David Tsai acts exclusively for employers in the area of labour relations and employment law. His practice spans unionized and non-unionized workplaces for both federally and provincially regulated employers.
David advises clients on a wide range of labour relations and employment-related matters, including discipline and discharge, employment standards, occupational health and safety, workplace safety and insurance, collective bargaining, human rights, and wrongful dismissal. He helps his clients to interpret federal and provincial legislation and assists them with the development of strategic workplace policies and procedures. David also has experience advising clients on the labour relations and employment issues arising from corporate reorganizations and mergers and acquisitions.
David has represented clients before a variety of courts and tribunals including boards of arbitration, the Ontario Labour Relations Board, the Canada Industrial Relations Board, the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario, employment standards referees, and the Ontario Superior Court of Justice.
Prior to joining Miller Thomson, David summered, articled and practised labour relations and employment law in the Toronto office of a global law firm. David also has experience working on the management teams of two major law firms, specializing in the recruitment, performance management and career development of summer law students, articling students and associates.
Professional achievements & leadership
- Honours Standing for Third Year, University of Toronto, 2008
- Dahoui v. Ivanhoe Cambridge Inc., 2017 HRTO 641 (successfully argued for the dismissal of a human rights application on the basis that the applicant had not been discriminated against because of race or any other of the enumerated grounds in the Human Rights Code)
- Di Muccio v. Newmarket (Town), 2016 HRTO 406 (successfully represented the respondent Town in a human rights application that was dismissed by the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario on the basis that the applicant was not in an employment or contractual relationship with the Town)
- Jennifer Ford v. Anne Anderson and the University of St. Michael’s College, 2015 CanLII 27353 (ON LRB) (represented the University of St. Michael’s College in a successful motion where the Ontario Labour Relations Board dismissed several issues raised by the individual in an application alleging reprisal under the Occupational Health and Safety Act)
- Universal Workers Union (L.I.U.N.A., Local 183) v. PNR Railworks Inc., 2011 CanLII 78742 (ON LRB) and 2012 CanLII 17170 (ON LRB) (represented PNR Railworks in a grievance dismissed by the Ontario Labour Relations Board as a result of the union’s failure to follow the parties’ agreed-upon protocol for the referral of grievances to arbitration; the union subsequently sought to refer a second grievance that remedied this procedural defect but which was otherwise identical to the first grievance; the Ontario Labour Relations Board agreed with PNR Railworks’ submissions that the second grievance referral not be accepted in the interests of sound labour relations policy requiring sophisticated entities to ensure public resources were not wasted by a union’s failure to comply with previously agreed-upon protocols)
- Universal Workers Union (L.I.U.N.A., Local 183) v. Teston Pipelines Limited, 2011 CanLII 78812 (ON LRB) (successfully represented Teston Pipelines in a referral of a grievance to arbitration where the Ontario Labour Relations Board held that the disciplinary action imposed on a worker for making death threats against his foreman was appropriate)
- Co-presenter, “You’re Out!”, Miller Thomson’s 2017 Labour Relations & Employment Law Conference, April 6, 2017
- “Return to Work Accommodation for Mental Health Illnesses and Conditions”, Coffee Talk: A Miller Thomson LLP Health Industry Seminar Series (November 16, 2016)
- “Bring Your Own Device (to Work): Benefits and Challenges,” Canadian Labour & Employment Law Blog, July 25, 2018
- “Ontario Passes Fair Wage Legislation to Protect Certain Workers on Government Contracts,” Labour and Employment Communiqué, May 17, 2018
- “Ontario Government’s Proposed Changes to the Province’s Labour and Employment Laws,” Labour and Employment Communiqué, May 31, 2017
- “Ontario’s Changing Workplaces Review: Special Advisors’ Final Report,” Labour and Employment Communiqué, May 25, 2017
- “Changing Workplaces Review: Special Advisors’ Interim Report,” Labour and Employment Communiqué, August 2, 2016
- “Further Clarification on the ‘With Respect to Employment’ Threshold under Ontario’s Human Rights Code,” Labour and Employment Communiqué, June 1, 2016
- “Employment and Labour Considerations Arising out of the 2015 Economic Action Plan and Bill C-59,” Labour and Employment Communiqué, May 22, 2015
- “Changes to the Employment Standards Act, 2000 Increasing Workplace Protections for Employees now in Effect,” Labour and Employment Communiqué, May 21, 2015
- Law Society of Ontario
- Canadian Bar Association
- Ontario Bar Association
Bar admissions & education
- Ontario Bar, 2009
- J.D., University of Toronto, 2008
- B.Arts Sc. (honours), McMaster University, 2004
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David Tsai speaks on proposed changes to Ontario Employment Standards Act
David Tsai is a panelist at “Changing Workplaces: Are You Ready?”, a seminar presented by the Employer Leadership Council and the Workforce Planning Board of York Region. The presentation focuses on the proposed changes to the Employment Standards Act in...
