About Rich Appiah

Rich Appiah is principal of Appiah Law | Employment + Labour Counsel.

Rich provides expert strategic counsel and legal representation in the area of human resources law to small and enterprise-scale businesses, as well as to managers and senior executives. He formed Appiah Law after practicing for over a decade with some of the best employment and labour lawyers in Canada. An accomplished advisor and advocate, he has the expertise to help you navigate the challenges that affect your work-life.

Rich draws on his experiences to provide exceptional, cost-effective, and results-oriented service to every client. Called to the Bar of Ontario in 2006, he has appeared as counsel before the Ontario and Superior Courts of Justice and the Ontario Labour Relations Board. He has also represented clients in proceedings before boards of arbitration, the provincial and federal Human Rights Tribunals, the Ontario Ministry of Labour (Employment Standards Branch), and the Canadian Industrial Relations Board.

Rich has published extensively in the area of employment law and is a frequent speaker at conferences for human resources and legal professionals. In 2016, Rich was recognized as a “Lawyer to Watch” by Lexpert Magazine, and since 2017 he has served as an elected member of the Ontario Bar Association’s Employment and Labour Section Executive. He was named a “Leading Practitioner in Employment Law” in the 2019 and 2020 Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory. He has additionally been invited by the media, including the CBC, to comment on pressing legal developments.

Rich completed his Honours Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of Guelph in 2002 with the prize in Political Science and the Brian D. Sullivan Award for student leadership. In 2005, he graduated from Osgoode Hall Law School, where he was a division leader of the school’s legal clinic and president of the school’s student union.

Rich loves practicing law – but when he’s taking a break, you’ll find him playing the piano, travelling, catching up on Star Trek and keeping fit

  • Mental Distress and the Right to Sue for Harassment and Bullying, The Six-Minute Employment Lawyer, Law Society of Ontario, June 20, 2019
  • Ethical Issues in Employment Law, Law Society of Ontario, February 14, 2019 and April 5, 2017
  • Employer Obligations to Address Workplace Harassment, Human Resources Professionals Association – Hamilton/Niagara, July 18, 2018
  • Professionalism in Employment Law, 16th Annual Current Issues in Employment Law, Ontario Bar Association, April 27, 2018
  • Critical Strategies for Labour and Employment Lawyers – Successfully Advocating before the Human Rights Tribunal, Labour Board and Labour Arbitrators, Ontario Bar Association, September 16, 2016
  • Privacy in Employment Law: An Update for HR Professionals, Human Resources Professionals Association 2014 HR Law Conference, October 22, 2014
  • Privacy in Employment Law, Six Minute Employment Lawyer 2014, The Law Society of Upper Canada, June 13, 2014
  • Common Pitfalls in Drafting Employment Agreements, Co-Presenter, 1st and 2nd Employment Contracts Workshop, Federated Press, 2013 and 2014
  • Making Strategic Use of Summary Judgment Motions, Co-Presenter, 10th Annual Employment Law Summit, Toronto, 2009
  • Bill 168: A Step Forward in Addressing Workplace Violence and Harassment, Human Resources Professionals Association 2009 HR Law Conference, October 28, 2009
  • Effectively Conducting the Employment Termination Meeting: Mitigating Organizational Liability While Preserving Individual Dignity, Co-Presenter, The Canadian Institute’s Workforce Restructuring Conference, June 9 – 10, 2009
  • Former Walmart executive awarded $750,000 in extraordinary damages, Canadian Employment Law Today, January 31, 2018
  • Three businesses add up to 1 employer, Canadian HR Reporter – The National Journal of Human Resource Management, January 15, 2016
  • Transfer of employment to related company doesn’t reduce service, Canadian Employment Law Today, November 25, 2015
  • One strike and you’re out! When a single act of misconduct can be just cause for dismissal, Co-Author, Canadian Employment Law Today, August 19, 2015
  • Ontario Court Awards 26 Months’ Pay to Dependent Contractors, Co-Author, HR Professional Magazine, July/August 2015
  • Bungled Investigation Costs Employer Over $800,000, Co-Author, Mercer/CCH Guide for Employers, August 2014
  • Supreme Court Defines Expectation of Privacy, Canadian Employment Law Today, November 14, 2012
  • Managing Workplace Change Lessons from Wronko v. Western Inventory Service Ltd., Rich Appiah, Co-Author, presented to Osgoode Hall Law School Professional Development CLE, Employment Law, 2009
  • Employee Negligence Not a Lost Cause, Canadian Employment Law Today, July 30, 2008
  • Changing Contracts Tricky, But Possible, Canadian Employment Law Today, August 29, 2007
  • Benefits Must Continue after Termination, Co-Author, Canadian Corporate Counsel, June 2006
  • Rhinehart v. Legend 3D (Canada) Inc. (2019, Ontario Superior Court of Justice): On behalf of an employee, successfully argued that he could bring a civil action against his employer even though he signed six agreements reserving civil disputes to private arbitration.
  • Universal Workers Union, Labourers’ International Union of North America, Local 183 v Antonio Valente & Sons Limited (2014, Ontario Labour Relations Board): On behalf of an employer, successfully defended a union application in which the union argued that bargaining rights flowed from one employer to another, after a unionized business closed and its supposed “key man” joined a non-unionized business as an employee.
  • Simpson v. Grosnor (2014, Ontario Superior Court of Justice): On behalf of an employee, successfully advanced a summary judgment motion for wrongful dismissal, recovering the majority of the employee’s legal costs from her employer.
  • Joseph v. CIBC (2013, adjudication under the Canada Labour Code): Successfully argued that an employer had improperly dismissed a long service employee for just cause, even though the employee had received numerous warnings of misconduct, because the employer had failed to investigate the employee’s complaints of workplace harassment.
  • Nader Fawzy v. Paris Jewellers Ltd. (2012, Ontario Human Rights Tribunal): On behalf of an employer, successfully opposed a motion for the consolidation of three human rights applications and the production of documents.
  • Goodman v. J. Stollar Construction Limited (2011, Ontario Superior Court of Justice): On behalf of an employer, successfully advanced a motion for the production of documents from an employee who had been dismissed because he had been engaging in a side business while working for his employer. The documents were essential to the employer’s defence of the employee’s wrongful dismissal case.
  • Dayforce Inc. v. Eddu (2011, Ontario Superior Court of Justice): This matter concerned a motion brought by an employer against an employee who resigned to work for a competitor. The employer obtained an Anton Piller Order (i.e. a search warrant) against the employee, without his knowledge, to search his home and seize his property. The employer then sought $271,000 in costs against him as well as other costs related to a motion to enforce alleged non-competition and non-solicitation obligations. On behalf of the employee, Rich successfully argued that the Court had no jurisdiction to award costs for the Anton Piller Order, and convinced the court to defer a decision on other costs until a trial was held. After losing this motion, the employer dropped its case.
  • Yip-Young v. L-3 Communications Electronic Systems Inc. (2011, Ontario Superior Court of Justice): On behalf of a long-service employee, successfully advanced a summary judgment motion only seven (7) months following the employee’s dismissal. This resulted in an award of pay in lieu of 20 months’ notice of termination at common law.
  • Slepenkova v. Ivanov (2009, Court of Appeal for Ontario): On behalf of two employees, successfully argued before the Ontario Court of Appeal that a fixed-term contract should be set aside, and that a trial decision awarding damages for an employer’s breach of its duty of good faith and fair dealing ought to be upheld.

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