Arthur Zeilikman

Arthur Zeilikman

Arthur Zeilikman is the founder and director of Zeilikman Law

As a graduate student at the University of Toronto, Arthur conducted seminars and lectures on several courses on political and moral philosophy. His commentaries and articles on the development of the law have been featured in such leading law publications as Law Times, the Lawyers Weekly, Canadian HR Reporter, CanLii Connects, the Canadian Press, and Advocatedaily.com.


Arthur holds a B.A. (Honours) in History from York University, a Master of Arts in Political Science from the University of Toronto, and a Juris Doctor from the University of Ottawa, Faculty of Law.

Memberships & Affiliations

Arthur is a member of the Law Society of Ontario in good standing.

Areas of Practice

Arthur is experienced in the conduct of litigation from the inception of the case to its conclusion. Arthur has appeared on complex motions as well as at trials and on appeals and has represented clients at all levels of court in Ontario up to and including the Ontario Court of Appeal. He has successfully represented employers and employees before various courts and provincial and federal administrative tribunals including the Small Claims Court, the Superior Court of Justice, the Divisional Court, the Ontario Court of Appeal, the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario and on appeals to the Umpire in the context of the Federal Court. He dedicates his entire practice to employment and labour law with a complementary practice in disciplinary proceedings involving licensed employees facing professional discipline.

Arthur has experience in labour procedure that involves the unique considerations of the unionized workplace and the Ontario Labour Relations Board. He has represented clients on duty of fair representation applications, unionization and de-unionization matters, matters pertaining to unfair labour practice allegations, as well as in grievances and arbitrations. Arthur has been successful in the de-certification of a large union and the creation of a large grassroots union consisting of close to 300 employees. He likewise has experience in advising on internal union affairs between unions and their members, and on matters relating to union formation and constitution.

Arthur’s employment law experience is extremely broad. His knowledge of employment law is regularly sought out by individuals, companies and even fellow lawyers. He has successfully represented numerous clients in wrongful terminations, workplace harassment matters, bad faith dismissals, disputes surrounding restrictive covenants, discrimination complaints involving provincial and federal legislation, adjudications pursuant to the Canada Labour Code involving bank and other federal employees, as well as in proceedings before the Canada Revenue Agency on issues of status.

Arthur interned, summered, and articled at two prestigious downtown litigation and employment law boutique firms in Toronto.

No matter the difficulty of the dispute, Arthur is committed to his role as a dedicated advocate and representative on behalf of his clients.

Publications and Features

Why ‘quiet firing’ is a bad idea. Previously published in Canadian HR Reporter.

Employment lawyers big on summary judgment. Previously published in Law Times.

Potential issues in Ontario employment law post-COVID-19. Previously published by The Lawyers Daily a division of LexisNexis Canada.

Lawyers must remain essential service as long as reasonably possible. Previously published by The Lawyers Daily a division of LexisNexis Canada.

Employee entitled to withdraw ‘equivocal’ resignation, court rules. Previously published by The Lawyers Daily a division of LexisNexis Canada.

Minimum wage hike, paid leave may lead to job loss, automation. Previously published by The Lawyers Daily a division of LexisNexis Canada.

Summary sentence. Previously published in Benefits.

Partner not an employee: B.C. court. Previously published in the Canadian HR Reporter. 

Contracts for probationary employees are enforceable. Previously published in Canlii Connects. 

Employee discipline requires discretion. Previously published by The Lawyers Daily a division of LexisNexis Canada.

Law for Tenant Employees Needs Updating. Previously published in Advocate Daily. 

Focus: Lawyers divided on jail time for ESA breaches. Previously published in Law Times.

Riding to the Rescue of Collective Bargaining. Previously published in The Lawyers Weekly. 

Focus: Strong backing for bill allowing HRTO costs awards. Previously published in Law Times. 

Ontario Court of Appeal reinstates lawyer’s dismissal for insolent letter. Previously published in Canadian Employment Law Today.

Recent blog posts by Arthur Zeilikman

Notable Cases

I.C.C. Property Management Ltd. V. Gonidis, 2023 ONSC 53. Successfully represented a former employee on a motion for a summary judgment. The employee, who had resigned his employment, was sued by his former employer for allegedly breaching restrictive covenants contained in the employment contract between the parties. In the course of the lawsuit, the former employer brought a motion for a summary judgment, however, the motion was dismissed with costs against the employer.

Tarras v. The Municipal Infrastructure Group Ltd., 2022 ONSC 4522. Successfully represented the employee (“Mr. Tarras”) in a wrongful dismissal/breach of contract lawsuit. Mr. Tarras, who was also an engineer by trade, was once the owner of an Ontario engineering firm. The Ontario engineering firm was sold to an international engineering firm (“defendant”) and, as part of the sale of the business, Mr. Tarras was expected to remain employed with the defendant for a period of three years on a fixed-term basis. Mr. Tarras was terminated 23 months prior to the expiry of the fixed-term, with the defendant having relied on an early termination clause located in the parties’ agreement. Mr. Tarras commenced a lawsuit and argued that the early termination clause was unenforceable and, as such, Mr. Tarras should be awarded to the end of the term under the contract. The court agreed with Mr. Tarras and awarded him with half million dollars in damages. 

Employment and Social Development Canada v. O.M. (June 2, 2022). Successfully represented the client in an employment insurance proceeding on appeal before the Social Security Tribunal of Canada (“SSTC”). The client was denied employment insurance by the Commission due to ostensible misconduct at the workplace under Employment Insurance Act, 1997. The client appealed and the SSTC reconsidered the Commission’s decision and reinstated the client’s right to receive damages.

Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers v. N.S. (April 22, 2022). Successfully represented a social worker in arguing that there were no merits to the numerous complaints in relation to professional misconduct made against the client. The College decided not to pursue the complaints against the client.

Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers v. S.S. (September 16, 2019). Successfully represented a social worker in arguing that there were no merits to the numerous complaints in relation to professional misconduct made against the client. The College decided not to pursue the complaints against the client.

Stephen B. Frohlich v. Yunfan Zhang Professional Corporation 2019 CarswellOnt 19270. Successfully represented an employer optometry clinic at trial. Arthur successfully argued on behalf of the clinic that the employee was dismissed for cause and the court upheld the clinic’s decision to terminate the employee for his conduct and awarded the clinic legal costs for having to defend the lawsuit.

English v. Manulife Financial Corporation, 2019 ONCA 612 (CanLII). Successfully argued before the Ontario Court of Appeal that the lower court’s decision was wrong in determining that the employee resigned her employment. In a unanimous decision, the Court of Appeal overturned the lower court’s decision holding that the employee was free to rescind her notice of resignation since the resignation was not clear and unequivocal.

Sprague v. Toronto Police Service Board, 2019 HRTO 507. Successfully argued before the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario to deny the applicant’s Request for an Interim Order to attend at the respondent’s business premises pending the outcome of the application.

Leaman v. Van der Graaf Inc. 2018 HRTO 1300. Successfully resisted a Request for an Order During Proceedings to remove a director as a personal respondent in the proceeding at the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario.

Naguleswari Sarvananthan vDYN Exporters Canada Inc. (SC-15-106437-00). Successfully defended the employer company at trial against allegations concerning outstanding wages, overtime pay and bad faith conduct.

Ontario College of Optometrists of Ontario v. Dr. Y.Z. (June 1, 2017). Successfully represented an optometrist on the grounds that there was no merit to the numerous complaints made against the optometrist in relation to professional misconduct. The College ultimately decided not to pursue the complaints.

Health Genetic Center Corp. v New Scientist Magazine, 2017 ONSC 2805 (CanLII). Successfully persuaded the judge in the context of a “hot-tubbing” process in the Superior Court of Justice to allow the plaintiffs’ experts to amend their experts’ report.

Canada Revenue Agency v. A.S. (August 17, 2016). Successfully appealed the CRA’s ruling with respect to the client-company’s classification of individuals contracted to do work. The CRA allowed the appeal from the initial ruling, agreeing that those providing services were properly classified as independent contractors.

De Francesca v. Centric Investigation Services Inc., 2016 HRTO 1437 (CanLII). Successfully resisted the respondent employer’s request to summarily dismiss the applicant employee’s human rights application.

Privatized Transit Union v Miller Transit Limited OLRB Case No: 2092-14-R. successfully represented a grassroots union in its certification process before the Ontario Labour Relations Board and the removal of a large incumbent union.

United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America, Local 397, v. Execway Construction Limited OLRB Case No: 2091-14-G. Successfully argued on behalf of a construction company that the Labour Relations Board ought to grant the request to reconsider a default decision on the ground that the union has abandoned its rights vis-à-vis the employer company.

Silveira v. FY International Auditing & Consulting Corp., CanLII 2015 ONSC 338 affirmed Silveira v. FY International Auditing & Consulting Corp., Court File No.:  CV 88/15. Successfully stayed the entire proceeding in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice against an accounting firm which was located in British Columbia but was sued in Ontario. Arthur was successful in bringing a motion to effectively block the proceeding in Ontario arguing that the plaintiff, who was residing in Ontario, was bound by a forum-selection clause in the parties’ contract deferring the dispute to British Columbia. The decision was appealed and the Divisional Court upheld the initial ruling.

High-Tech Realty Inc. v. Pichugin, 2014 ONSC 1783 (Divisional Court.). Successfully represented an employee on appeal at the Divisional Court against an employer who sought to recover Tax Court costs. The Court dismissed the employer’s appeal with costs payable to the employee.

Borges v Midland Food Products Inc, 2014 CanLII 41037 (ON SCSM). Successfully represented at trial an employee who was dismissed for cause after a decade of employment. The trial judge found that the employee was wrongfully dismissed and awarded the employee damages and legal costs.

Employment and Social Development Canada v. S.W. (February 5, 2013). Successfully represented the client in an employment insurance proceeding before the Board of Referees. The client was initially charged with, among other things, (1) failure to prove availability to work due to being absent from Canada and (2) knowingly providing false and misleading information contrary to the Canada Employment Insurance Act, 1997.

Employment and Social Development Canada v.  O.M. CUB 79764. Successfully appealed the decision of the Board of Referees to the Umpire at the Federal Court level. The Umpire held that the Board of Referees erred in its imposition of a penalty and notice of violation against the appellant on the ground that there was no evidence that the appellant knowingly made false representations to the government when completing its reports to collect employment insurance benefits. The Umpire referred the issue of penalty and notice of violation to a differently constituted Board of Referees.

Kaur v. Phantom Industries Inc. 2012 CarswellOnt 17010. Successfully represented an employee at trial with respect to a wrongful dismissal matter. The court accepted the argument that the employee’s inability to communicate in English had bearing on the calculation of reasonable notice the employee was entitled to get at common law.

Bennett v. Cunningham, 2012 CarswellOnt 10166 (Ont. C.A.). The action involved a dismissal of a lawyer, by the principal lawyer, for cause. At issue was a letter that was presented to the principal lawyer who was accused of dishonesty and incompetence. As a result of the letter, the former lawyer was dismissed for the cause of insolence and the Ontario Court of Appeal upheld the dismissal of the lawyer on the aforementioned grounds. Arthur helped in the submission of the written arguments on behalf of the appellant in this matter as an articling student.