Rhonda R. Shirreff is a partner in Heenan Blaikie’s Toronto office. She joined Heenan Blaikie in 2001, after articling with the firm. Ms. Shirreff practises exclusively in the areas of management labour relations and employment law. She offers proactive strategic advice to employers on a diverse range of issues and represents employers in arbitration, labour board proceedings, human rights complaints and judicial review and appeal proceedings, before the Canada Industrial Relations Board, the Ontario Labour Relations Board, the Workplace Safety and Insurance Appeals Tribunal, the Canada Occupational Health and Safety Tribunal, the Federal Court, the Federal Court of Appeal, and the Tax Court of Canada.
Ms. Shirreff writes and speaks regularly on workplace issues related to labour relations, privacy, social media, human rights, workers’ compensation and workforce planning. She has contributed to Canadian Labour and Employment Law for the U.S. Practitioner, Second Edition (BNA Books), and has co-authored the Canada chapter of the 2007 to 2012 editions of Getting the Deal Through – Labour & Employment in 43 jurisdictions worldwide (Law Business Research).
Ms. Shirreff has been a sessional instructor at the University of Toronto Centre for Industrial Relations and Human Resources, teaching the Law of Labour Relations since 2007. She has also lectured at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law, Queen’s University Faculty of Law, the University of Western Ontario Faculty of Law and the Schulich School of Business at York University.
- J.D., University of Toronto, 1999
- B.Ed., University of Toronto, 1982
- M.A., University of Toronto, 1980
- B.A., University of Toronto, 1978
- American Bar Association
- Canadian Bar Association
- International Legal Fraternity of Phi Delta Phi
- Ontario Bar Association
- Ontario College of Teachers
- The Law Society of Upper Canada (Ontario)
Publications & Conferences
- Sector Specific Labour Relations, The Osgoode Certificate in Labour Law, Toronto, January 2013 (instructor).
- Managing Your Workplace: Two Tricky Issues, Community Services and Benefits Trust, Employee Benefits and Wellness Forum, Toronto, January 2013 (speaker).
- Corporate Social Responsibility Explosion, Heenan Blaikie 2012 Professional Development Seminar Series: Preparing for Change, Toronto, October 2012 (chair and speaker).
- Traumatic Mental Stress: A Widening of Compensable Events, Insight Duty to Accommodate Conference, Toronto, October 2012 (speaker).
- Social Media in the Workplace: New Rules of Engagement, Heenan Blaikie Managing the Workplace, Toronto, June 2012 (chair and speaker).
- Social Media in the Workplace: Key Lessons for Business Professionals, Business Review Canada, June 2012 (author).
- Data Protection Issues: How Far Can My Client Go to Protect Itself? AIJA/ABA Section of International Law, Hot Issues in International Employment, Boston, MA, June 2012 (panelist).
- Grappling with Employee Use of Social Media: Balancing Employee Privacy Rights Against the Employer's Right to Manage, Law Society of Upper Canada, The Six-Minute Labour Lawyer, Toronto, June 2012 (speaker).
- Labour and Employment Law Update, 2012 AccessPrivacy Annual Privacy Conference, Toronto, June 2012 (panelist).
- Getting the Deal Through: Labour & Employment, (Canada chapter) (Law Business Research), 2007-2012 (co-author).
- Social Media Guide (Canada chapter), ius laboris, February 2012 (author).
- Sector Specific Labour Relations, The Osgoode Certificate in Labour Law, Toronto, January 2012 (instructor).
- Social Networking & The Global Workforce – Canada, The Advocates Society with William L. Keller and Timothy J. Darby, eds., International Labour and Employment Laws, 3rd ed. Vol. 1A and 1B (BNA Books) 2011 and 2012 Cumulative Supplement (co-author).
- Sleep Apnea: Employers’ Legal Liability and Conclusions for the Trucking Industry, Ontario Trucking Industry Conference, Toronto, November 2011 (speaker).
- Emerging Workplace Privacy Issues, AccessPrivacy Annual Privacy Conference, Toronto June 2011 (panelist).
- Managing Claims and Controlling Costs with the WSIB, Heenan Blaikie, Managing the Workplace, Toronto, March 2011 (speaker).
