Soma Ray-Ellis

Soma Ray-Ellis

Partner and Chair - Employment and Labour Law Group

Soma Ray-Ellis
Contact Information

Soma Ray-Ellis

Partner and Chair - Employment and Labour Law Group


T 416.865.6709

F 416.865.6636

E srayellis@grllp.com

Education

Osgoode Hall Law School, LL.B., 1990
University of Toronto, 1987
Bar Admission

Ontario, 1992
About Gardiner Roberts LLP

For over 100 years, Gardiner Roberts has combined the benefits of a full-service law firm with the dexterity of a mid-sized one. Our focused, cross-disciplinary, one-team approach and commitment to understand your business joins our relevant expertise, immediacy and dedication to providing client-centric, hands-on service. 100% Canadian and fully independent, we offer a level of overall efficiency and cost-effectiveness that larger firms can't touch. Resisting "cookie-cutter" law, Gardiner Roberts has built its name - one rewarding client relationship at a time.

Executive Summary

Soma represents companies and executives in all areas of employment law including wrongful dismissal, human rights, harassment, rightsizing of workforces, employment contracts, employment policies, human rights issues, occupational health and safety, workers compensation, and privacy law issues. Soma has also conducted numerous harassment and discrimination investigations for various Municipalities and Corporations and provides in-house training to organizations on workplace compliance. She has been involved in numerous high-profile litigation matters including representing Air India as lead counsel at the Air India Inquiry.

Soma has published extensively. Her works include the Halsbury’s Laws of Canada volume on Discrimination and Human Rights, 674 pages (Lexis Nexis; 2018), the Halsbury’s Laws of Canada volume on Employment Law, 785 pages (Lexis Nexis; 2015), and the Employment Equity Manual (Carswell). She co-drafted the original “Rules of Practice” for the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal and also assisted in drafting the Law Society of Upper Canada’s Rules of Professional Conduct relating to lawyers practicing mediation.

She has been involved in several high-profile investigations including the investigation concerning the Toronto Community Housing Corporation. She has represented significant members of society including CEOs, senators and government officials in highly sensitive matters, both nationally and internationally.

