Name and Title
Barry Goldman
Year of Call

1990 (Ontario)


A move by Starbucks to provide up to $5,000 in mental health therapy to its baristas not only helps employees but improves the company image, says Toronto employment lawyer Barry Goldman.

“It’s a smart move on their part. It’s not likely to cost much and it makes them shine like a beacon in the business community,” says Goldman, partner with Shibley Righton LLP, adding it puts Starbucks on the same playing field as Bell Canada as an employer dedicated to mental wellness.

According to the Globe and Mail, Starbucks’ new annual employee benefit creates “one of the largest pots for this kind of coverage in the country.”

This story origionally appeared on advocatedaily.com.  To read the full article please click here.


Employers must have policies in place if they want the ability to read their workers’ emails and online chats, says Toronto employment lawyer Barry Goldman.

“Unless there is a firm policy that says you may not use your computer for any personal use, employees are entitled to have an expectation of privacy, and the employer may not read or look at their personal emails,” says Goldman, apartner with Shibley Righton LLP.

According to a recent ruling, the European Court of Human Rights says a Romanian firm — which fired a worker after finding 45 pages worth of personal messages in just over a week in 2007 —  justifiably accessed his work Yahoo Messenger communications, CTV News reports.

The human rights court ruled the employer was acting within its rights when it accessed the employee’s private messages to check if he was completing his work, the report states.

The court notes this case was different to some successful privacy protection cases, as the worker had been given prior warning that communications could be read by management and that sending personal messages during work hours was banned. Previously, another worker had been fired over this.

Even if there was no policy on computer use, the worker likely could have been fired for gross dereliction of duty, Goldman tells AdvocateDaily.com.

“If you’re spending that much time on personal emails or Twitter or other social media, then you’re neglecting your job, and, save for extraordinary circumstances, that could be seen as gross dereliction of duty,” he says.

Although many companies are enacting policies proscribing computer use at work, the vast majority of employers still don’t have them, Goldman says. He encourages his employer clients to implement Internet use policies.

“Without such a policy, an employer will have no right to intercept and read an employee’s personal emails,” he says.

Goldman notes, however, that, with or without a computer use policy, employers would still have the right to intervene and notify police if work computers are being used for criminal purposes, such as for child pornography.

This article also appeared on advocatedaily.com


The balance between accommodating workers' medical conditions and keeping the workplace safe is one that all employers must keep in mind as marijuana gains traction as a popular treatment choice for a myriad of conditions including chronic pain, says Toronto employment lawyer Barry Goldman.

Health Canada has estimated there could be nearly half a million medical marijuana users by 2024, reports the Canadian Press, noting workplaces across the country are likely to see the issue start cropping up.

“Employers certainly need to be aware of it and update their policies accordingly,” Goldman, a partner with Shibley Righton LLP, tells AdvocateDaily.com.

While employers have a duty to accommodate medical conditions, the accommodation must not cause them to suffer undue hardship, he says.

When determining what constitutes undue hardship, says Goldman, courts will consider a variety of factors including thefinancial difficulty the company would endure and whether accommodating the employee would compromise workplace safety.

“All employee medical conditions must be accommodated to a reasonable extent, but workers’ safety has to come first,” says Goldman. “Those who are operating heavy machinery or driving a transit vehicle cannot be on medical marijuana. Those workers will be accommodated only to the extent of the employers’ reasonable abilities, up to, but not including, the point of undue hardship.”

Every situation must be assessed independently, and may be treated differently, says Goldman, as the ability to accommodate will range depending on the role of the employee and the company.

“If it’s a small two or three-person business and the person is in a key role, the employer might face undue hardship if required to find that employee another, more sedentary, role,” he says. “Large corporations with more jobs, requiring different skills, may be better able to accommodate the employee.”

This story also appeard on advocatedaily.com


A recent Manitoba Human Rights Commission decision finding a woman was unjustly terminated for drinking off the job highlights the importance of an employer’s duty to accommodate addiction-related disabilities in the workplace, says Toronto employment lawyer Barry Goldman.

human rights adjudicator found a health-care aide was entitled to be reinstated, receive three years of back pay and an additional $10,000 for injury to her dignity after she was fired for consuming alcohol outside of work.

The adjudicator ruled that alcohol addiction amounts to a disability under the Human Rights Code.

Please click here for the full story


Barry Goldman's article "Calls to expel dentistry students out of line" appeared on advocatedaily.com


Barry Goldman's article "Legal, moral questions raised by Ghomeshi firing" appeared on advocatedaily.com


Barry Goldman's article "Discriminatory employer not representative of Canadians" appeared on advocatedaily.com


Barry Goldman's article "Class actions may heighten awareness of employee rights" appeared on advocatedaily.com


Barry J. Goldman and Matthew G. Scott review the proposed amendments to the Public Service Labour Relations Act outlined within Bill C-4, and its impact on federal public service employers and employees.


Barry Goldman's article “Fiduciary Relationship Changes Manager’s Liability" appeard in the September 6th edition of The Lawyers Weekly.


Barry Goldman's article "Labour Board Tackles Religious-Offi­ce Exemption" appearded in the September 7th 2012 edition of The Lawyers Weekly.


The Shibley Righton Labour and Employment Law eBulletin, May 2012


Barry has appeared before the following courts: 

  • Ontario Superior Court of Justice 
  • Divisional Court 
  • Ontario Court of Appeal, and 
  • The Federal Court 

In addition, Barry has appeared before the following Administrative Tribunals: 

  • The Ontario Labour Relations Board 
  • The Employment Insurance Commission 
  • The Ontario Human Rights Commission 
  • Municipal Committees of Adjustment 
  • The Ontario Municipal Board 
  • The Criminal Injuries Compensation Board, and
  • The Ontario Real Estate Association 
More About

Barry Goldman brings a broad base of experience to law. Before going to law school, he was an entrepreneur and small business owner. In 1985, married with a young daughter, he took the plunge and returned to university to study law. Upon his call to the bar in 1990, he spent one year at the Federal Department of Justice doing drug prosecutions before going into private practice. Over the next 21 years, Barry built a busy and rewarding practice. He joined Shibley Righton LLP in 2008, and today his practice focuses primarily on employment law and civil litigation.

Barry's employment law practice includes litigating employment terminations for both employees and employers, preparation and review of employment contracts and severance packages, preparation of workplace policies and procedures manuals, and counselling clients on such matters as wrongful dismissal, leaves of absence, harassment, discrimination, and workplace health and safety concerns.

His civil litigation practice includes plaintiffs’ personal injury matters resulting from motor vehicle accidents, many of which involve catastrophic injuries, as well as fire and property losses, professional negligence and product liability claims. Barry also has expertise with partnership disputes, contractual conflicts, and collections matters.

A native of Fredericton, N. B., Barry received his law degree at the University of Windsor and prior to that received his B. Com. at Dalhousie University. He is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Canadian Bar Association, and the Advocates Society. He is married with two grown children.

Contact Information

T: 416.214.5218
F: 416.214.5418
E: barry.goldman@shibleyrighton.com


University of Windsor, LL.B., 1988
Dalhousie University, B.Comm., 1978