Strategies for Accommodating, Disciplining and Testing the Addicted Employee
Webinar hosted on April 30, 2015 for a session on managing addictions and drug and alcohol testing in the workplace. Speakers will offer practical advice on the following: Investigating suspected cases of substance abuse; Introducing a legal testing policy; Distinguishing...
Miller Thomson’s 2017 Labour Relations & Employment Law Conference
We are pleased to invite you to Miller Thomson’s complimentary Labour Relations & Employment Law Conference. Our featured speakers will provide legal and practical insights on emerging HR topics impacting the workplace. Our program has been pre-approved for 5.75 Continuing Professional Development...
Coffee Talk: Return to Work Accommodation for Mental Health Illnesses and Conditions
Miller Thomson’s Health Industry Group hosts a complimentary webinar/audio conference on November 16, 2016 at 8:00 a.m., entitled “Return to Work Accommodation for Mental Health Illnesses and Conditions”, presented by David Tsai . This Coffee Talk will include a discussion of...
Bring Your Own Device (to Work): Benefits and Challenges
Mobile devices are pervasive – indeed, it is becoming exceedingly rare to find a workplace that does not incorporate the use of mobile devices in its day-to-day operations in some fashion. While there are several ways companies can integrate mobile...
Ontario Passes Fair Wage Legislation to Protect Certain Workers on Government Contracts
Introduction On May 8, 2018, the Government Contract Wages Act, 2018 (the “Act”) received Royal Assent. The newly passed legislation allows Ontario to establish minimum rates of pay for people working in construction, building cleaning, and security services jobs under...
Ontario Government’s Proposed Changes to the Province’s Labour and Employment Laws
Introduction On May 23, 2017, the Final Report of the Changing Workplaces Review commissioned by the Ontario Government (the “Final Report”) was released for public consumption. As noted in our last communiqué, the Special Advisors made 173 recommendations on how...
Ontario’s Changing Workplaces Review: Special Advisors’ Final Report
Introduction On May 23, 2017, the Final Report of the Changing Workplaces Review commissioned by the Ontario Government was released for public consumption. The Final Report is the culmination of over two years of consultation by the Special Advisors appointed...
Changing Workplaces Review: Special Advisors’ Interim Report
Introduction In February, 2015, the Ontario Government appointed Michael Mitchell, an arbitrator and formerly a prominent labour lawyer, and former Superior Court Justice John Murray as Special Advisors for the Government’s Changing Workplaces Review. Their mandate is to “make recommendations...
Further Clarification on the “With Respect to Employment” Threshold under Ontario’s Human Rights Code
In many human rights applications alleging discrimination with respect to employment, the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario (“HRTO”) may proceed directly to a consideration of the evidence and an analysis of the allegations. In these cases, the existence of an...
Employment and Labour Considerations Arising out of the 2015 Economic Action Plan and Bill C-59
Bill C-59, An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on April 21, 2015 and other measures (the “Bill”), proposes several key changes to the provisions of the Canada Labour Code, 1985 (the “Code”) as part...
Changes to the Employment Standards Act, 2000 Increasing Workplace Protections for Employees now in Effect
Bill 18, the Stronger Workplace for a Stronger Economy Act, 2014, which received royal assent on November 20, 2014, introduced significant changes to key provisions of the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (“ESA”) in order to strengthen protections for workers. These...
DISA Global Solutions acquires Permax Permit Service Ltd.
Counsel to DISA Global Solutions
DISA Global Solutions acquires 730 Permit Services Inc.
Counsel to DISA Global Solutions
ANGLE PLC acquires assets of Axela Inc.
Counsel to ANGLE PLC
Novexco acquires Chestwood Stationery
Counsel to Novexco Inc.
BEworks joins kyu collective
Counsel to the kyu collective
Lawson Products completes cross-border acquisition of F.B. Feeney Hardware
Counsel to Lawson Products, Inc.