John Batzel

Partner | Calgary


Portrait of John Batzel


John Batzel has 25 years of experience as a labour and employment lawyer, and a wide ranging practice acting for large corporations, smaller scale employers and executive level employees.

John regularly provides advice on all aspects of the employment relationship, including contract negotiation and hiring, compensation and incentive plans, performance management, employee discipline, human right issues, disability claims, worker’s compensation, occupational health and safety matters, alcohol and drug testing, terminations, wrongful dismissal claims and enforcement of post termination restrictive covenants. John also provides advice to unionized employers on a range of labour relations issues including union certification, unfair labour practice complaints and grievance arbitrations.  ­­­­

John’s focus is providing practical, timely advice to clients to minimize or avoid problems wherever possible, and maximize advantage where disputes cannot be avoided.

John has appeared before the Alberta Provincial Court, the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench, the Alberta Court of Appeal, the Alberta Human Rights Commission, the Alberta Labour Relations Board, the Ontario High Court of Justice, the United Kingdom Employment Tribunal and in the Texas District Court. John has also advised purchasers and sellers on employment and labour matters in hundreds of transactions, including extremely large national and international transactions and smaller scale mergers, acquisitions and restructurings.

Professional achievements & leadership

  • Chambers Canada, Notable Practitioner, Employment and Labour – Alberta, 2020-2023
  • The Canadian Legal Lexpert Dictionary, Leading Practitioner, Repeatedly Recommended, Employment Law – Employer, 2020
  • The Canadian Legal Lexpert Dictionary, Leading Practitioner, Repeatedly Recommended, Employment Law – Employee, 2020
  • The Legal 500 Canada, Recommended, Labour and Employment, 2020
  • Who’s Who Legal: Canada, Recognized in the area of Labour and Employment, 2020
  • Who’s Who Legal: Canada, Recognized in the area of Pensions and Benefits, 2020

Notable matters

  • City Wide Towing and Recovery Services Ltd. v. Poole, 2020, Alberta Court of Appeal 305
  • JLM Supply Ltd. v. UFCW, 2019, Alberta Labour Relations Board

Thought leadership

  • Author, “Drug and Alcohol Testing” chapter in Cannabis in the Workplace, Thomson Reuters, 2019
  • Author, “UPC Introduces Changes to the Alberta Employment Standards Code and the Alberta Labour Relations Code”, Blog, June 7, 2019
  • Co-Author, “Alberta Erects Measures to Protect Whistleblowers”, Blog, November 27, 2018
  • Author, “Alberta Court of Appeal Weighs In on Random Drug and Alcohol Testing”, Blog, October 19, 2017
  • Author, “Supreme Court Upholds Termination for Breach of Drug and Alcohol Policy”, Blog, June 28, 2017
  • Co-Author, “Government Announces Sweeping Changes to Labour and Employment Laws in Alberta”, Blog, June 2, 2017
  • Co-Author, “Alberta Employers May Face Increased Unionization and Mandated Collective Agreements”, Blog, March 28, 2017
  • Author, “Ghomeshi Claim Faces Significant Challenges”, Blog, October 30, 2014
  • Author, “Alberta Arbitration Board Considers Random Alcohol and Drug Testing in Closely Watched Case”, Blog, April 17, 2014
  • Co-Author, “Tax Changes: Corporate Contractors May Be Subject to 13% Higher Tax Rates”, Blog, June 28, 2013
  • Author, “ The Supreme Court of Canada Provides Guidance on Random Alcohol Testing”, Blog, June 19, 2013

Community involvement

  • Volunteer, Calgary Legal Guidance (20 Years)

Professional memberships

  • Member, Law Society of Alberta
  • Member, Law Society of Ontario (currently inactive)
  • Member, Canadian Bar Association
  • Member, Calgary Bar Association

Bar admissions & education

  • Alberta, 1997
  • Ontario, 1995
  • LL.B., University of Toronto, 1993
    • Alberta, 1997
    • Ontario, 1995
    • McGill University Law School, 1992-1993, courses credited to LL.B.
  • BA(Hon), University of Winnipeg, 1989
    • Alberta, 1997
    • Ontario, 1995
    • University College London, London School of Economics, 1985-1986, courses credited to BA(Hon)