- The Do’s and Don’ts of Drug and Alcohol Testing, Industrial Accident Prevention Association Annual Conference, Toronto 2009, and Golden Horseshoe Regional Conference, Burlington, 2011 (co-author and speaker).
- Dual Nationals, Human Rights and Employment Issues, Heenan Blaikie, Expert Compliance – Canada and the United States, Toronto 2010 (speaker).
- Mentally Incompetent Directors, The Condo Voice, Fall 2010 (author).
- Terminating a Superintendent, The Condo Voice, Summer 2010 (author).
- Social Media and Privacy in the New Workplace, 2010 AccessPrivacy Annual Privacy Conference, Toronto, March 2010 (panelist).
- 10 ESA Blunders That Can Lead to Individual and Class Actions, Heenan Blaikie, Managing the Workplace, Toronto, September 2009 (speaker).
- H1N1 Pandemic Planning: School Board Legal Responsibilities, Belleville, June 2009 (speaker).
- Emotional Rescue: Responding to Work-Related Stress Claims, Industrial Accident Prevention Association, Annual Conference Burlington, April 2008 (co-author and speaker).
- Cross-Border Employment, Discrimination, Non-Competition and Privacy: A Practical Look, American Bar Association Center for Continuing Legal Education Teleconference, May 2007 (panelist).
- Employment Law from A to Z in Ontario, Lorman Education Services, London, March 2007 (speaker).
- Alcoholism and Drug Addiction: Testing, Treatment and Screening, Lancaster House Teleconference, December 2006.
- How to Structure a Coherent Employment Program for Businesses Worldwide, American Bar Association Section of International Law, Miami, FL, November 2006 (panelist).
- Invasion of Privacy as an Independent Tort, Labour Relations Vol. 9 No. 2, Ontario Bar Association, November 2006 (author).
- 20 Questions about the Contract of Employment, Telefilm Canada Executive Management Program, Toronto, June 2006 (speaker).
- Drug and Alcohol Testing: Changing Policies, Changing Attitudes, Lancaster House and University of Toronto Centre for Industrial Relations Workplace Privacy Conference, Toronto, April 2006 (panelist).
- Practical Strategies for Return-to-Work Programs, Infonex Duty to Accommodate in Federally-Regulated Workplaces, Ottawa, March 2006 (chair and speaker).
- Workplace Privacy Laws: What impact is emerging privacy legislation having on Ontario workplaces?, Lorman Education Services Employment and Labour Law Seminar, London, Canada, October 2005 (speaker).
- Legal Issues for Media Entrepreneurs: The Independent Contractor Question, Telefilm Canada Media Entrepreneur Incubator, Toronto, May 2005 (speaker).
- Violence and Bullying at the Workplace, Lancaster House and University of Toronto Centre for Industrial Relations Human Rights and Accommodation Conference, Toronto, March 2005 (panelist).
- Employment and Discrimination Issues: A Primer for Multinational Institutions with Employees in Canada, International Bar Association Conference, Auckland, N.Z., October 2004 (author).
- The Impact of Privacy Legislation on Unionized Workplaces, Nymity Privacy Conference, Toronto, April 2004 (co-author).
- An Employer’s Right to Access Confidential Medical Information, Infonex Conference, Accommodation Issues, Toronto, September 2003 (co-author and speaker).
- Monitoring Employee E-Mail and Internet Use, Ontario Bar Association Conference The Absolutely Very Latest Up-to-the-Minute News, Tips and Strategies in Privacy Law and Compliance, Toronto, May 2003 (speaker).
- Balancing Corporate Security and Privacy Protection in the Post 9-11 Environment, presented to the Canadian Corporate Counsel Association (CCCA), March 2003 (co-author).
- Workplace Privacy: Is It Any of Your Business?, Ontario Bar Association Conference Current Issues in Employment Law, Toronto, February 2002 (author and speaker).
- For Them To Know and You To Find Out: Challenging Restrictions on Direct-to-Consumer Advertising of Contraceptive Drugs and Devices (2000) 58(2) U.T. Fac. L. Rev. 121 (author).