Expertise

Articles and Presentations
Media Appearances
  • Interviewed by Advocate Daily on the topic of "Societal shift a remedy for gender discrimination" – (September 2019)
  • Interviewed by Advocate Daily on the topic of “Toxic workplaces a ‘lose-lose’ proposition for employers” – (July 2019)
  • Interviewed by Advocate Daily on the topic of “Progressive discipline vital in just-cause terminations” – (June 2019)
  • Interviewed by Advocate Daily, on the topic of “Despite #MeToo, workplace sexual harassment persists” – (May 2019)
  • Interviewed on CBC Radio’s Ontario Today, “Secret recordings at work” – (April 2019)
  • Published in The Toronto Star on the topic of “Can employees record conversations in the workplace?” – (April 2019)
  • Interviewed on CBC Radio’s Cross Country Checkup, “Jody Wilson-Raybould’s secret SNC Lavalin recordings” – (March 2019)
  • Interviewed on The John Oakley Show, 640 Toronto, “Top 10 Office Party Don’ts” – (December 2018)
  • Interviewed on CBC News, “How ready are employers for making rules surrounding legal pot? An employment lawyer tells us guidelines are all over the map”– (October 2018)
  • Interviewed on CP24, “Employer responsibilities and Canada’s cannabis legalization” – (October 2018)
  • Published in The Globe and Mail on the topic of “Employer readiness ahead of cannabis legalization” – (October 2018)
  • Interviewed on CBC News, “Cannabis legalization – are employers ready?” – (October 2018)
  • Interviewed on CP24, “Are employers ready for the coming legalization?” – (October 2018)
  • Interviewed on CBC News, “’I feel betrayed by my company’: TTC subway operator barred while using medicinal cannabis” – (September 2018)
  • Interviewed on CBC News, “Canada’s legalization and its impact on employer/employee rights” – (September 2018)
  • Interviewed on CP24, “Legalization of cannabis and employer/employee rights” – (September 2018)
  • Interviewed on CTV News, “New Metrolinx policy ensures employees are ‘Fit For Duty’” – (September 2018)
  • Published in The Globe and Mail on the topic of “How marijuana legalization will affect the workplace” – (August 2018)
  • Interviewed on Global News, “Two GO Transit officers previously fired and rehired have been dismissed” – (April 2018)
  • Interviewed on CP24 Live@Noon, “Starbucks customer in Brampton who alleges to have had scalding hot water poured on them” – (January 2018)
  • Interviewed on CP24 Live@Noon, “Employees’ benefit clawbacks by Tim Horton’s franchises in Ontario to offset Ontario’s ESA wage hikes” – (January 2018)
  • Interviewed on Global News, “Tim Horton’s franchise clawbacks in Ontario” – (January 2018)
  • Interviewed on Global News, “How Organizations Are Dealing With Sexual Misconduct Allegations” – (November 2017)
  • Interviewed on CP24, “Sexual misconduct outings ‘a revolution’” – (November 2017)
  • Interviewed on CP24 Live@Noon with Stephen LeDrew, “Sexual assault and harassment and settlements. Is it hush money?” – (October 2017)
  • Interviewed on CP24 Live@Noon with Stephen LeDrew, “Sears’ CCAA application” – (July 2017)
  • Interviewed on CBC Newsworld, “The rights of employees in the event of a CCAA application” – (Summer 2017)
  • Interviewed on Global TV, “The Effect of Legalization of Marijuana in the Workplace” – (April 2017)
  • Interviewed on CP24 Live@Noon with Stephen LeDrew, together with client, James Barker, the former General Manager of the Toronto Argonauts, “James Barker’s departure from the Argos” – (February 2017)
  • Interviewed on CP24 Live@Noon with Stephen LeDrew, “Professional firefighters ‘double hatting’ as volunteers in smaller communities” – (January 2017)
  • Interviewed on CP24 Live@Noon with Stephen LeDrew, about client “Mathieu Chantelois, the immediate last Executive Director of Pride Toronto’s resignation and subsequent controversy including issues involving Black Lives Matter” – (August 2016)
  • Interviewed on CTV National News with Katie Simpson, “Hydro One employee terminated upon making sexist comments on television” – (May 2015)
  • Interviewed on CP24 Live@Noon with Stephen LeDrew, “Can what you do in your personal life cost you your job?” – (May 2015)
     
Publications and Presentations
  • Presented at the Scarborough Rotary Club on the topic of “Top Ten Things You Need to Know about Managing Cannabis in the Workplace” – (November 2018)
  • Chaired International Panel Discussion in Prague, Czech Republic on the topic of “Termination Law and Employer Obligations” – (October 2018)
  • Presented at The Advocates Society on the topic of “Best Practices for Negotiation” – (September 2018)
  • Presented at The Canadian Institute on the topic of “Sexual Harassment Investigations: Pitfalls & Best Practices” – (June 2018)
  • Presented at the University of Toronto, Faculty of Law on the topic of “Sexual Harassment, Sexual Assault and Corporate Compliance Requirements in Canada” – May 2018
  • Chaired Global Panel Discussion in Dublin, Ireland on the topic of “Employee Rights to Reinstatement” – (May 2018)
  • Published Halsbury’s Law of Canada volume on Discrimination and Human Rights (Lexis Nexis; 2018) (674 pages)
  • Presented at the Gardiner Roberts Toolbox Seminar on the topic of “#METOO Movement, Guillotine Justice and the Law of Sexual Harassment” – (February 2018)
  • Presented at the Gardiner Roberts CPD Event on the topic of “Being Weinsteined: The Law of Sexual Harassment” – (November 2017)
  • Presented at Feldman Daxon Human Resources Breakfast on the topic of “Sexual Harassment and Gender Discrimination” – (November 2017)
  • Presented at the Osaka Bar Association on the topic of “Enforcing contracts in Canada” – (October 2017)
  • Chaired a Panel discussion at a Global Conference of lawyers in Amsterdam on the topic of “Social Media and the Practice of Law” – (May 2017)
  • Presented at the 4th Annual Pay It Forward Legal Gala on the topic of “Basic Employment Rights” – (December, 2016)
  • Presented at a Global Conference of Lawyers in Shanghai, China on the topic of “The Use Of Social Media To Educate People On Employment Related Rights” – (October 2016)
  • Presented at the Ontario Trial Lawyers Association Conference on the topic of “Employment Law 101: Sex, Drugs and Money” – (October 2016)
  • Presented at a Global Conference of Lawyers in Milan, Italy on the topic of “Enforceability of Non-Competition Covenants” – (May 2016)
  • Presented at the Law Society of Upper Canada’s The Six-Minute Employment Lawyer on the topic of “Breaches of the Employment Standards Act, 2000” – (May 2016)
  • Presented at a Global Conference of Lawyers in Cape Town, South Africa on the topic of “Effectiveness of Non-Competition Clauses in Employment Contracts” – (October 2015)
  • Presented at a Global Conference of Lawyers in Barcelona, Spain on the topic of “Drafting Effective Intellectual Property Clauses” – (May 2015)
  • Published article on the topic of “A Nuanced Decision on Constructive Dismissal”, in The Lawyers Weekly – (May 2015)
  • Published Halsbury’s Laws of Canada volume on Employment Law, 785 pages (Lexis Nexis; 2015)
  • Published the Employment Equity Manual (Carswell)
Media

