Biography

Kevin Banks is Associate Professor of Law at Queen’s and the Director of the Queen's Centre for Law in the Contemporary Workplace. He is the Editor-in-Chief of the Canadian Labour and Employment Law Journal, and a co-ordinating editor of Labour and Employment Law, Cases, Materials and Commentary. His research publications address efficiency and delay in Canadian labour arbitration, relationships between economic globalization and labour and employment law, the influence of originating political struggles on workplace equality law in North America and the European Union, the role, governance and potential influence of international and transnational labour labour law, the extent and causes of gaps in the workplace accommodation of persons with disability, the accessibility and effectiveness of employment standards compliance and enforcement, and the role of good faith in the contract of employment. He is a part time member of the Ontario Grievance Settlement Board and has been appointed to several dispute settlement rosters established pursuant to labour chapters of free trade agreements. He chaired the international arbitral panel that ruled on a dispute concerning the labour provisions of the US-Central America Tree Trade Agreement, the first such case decided anywhere in the world. Professor Banks previously served in a number of senior positions within the Public Service of Canada, including Director General, Labour Policy and Workplace Information, Director of Research with the Federal Labour Standards Review Commission, and Director, Inter-American Labour Co-operation. He holds an LL.B. (1989) and B.A. (1986) in economics from the University of Toronto, and an S.J.D. from Harvard Law School (2003).  

Recent Professional Achievements

Current Research

  • Constitutional collective bargaining rights of employees not covered by labour relations statutes
  • Renewing the institutional foundations of Canadian labour and employment law
  • Purposes and extent of obligations of trade agreement labour chapters
  • Legal responsibility of third parties for wage and hours violations under employment statutes and contracts

Recent Publications

  • K. Banks, “Fit for Purpose? The Extent and Enforcement of Trade Agreement Labor Obligations After the Guatemala – Labor Obligations Decision”, forthcoming in the Georgetown Journal of International Law, spring 2021
  • K. Banks, R. Chaykowski and G. Slotsve, "Labour Rights Arbitration in Canada: An Empirical Investigation of Efficiency and Delay in a Changed Legal Environment", 22 Canadian Labour and Employment Law Journal 231 (2020)
  • Manoj Dias-Abey and Kevin Banks “Migrant Workers: Contesting Definitions, Institutional Responses, and Rights” 35 International Journal of Comparative Labour Law and Industrial Relations 153 (2019) 
  • 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).