Labour & Employment Law Blog

Am I a federal employee?

Zeilikman Law

Zeilikman Law

Am I a federal employee

Many of our former blogs dealt with Ontario employees whose employment is governed by Ontario’s Employment Standards Act, 2000. However, there are thousands of employees who, unbeknownst to them, fall within federal jurisdiction. If you are one of them, what does that mean?

Most people are aware that employees who are employed by the federal government or its agencies are generally unionized. These employees typically resolve workplace disputes in accordance with the terms and conditions stipulated in their collective agreements. However, did you know that there are literally thousands of employees who are not unionized and who are, nonetheless, federally regulated? For instance, bank employees, people working in telecommunications companies or truckers who are employed in trucking companies with national or international reach, are subject to federal laws and regulations pursuant to the Canada Labour Code, 1985.

Under certain circumstances, being a non-unionized and federally regulated employee may prove to be an advantage. Unlike “regular” non-unionized employees who are governed by the laws of contract and the common law, federally regulated employees may actually claim reinstatement when terminated from their job. Typically, a non-unionized federally regulated employee can only be dismissed from their job in the event of a discontinuance of function (colloquially referred to as “restructuring”) or for just cause. If the employer is unable to prove the former or the latter grounds for dismissal then the employee may seek the remedy of reinstatement with full backpay from a federal adjudicator. This right is akin to the right of reinstatement that is normally only found in unionized workplaces.

In addition to the above, a federally regulated employee can also commence a civil wrongful dismissal lawsuit for damages of pay in lieu of notice, among other forms of relief, at common law.

Finally, unlike a unionized employee who typically has to address their workplace disputes with the aid of a union representative, a non-unionized federally regulated employee can directly seek representation from a lawyer of their choice.

Over the years we have represented numerous employees in the banking, trucking and telecommunications industries and have successfully utilized the aforementioned legal avenues. A great deal of our clients were surprised to find out that their employment fell within federal jurisdiction. It is always best to consult a qualified employment lawyer because you are likely to be positively surprised about the rights you may have.

The above article is for general information purposes only, does not constitute legal advice or create a solicitor-client relationship. Because each case is unique and factually driven, if you have concerns with regard to the foregoing issues, please make an appointment with one of our lawyers or a qualified legal practitioner elsewhere. We represent clients in the Greater Toronto Area including Toronto, North York, Markham, Vaughan, Thornhill, Newmarket, Aurora, Brampton, Mississauga, Barrie, Ajax, Whitby, Pickering and Oshawa.

Legal Receptionist

Zeilikman Law is an employment law firm located in Vaughan, Ontario. We are looking to hire a legal receptionist to join our firm. Preference will be given to candidates who have experience working as a receptionist at another law firm.

Location: Vaughan, Ontario.

Start Date: Immediately.

Hours: Monday to Friday, 9 am to 5 pm. Full time. In-person only. This is not a remote work position.

Wages: 35,000 to 40,000 per year.

Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Manage our firm’s multi-line telephone system to receive incoming calls.  Screen incoming telephone call inquiries to determine the nature of the telephone call and provide standard information related to our legal services.  Take and deliver messages and route incoming telephone calls to the appropriate staff person.
  • Answer general inquiries coming from the firm’s social media and website email.
  • Welcome in-person visitors upon arrival.  Direct visitors to the appropriate staff person and / or office or boardroom.
  • Organize in-person visitor schedule to prevent overlap and multiple bookings.
  • Receive, sort, and distribute daily mail and deliveries.
  • Arrange for couriers.
  • Keep front reception, kitchenette area and boardroom tidy.
  • Perform various clerical duties such as filing, photocopying, and faxing on an as-needed basis.
  • Process client or other payments.
  • May be asked to run minor errands outside of office such as attending post office to arrange a courier or pick up mail.
  • May be asked to assist other law clerks or lawyers of the firm as required and as appropriate.
  • Any other basic administrative duties or tasks as deemed appropriate.

Required Skills:

  • Basic knowledge of general office procedures including filing, faxing, and printing and copying.
  • Basic word processing computer skills.
  • Proficient in receptionist and telephone practices, etiquette, and decorum.
  • Professional attitude and appearance.
  • Excellent organizational skills.
  • Positive customer service attitude is a must.
  • Must be able to maintain confidential and sensitive information.

Education and Experience:

  • Highschool diploma or equivalent.
  • 1 – 2 years’ experience in an office setting with an emphasis in accounting, reception or clerical work is required.   We would prefer experience in a law firm environment.

Applications for this position should be sent via email to jennifer@zeilikmanlaw.com. All applications should include a cover letter, resume and at least two references. Only successful candidates will be contacted.