Soma Ray-Ellis - Employer Responsibilities & Cannabis (CP24)

Soma Ray-Ellis - Employer Readiness & Cannabis Legalization (CBC News)

Soma Ray-Ellis CBC News - Toronto Transit Commission (TTC)

Soma Ray-Ellis CTV News - Go Transit/Metrolinx

Soma Ray-Ellis Global News - Go Transit/Metrolinx

 

Soma Ray-Ellis CP24 - Starbucks Scalding Water Case

 

Soma Ray-Ellis CP24 - Tim Horton's Worker Clawbacks

 

Soma Ray-Ellis Global News - Tim Horton's Worker Clawbacks

 

Soma Ray-Ellis's Global News - How Organizations Are Dealing With Sexual Misconduct Allegations

 

Soma Ray Ellis' CP24 Live - Sexual misconduct outings ‘a revolution’

 

Soma Ray Ellis' CP24 Live at Noon - Settlements in harassment cases not 'hush money'

 

Soma Ray-Ellis's CBC News interview on the rights for Sears Canada employees

 

Soma Ray Ellis' CP24 Live at Noon - Political analysis and call-in -Bankruptcy puts Sears employees in peril

 

Soma Ray-Ellis's CP24 interview with the Argos' GM

 

Soma Ray-Ellis's CP24 interview on charges facing firefighters

 

Soma Ray-Ellis's CP24 interview on the ex-Pride director and the allegations

 

Soma Ray-Ellis's CP24 News interview about the Jian Ghomeshi trial decision

 

Soma Ray-Ellis's CP24 News interview about Toronto city and labour union talks

 

Soma Ray-Ellis's Global News interview on legalizing pot Public perceptions

 

Soma Ray-Ellis's CP24 News interview about employee rights when getting paid in cash

 

Soma Ray-Ellis's CP24 interview about employee comments on social media

 

Soma Ray-Ellis's CTV News interview about employee comments outside of work

 

Soma Ray-Ellis's City TV News interview about Uber drivers

 

Soma Ray-Ellis's Live at Noon interview about Jian Ghomeshi on CP24

 

Soma Ray-Ellis talks about Jian Ghomeshi on CP24

 

Soma Ray-Ellis talks about Gene Jones on CP24

 

Soma Ray - Ellis talks Teachers Strike on Global News

 

Soma Ray - Ellis talks Teachers Strike on CP-24

 

Soma Ray - Ellis talks about cost of firing TTC GM Gary Webster on CP-24

My Blog
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Board Memberships
  • Toronto Philharmonia
  • The Haliburton Club (in support of Scouts Canada)
  • The South Asian Bar Association
  • GS1
Recognition
  • Business Leadership Award (Women Entrepreneurs of Canada)
  • Lawyer of the Year (SABA)
  • Elected Chair, Employment Law Group Consulegis (2-year term)