Michael Comartin

Associate Toronto

Michael is an associate in Ogletree Deakins’ Toronto office. His diverse practice spans all areas of employment law, labour law, wage and hours issues, human rights, accessibility, and employee benefits and executive compensation. Michael also has experience with class actions, appellate litigation, and general litigation, having practiced in commercial and public law litigation at a previous firm, with an emphasis on class actions, judicial review, and international litigation.

Michael has appeared before the Court of Appeal for Ontario, the Divisional Court, the Superior Court of Justice, the Federal Court, the Ontario Labour Relations Board, the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario and various labour arbitrators. Michael clerked at the Divisional Court. Michael regularly appears in Divisional Court as duty counsel as part of Pro Bono Law Ontario’s amicus project.

Michael was awarded the Medal in Law for highest standing in his graduating class. He is the only graduate of Queen’s University to receive three Dean’s Gold Scholar awards for placing first in each year of the JD program.

While at Queen’s, Michael served as a research assistant in labour and employment law, including with the Centre for Law in the Contemporary Workplace.


  • Co-counsel in several proceedings before the Superior Court of Justice, Divisional Court, and Federal Court, successfully defending the immunity of a foreign sovereign from the jurisdiction of Canadian courts
  • Counsel to an international franchise restaurant in responding to a human rights application alleging discrimination on the basis of disability and lack of accessibility, and in implementing a settlement improving accessibility for persons with disabilities across the client’s Ontario locations
  • Co-counsel providing strategic advice and litigation support to a leading financial institution in responding to certification of a class action relating to allegedly unpaid overtime
  • Co-counsel to a professional consulting business prosecuting judgment against a foreign sovereign for breach of contract in the Superior Court of Justice and the Ontario Court of Appeal
  • Co-counsel to a not-for-profit health care provider in responding to an appeal in Divisional Court and leave to appeal in the Court of Appeal in relation to costs arising from a civil claim by a former employee
  • Counsel in Superior Court for several objectors to a class action settlement relating to allegedly improper investment advice; the objectors succeeded in having court approval of the settlement adjourned pending their appeals of their entitlements
  • Co-counsel to plaintiffs prosecuting a proposed class action against the Crown relating to discrimination on the basis of disability in the calculation and payment of benefits
  • Co-counsel to a pharmaceutical manufacturer defending a class action relating to the alleged improper preparation of medical supplies, and defending the manufacturer against related regulatory proceedings
  • Counsel to employers and service providers in responding to human rights applications relating to alleged discrimination in employment and services relating to disability, gender, race, and national or ethnic origin
  • Amicus counsel in Divisional Court appeals, assisting self-represented litigants in motions before the Court as part of the Pro Bono Law Ontario Divisional Court amicus project
  • Experience in obtaining orders giving effect to requests for international judicial assistance in obtaining evidence in Ontario for use in foreign legal proceedings


Published Works


Our Insights

Bill 66 Poised to Bring Additional Employer-Friendly Changes to Ontario

December 10, 2018

Ontario Delays Pay Transparency Indefinitely

December 04, 2018

Bill 47 Will Reverse Many of Bill 148’s Changes

November 28, 2018

The “Modernization” of the Canada Labour Code: Major Changes to Federal Workplaces Under Bill C-86

November 07, 2018

Buckle Up, Canadian Federal Employers: Proactive Pay Equity Is Coming Your Way

October 31, 2018

Ontario Needs Clarity on Pay Transparency

October 31, 2018

Back to the Future With Ontario’s Bill 47 to Repeal Bill 148 Workplace Reforms

October 25, 2018

Shifting Tides: Ontario Government Announces Repeal of Sweeping Employment Law Changes

October 03, 2018

Ontario Voting Rights: What Is—and Is Not—Required of Employers During the Provincial Election

May 29, 2018

Ontario Finalizes Pay Transparency Act, 2018, Targeting Large Employers

May 01, 2018

Highlights of the Alberta Employment Standards Code Update

March 16, 2018

Ontario Employers – Get Ready to Tell the Government What You Pay Employees . . . or Else

March 08, 2018

Ontario’s Bill 177 Brings Big Changes for Employer’s Workplace Safety Obligations

December 20, 2017

Critical Canada Update: What You Need to Know About Changes to Ontario’s Labor and Employment Laws

December 01, 2017

Substitute Holidays in Canada: What to Do When a Holiday Falls on a Weekend

June 27, 2017

Ontario Government Announces Sweeping Employment and Labour Law Changes

May 30, 2017

Employment Insurance Changes Pending Under 2017 Canadian Federal Budget

April 04, 2017

Employing Minors in the Entertainment Industry: A Primer for Employers Doing Business in Canada

February 23, 2017

How to Comply With Canada’s Cornucopia of Sick Leave Laws

October 18, 2016

I’m an Ontario Employer—What Workplace Policies Do I Need to Have?

September 20, 2016

Workplace Harassment Obligations Expanding for Ontario Employers

September 07, 2016

Accessibility for Ontarians With Disabilities Act, 2005, Part III: What Are My Obligations as a Private-Sector Employer Under the Law’s Integrated Accessibility Standards?

August 23, 2016

Accessibility for Ontarians With Disabilities Act, 2005, Part II: What Does My Business Need to Do to Comply with the Law’s Customer Service Standards

August 09, 2016

Accessibility for Ontarians With Disabilities Act, 2005, Part I: Is Your Business Subject to the Law’s Customer Service Standards? The Answer May Surprise You.

July 19, 2016

Mass Terminations—What Ontario Employers Need to Think About When Restructuring or Reducing Their Workforces

June 30, 2016

Why Ontario Employers Should Take Another Look at Who They Treat as Exempt From Overtime

June 14, 2016

Best Practices for Conducting Pre-Employment Background Checks in Canada

May 31, 2016


Media Quotes

December 22, 2017 - Business Insurance - "Ontario boosts fines for workplace safety violations"