Articling Students' Law Society Membership Fees at DOJ: The Employer Will Have to Reimburse Students Retroactively to May 15, 2013 :: Association of Justice Counsel News
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March 26th, 2015
March 26th, 2015
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Articling Students' Law Society Membership Fees at DOJ: The Employer Will Have to Reimburse Students Retroactively to May 15, 2013

You can read the complete decision

The Public Service Labour Relation and Employment Board (PSLREB) has just rendered its decision in the policy grievance relating to articling student membership fees that the AJC filed on June 20, 2013.  Thanks to interventions made by a number of articling students, the AJC first became aware of a DOJ practice that resulted in DOJ not reimbursing articling students' for their law society fees.  

We are pleased to report a partial victory.  The PSLREB recognizes articling students' requirement to register with a law society as a condition of employment. The Board has therefore ordered the employer to reimburse all articling students who were hired on or after May 15, 2013, for the following fees:

* membership fees required to be paid by them in order to be registered with the appropriate law society as articling students.
* call to the bar fees to any law student who is offered permanent employment in the capacity of a lawyer
.


This is of course a partial victory in that the adjudicator refused to consider the costs of bar courses as a reimbursable expense.    Having said this, we understand that the majority of articling students continue to receive compensation for their time attending courses.  

Should any articling student impacted by this decision have any questions, we encourage you to contact us directly at admin@ajc-ajj.ca .   As your union, it is important that we be made fully aware of your entitlement in order to ensure that the employer is in full compliance with the adjudicator's order.  Without your information on whether or not you have moneys owing, we will be unable to verify the level of compliance by the department and the accuracy of its resulting claims of compliance.

You can read the complete decision by the PSLREB.

Following TB's denial  of the grievance, the AJC referred the matter to adjudication.  The issue was also covered by Canadian Lawyer.

This policy grievance shows the importance of coming forward to highlight certain situations in the workplace without fear of reprisal.  The AJC is responsible for advocating on behalf of federal lawyers, including articling students, with respect to their terms and conditions of employment.

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