of Windsor, 1998

Bar Admission

  • Ontario, 2000

Experience

  • Author: Extraordinary Damages in Canadian Employment Law
  • Founding Co-Chair, Employment Law Practice Essentials Annual Conference
  • Program Director, Osgoode Law School's Professional Development HR Law for HR Professional Course and Architect of Advanced Program
  • Chairs and speakers frequently at employment related conferences

Awards & Honours

  • Named "Employment Lawyer of the Year" at the National HR Awards in 2018
  • Won leading case in achieving the highest level of Extraordinary Damages in Canadian Employment Law in the landmark case, Galea v. Wal-mart
  • Author of critically acclaimed textbook, Extraordinary Damages in Canadian Law
  • Litigation Law Expert in Canada, Global Experts, 2017
  • Litigation Law Expert in Canada, Leaders in Law, 2017
  • Leading Labour and Employment Practitioners in the World, Expert Guides Women In Business Law Guides, 2016, 2017
  • Nominated in 2016 and 2017 as Leading "Changemaker" in Canada, and for Leading in "Human Rights and Litigation"
  • Named repeatedly as one of Canada's Top Employment Law Practitioners in Canadian HR Reporter

Associations

  • Volunteer, Pro Bono Ontario
  • Employment Advisory Board of Directors for Practical Law Canada (author of online chapter)