Biography

Kevin Banks is Director of the Queen’s Centre for Law in the Contemporary Workplace. He teaches, researches and writes about international and Canadian labour and employment law. His research often focuses on the law in action, and specifically on whether and how it can be effective in achieving its purposes. He also teaches property law and advocacy. He earned his S.J.D. from Harvard Law School, and his B.A. and LL.B from the University of Toronto.  

Recent Professional Achievements

  • Director, Centre for Law in the Contemporary Workplace, Faculty of Law, Queen's University
  • Editor-in-Chief, Canadian Labour and Employment Law Journal.
  • Coordinating Editor, with Prof. Michael MacNeil, Labour and Employment Law: Cases, Materials and Commentary (9th edition) (2018), Canada’s leading labour law casebook.
  • Chair of an arbitral panel appointed to hear and decide the first labour rights dispute under a free trade agreement to be arbitrated: https://www.trade.gov/industry/tas/Guatemala%20%20%E2%80%93%20Obligatio…
  • Academic Advisor to Ontario’s Changing Workplaces Review (2015-2017), authoring a report on enforcement and compliance under the Employment Standards Act: https://cirhr.library.utoronto.ca/sites/cirhr.library.utoronto.ca/files…
  • Member, Advisory Committee on Private Commercial Disputes to the North American Free Trade Commission (2008 to present).
  • Book Review Editor, Comparative Labor Law and Policy Journal
  • From 2001 to 2007 held senior positions in the Federal Public Service:
    • Director General, Labour Policy and Workplace Information
    • Director of Research with the Federal Labour Standards Review Commission (responsible for research and analysis on behalf of Commissioner Harry Arthurs in the first comprehensive review of labour standards in the federal sector since 1965); and
    • Director, Inter-American Labour Co-operation (responsible for the office that negotiates and implements Canada’s trade-related labour agreements in the Americas, and for managing Canada’s participation in Inter-American Conference of Ministers of Labour)

Current Research

  • Factors influencing the timeliness of labour arbitration in Ontario
  • Legal responsibility of third parties for wage and hours violations under employment statutes and contracts
  • Constitutional collective bargaining rights of employees not covered by labour relations statutes
  • Whether and how to enable broader-based collective bargaining in Canada
  • Workplace law and the erosion of the middle class

Recent Publications

  • K. Banks and M. MacNeil, coordinating editors, Labour and Employment Law: Cases, Materials and Commentary (9th edition) (2018)
  • K. Banks and G. Trudeau “Introduction” Chapter 1 of Labour and Employment Law: Cases, Materials and Commentary (9th edition) (2018)
  • K. Banks “Workplace Law without the State?”, in S. Archer, D. Drache, and P. Zumbansen eds. “The Daunting Enterprise of the Law: Essays in Honour of Harry W. Arthurs (McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2017)
  • K. Banks, R. Chaykowski, G. Slotsve, “Did Weber Affect the Timeliness of Arbitration?” in E. Shilton and K. Schucher eds.  “One Law for All? Weber v. Ontario Hydro 20 Years On” (Irwin Law, 2017)
  • IN THE MATTER OF GUATEMALA – ISSUES RELATING TO THE OBLIGATIONS UNDER ARTICLE 16.2.1(a), Final Report, June 14, 2017. (299 pages)
  • K. Banks, “Employment Standards Complaint Resolution, Compliance and Enforcement: A Review of the Literature on Access and Effectiveness”, Prepared for the Ontario Ministry of Labour, to support the Changing Workplaces Review of 2015  (Queen’s Printer, 2016) (108 pages)
  • K. Banks, “Reasonable Accomodation as Equal Opportunity in Canadian Employment” 93 Bulletin of Comparative Labour Relations 47 (2016)
  • K. Banks R. Nunin and A.Topo “The Lasting Influence of Legal Origins: Workplace Discrimination and Social Inclusion in Canada, the United States and the European Union”, in M. Finkin and G. Mundlak eds. “Handbook of Comparative Labour and Employment Law” (Elgar, 2015) 
  • K. Banks, R. Chaykowski, and G. Slotsve “Disability Accommodation in Employment: How Does an Aging Population Matter and What Does it Mean for Law and Policy?”  17 Canadian Labour and Employment Law Journal 295 (2013)
  • K. Banks, “Must Canada Change its Labour and Employment Laws to Compete with the United States?”, 38 Queen’s Law Journal 419-460 (2013)
  • K. Banks and Elizabeth Shilton, “Corporate Commitments to Freedom of Association: Is There a Role for Enforcement Under Canadian Law?” 33 Comparative Labor Law and Policy Journal 495 (2012)
  • K. Banks, “The Role and Promise of International Law in Canada's New Labour Law Constitutionalism”, 16 Canadian Labour and Employment Law Journal 233 (2012)
  • K. Banks, “Trade, Labor and International Governance: An Inquiry into the Potential Effectiveness of the New International Labor Law” 32 Berkeley Journal of Employment and Labor Law 45-144 (2011).
  • K. Banks,  “Progress and Paradox: The Remarkable Yet Limited Advance of Employer Good Faith Duties in Canadian Common Law”, 32 Comparative Labour Law and Policy Journal 547-592 (2011).
  • K. Banks, “Labour Law in the New Economy”, Chapter 14 of Labour and Employment Law: Cases, Materials and Commentary (8th edition) (2011)