Ailsa J. Wiggins Counsel

Speaks:  English

Year of Call: 1978 - Ontario

Primary phone: +1 416-369-7260

Fax: +1 416-862-7661


Download vCard

Primary office:  Toronto

Ailsa J. Wiggins

Ailsa Wiggins is counsel in Gowling WLG's Toronto office, where she practises in the area of employment law.

Ailsa provides advice and counsel regarding all aspects of termination of employment, including "just cause" and "constructive dismissal" analysis and mass terminations; wrongful dismissal actions and claims of unjust dismissal (e.g. under the Canada Labour Code); alcohol and drug policies; human rights and harassment complaints; hiring, pre-employment background screening, including criminal record checks; discipline; employment standards; the employment issues involved in "offshoring," outsourcing, restructuring and sales of businesses; workplace privacy issues; and non-disclosure, non-solicitation and non-competition agreements. She reviews and drafts severance packages, termination agreements, employment policies and employment offers, and works with litigation counsel conducting mediations and employment litigation.

Ailsa also provides training in the form of in-house seminars to human resources professionals and business people on a wide range of employment topics, including alcohol and drug testing in Canada, pandemic preparedness and pre-employment background checks.

Ailsa served as a part-time Member of the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario from August 2008 to August 2018, conducting hearings and mediations for the Tribunal. She spent several years on the executive of the Ontario Bar Association's Labour and Employment Law section.

Ailsa spent nearly 25 years as in-house counsel to one of the country's leading petroleum companies, where she specialized in employment law for over 15 years. She also worked for the Federal Provincial Inquiry Commission into Safety in Mines and Mining Plants in Ontario.

Ailsa is a past member of the Canadian Maritime Law Association and has a certificate in Commercial Mediation from the Canadian Institute for Conflict Resolution.

Career & Recognition

Filter timeline:
  • 1978

    • Qualifications (Year of Call/Admission, etc.)
      Year of Call, Ontario
    • Education
      University of Ottawa, LLB
    • Education
      Carleton University, BA
    • Education
      London School of Economics, LLM

Ailsa's list of publications and presentations includes:

  • Gowlings' Employment and Labour Law Seminars, presentations and papers on Recent Highlights in Labour, Employment and Human Rights Law, Toronto, 2014
  • Gowlings' Employment and Labour Law Seminars, presentations and papers on Unleashing Your Inner Sherlock Holmes! Conducting Effective Workplace Investigations, Toronto, 2014
  • Gowlings' Employment and Labour Law Seminars, presentations and papers on Top 10 Employment and Labour Law Developments, Toronto, 2013
  • 'Unionized Drug Testing Dealt Blow but Ontario Court of Appeal Decision Leaves Door Open for Non-Unionized Employers,' Canadian HR Reporter, July 13, 2009
  • Chair, An OHS Primer for Labour and Employment Lawyers, Ontario Bar Association, October 22, 2008
  • Alcohol & Drugs in the Canadian Workplace: An Employer's Guide to the Law, Prevention and Management of Substance Abuse, with Norm Keith, LexisNexis, 2008
  • Emergency Preparedness and Business Continuity: Individual, Community and Business Resilience, Conference Board of Canada presentation, March 2009
  • Gowlings Employment and Labour Law Seminar, presentation on Changes to the Ontario Human Rights Code, Toronto, April 2008
  • Pandemic Preparedness and the Law, Conference Board of Canada presentation, Toronto, March 2008
  • Gowlings Occupational Health and Safety Seminars, presentation on Alcohol and Drugs in the Workplace, Calgary, December 2006; Toronto, February 2007; Toronto, March 2008
  • Accommodating Employees with Substance Abuse Problems, Federated Press presentation, February 2008
  • Pre-employment Background Checks, Critical and Emerging Issues in a Labour and Employment Practice, Ontario Bar Association Annual Institute, Labour Relations Section, presentation and paper, February 2008
  • Workplace Alcohol and Drug Programs in Canada, article in Gowlings OHS Essential Guide 2008
  • Drug Testing - New Rules for a New Method, article with Norm Keith, OHS Canada, June 2007
  • Two articles on alcohol and drug cases for Ontario Bar Association's Labour Relations Section Newsletter, November 2006 and April 2007, one article on a drug case for Ontario Bar Association's Sections in Review, Vol. 1, No. 2, January 2007
  • Gowlings Employment and Labour Law Seminars, presentations and paper on Pre-employment Background Checks, Toronto, 2007; Ottawa, 2007
  • Chapters on Alcohol and Drugs as a Health and Safety Issue for Norm Keith's books, Canadian Health and Safety Law and Ontario Health and Safety Law
  • Gowlings Employment and Labour Law Seminars, presentation and paper on Alcohol and Drugs in the Workplace, Calgary, 2006; Waterloo, 2006; Toronto, 2006
  • Alberta Court Considers Pre-Employment Drug Testing and Whether Casual Drug Users are Protected by Human Rights Legislation, September 27, 2006
  • Dismissing the Absent Employee: Perspective of an In-House Counsel, Terminations, Leaves and Retirements: Navigating Employment Law's Bermuda Triangle, Ontario Bar Association Annual Institute, Corporate Counsel Section, presentation and paper, February 2005
  • Case note, Equity: Specific Performance: Circumstances in Which the Payment of Money is Capable of Constituting Part Performance: Steadman v. Steadman, [1974] 2 All E.R. 977 (H.L.), Ottawa Law Review, 7 Ottawa Law Review 678 (1975)