Charles Gordon

Partner

Background & Experience

Charles Gordon has been advocating on behalf of trade unions and workers in the fields of labour, human rights and civil litigation for over twenty years. In doing so he has appeared before provincial and federal labour boards, arbitration panels, human rights tribunals and other administrative tribunals and agencies. He has appeared before all levels of court, including the B.C. Supreme Court and Court of Appeal, the Federal Court and Court of Appeal, and the Supreme Court of Canada.

 Charles’ trade union clients operate in numerous industries in both the private and public sectors, both provincially and federally regulated. Charles has also brought cases directly on behalf of workers, including before human rights tribunals and class action litigation before the courts. He has particular expertise in representing unions in complex cases such as successorships, novel human rights claims and cases involving competing experts.

 Charles also has extensive experience in litigating issues involving the Temporary Foreign Worker Program. He successfully brought a human rights complaint on behalf of 40 foreign workers from Latin America in CUSW, Local 1611, v, SELI Canada, resulting in an award worth $2.4 million. He was co-counsel in a successful class action case brought on behalf of foreign workers employed at Denny’s Restaurants, achieving a settlement of $1.4 million. Charles also challenged the use of TFW’s by H.D. Mining in Federal Court on behalf of two unions, which challenge resulted in the Federal Government making significant changes to restrict the use of temporary foreign workers where there are available Canadian workers.

 Charles has been with Koskie Glavin Gordon since 2001, becoming a partner in 2002. Previously, Charles was counsel for the International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 115 for six years and was senior counsel to the B.C. Labour Relations Board, representing the Board at all levels of Court.

Representative Matters

  • Dominguez v. Northland Properties Corporation, 2012 BCSC 328, a class action case brought on behalf of almost 80 temporary foreign workers brought to Canada to work in Denny’s Restaurants. It is the first case in which a class of temporary foreign workers has been certified in Canada. Following certification we were able to negotiate a settlement of over $1.4 million for the workers, a result which the Judge attributed to the skill and efforts of class counsel in advancing the case (2013 BCSC 468).
  • Catalyst Paper(2012) Represented the union at the largest of the mills operated by Catalyst Paper in a restructuring proceeding under the Company Creditor Arrangement Act. This is the first case in which a union was recognized as a creditor to the extent of the concessions it made to the terms of its collective agreement. In the result, Catalyst Paper was able to emerge from creditor protection and union members received a proportionate share of their concessions as unsecured creditors.
  • Oakangan College v. Okanagan College Faculty Association (Fu Arbitration), a grievance arbitration which resulted in the reinstatement of professor suffering from severe clinical depression. Not only was the grievor awarded full back wages, but also received damages for hurt and humiliation under the provisions of the Human Rights Code, and is one of the only cases in which such an award has been made by a labour arbitrator.
  • Prince Rupert Grain v. Grain Workers’ Union, Local 333, 2002 BCCA 641 Successful appeal of an order enjoining the Union from picketing at a secondary site on the ground that the order was inconsistent the protection of free expression conferred by the Canadian Charter of Rights. It remains a leading case in British Columbia on the law of secondary picketing for Federally regulated employers.

 

Education

  • University of Toronto, Bachelor of Laws
  • University of British Columbia, Master of Arts (International Relations)
  • Queen’s University, Bachelor of Arts (Honours), First Class, Political Studies

Bar Locations

  • British Columbia

Associations

  • Canadian Bar Association, Labour Section (Past President)
  • Canadian Association of Labour Lawyers
  • Law Society of British Columbia

Publications

  • The Significance of Place of Origin and Non-Discrimination in International Employment Relationships - Carol Whittome, Charles Gordon and Jodie Gauthier- (November 24, 2011)

Speaking Engagements

  • Retaliation” - Continuing Legal Education Society of BC, Human Rights conference -(November 20th. 2013).  See Details
  • Co-Chair - Lancaster House, Labour Arbitration Conference - (November 28,  2013). See Details.
  • Corporate Social Responsibility, Anti-Corruption and Compliance” -  Canadian Bar Association - International Law Section - (June 2013)
  • Class Actions” - The Continuing Education Society of B.C. - Employment Law Conference - (May 2013)
  • Responding Effectively to Human Rights Abuses and Harrassment” -  Lancaster House - Vancouver Human Rights and Accommodation Law Conference - (April 2013)
  • Protection of Workers in Canada” - Canadian Bar Association National Conference – (August 2012)
  • Retaliation and Reprisal: Protecting the Human Rights Complainant” - Lancaster House Human Rights and Accommodation Conference – (March 2011)
  • Major Case Law and Legislative Review: An Expert Update on Recent Developments” - Lancaster House Labour Arbitration Conference – (December 2010)