David Whitten, Founding Partner

David Whitten - Toronto Employment Lawyer - Whitten & Lublin

David Whitten, Founding Partner


Law School: University of Windsor

Admitted to Bar: 2002

Certificate Prg:  Intensive Trial
Advocacy – Osgoode Hall 2005

Years of Experience: 20

Proficiency In: Constructive Dismissal, Termination, Human Rights, Hiring, and  Workplace Safety and Insurance

Globe and Mail - Best Law Firms in Canada - Whitten & Lublin Employment Lawyers
Best Lawyers 2023 - David Whitten
Lexpert 2022 - Whitten & Lublin Employment Lawyers

A Formidable Litigator and Innovative Negotiator,Transforming Employment Law


As a nationally recognized and highly sought-after employment lawyer,  David A. Whitten focuses  on the strategic resolution of complex workplace issues and challenges for both employers and employees.

What sets David A. Whitten apart is his abiding belief in fairness. He holds that the most productive and successful work environments are those in which both the employer and employees are treated with respect. This ethical standard makes him a compelling advocate in negotiations or in court and an opponent to be reckoned with.

For private and public sector employers, he has provided knowledgeable counsel on a broad range of issues, while specializing in advising clients on constructive dismissal in the workplace.

While David advises employees at all levels, he focuses on issues specific to the C-Suite. He is broadly experienced at crafting and negotiating executive employment and compensation agreements; severance packages; non-competition and non-solicitation contracts, as well as agreements related to post-employment obligations; incentive plans stock options; bonus compensation, and fiduciary obligations. David has developed a specialized approach to dealing with constructive dismissal in the executive suite that has assisted his clients to recover millions of dollars in severance.

David also has a proven talent for addressing commonly unforeseen downside issues when drafting and negotiating executive employment agreements. He has earned a reputation for defending business leaders embroiled in conflicts with their Board of Directors or other executives, or who face leadership issues, or who are facing performance-related criticism from shareholders.


Courtroom Success: A  Formidable Litigator

David A. Whitten places great stock in flexibility and finding solutions through negotiated resolution. However, he is also a tenacious litigator. He has appeared before all levels of court in Ontario and a range of tribunals, including: The Ontario Labour Relations BoardOntario Human Rights TribunalThe Workplace Safety and Insurance Board and Workplace Safety and Insurance Appeals Tribunal

Most recently, David was lead counsel in the seminal case Rahman v. Cannon Design Architecture Inc., 2021 ONSC 5961 where he successfully defended an employer’s severance provision despite overwhelming odds. Although the decision was later overturned on appeal, its impact was significant.


Awards and Recognition:

David’s success has led to continuous recognition by industry and peers

  • In 2013, Lexpert named David A. Whitten as a litigator to watch in its US Guide to Leading Cross-border Lawyers. Since 2015, David has been named annually by Lexpert as a repeatedly recommended lawyer culminating in him being designated a Leading Practitioner for both Employers and Employees.
  • Founding partner of Whitten & Lublin; nationally recognized as one of Canada’s Best Law Firms by Globe and Mail (and one of the only workplace law firms to receive this distinction).
  • David has been selected for inclusion in the 17th Edition (2023) of The Best Lawyers in Canada™ for Employment & Labour Law. Recognition is based on consensus opinion of leading lawyers about the professional abilities of their colleagues.
  • He also co-authored “HR Manager’s Guide to Independent Contractors in the Workplace” which was published by Carswell.
  • Recognized by Chambers’ guide for Canada’s Leading Lawyers in Employment Law.


News and Other Media:

David’s expertise and straight talk are widely recognized in Toronto media circles. His viewpoint has been sought by The Toronto StarThe Globe and Mail and The National Post, and he has commentated on employment issues in interviews with CBC Radio One’s, Here and Now, and News Talk 1010. He is also frequently asked to speak on employment issues by The Human Resources Professional Association, The Canadian Payroll Association and the Certified General Accountants Association of Canada.

Throughout his career, David has worked closely with the Human Resources Professional Association (HRPA), culminating in him being asked to Co-Chair its Annual Law Conference from 2017 to 2021.


  • Is medical marijuana acceptable in the workplace?, CBCNews, 2015
  • Moonlighting Employees: Don’t lose the stars for the clouds, HR This Week, 2015
  • Harassment allegations a gold mine for third party investigators, (Ottawa AM1310 )
  • Employer liability with Ebola panic, HR Reporter
  • Tips for employers and employees when sexual harassment occurs, CBC.
  • How employers should prepare for medical marijuana use in the workplace (Interview, CBC, Ontario Today)
  • Medical marijuana in the workplace (CHCH, Square Off)
  • Unpaid overtime work – Interview, CBC – Ontario Today
  • Calling for changes to employment standards legislation to provide guidance to employers and employees with respect to sick leave policies
  • Retirement incentives must be handled with care, HR Reporter
  • Unpaid internships a costly risk, Canadian Employment Law Today
  • Holiday parties and corporate liability-interview (CHCH, Square Off )
  • Holiday parties and employer liability-interview (Moose FM)
  • Working Past 65 – Interview (CBC Radio – Ontario Today)
  • David Whitten on The Scott Thompson Show regarding his recent addressing at the House of Commons Standing Committee of Human Resources where he called for a broad-based action by the Government and business community to reduce barriers to working longer and to motivate older workers to postpone retirement past 65. (CHML)
  • How to Motivate Older Workers to Postpone their Retirement (News 570, The Gary Doyle Show)
  • Rouge requires new flight attendants to pay for their own training (News 570)
  • Intern abuse carries stiff penalties (24Hours)
  • RBC’s temporary workers program with David Whitten (London The Pulse Radio)
  • David Whitten on the Gary Doyle News on outsourced employees forced to train their replacement in the RBC (570 News)
  • Executive Bonuses in the Public Sector (CBC Radio)
  • What to watch for before signing an employment contract (The Globe and Mail)
  • Bullying: the employee perspective (The Toronto Star)
  • Age discrimination at the forefront (Canadian Employment Law Today)
  • Proposed changes to EI and repercussions for severance calculations (The Current on CBC Radio One)
  • Ottawa’s ‘platinum’ severance packages lavish and unnecessary, lawyer says (The National Post)
  • New demographic reality a challenge (The Financial Post)
  • Older employees can protect themselves by making age an issue; lawyer (The Toronto Star)
  • Workplace bullying: A clear and present danger (Canadian Employment Law Today)
  • Deconstructing random drug, alcohol testing (Canadian HR Reporter)
  • Toronto’s employee buyout ‘a disaster in the making’ (The Financial Post)
  • City of Toronto employee buyout ‘a disaster in the making’ (The National Post)
  • City buyout puts morale ‘in the toilet’ (The Toronto Star)
  • Booting Bartz a case of how not to fire an executive (The Globe and Mail)

Do you need workplace legal advice?

Whitten & Lublin Employment and Labour Lawyers is a nationally recognized team, assisting employees in all aspects of workplace legal disputes. Don’t take a chance with your case. Consult the law firm with a team of proficient employment and labour law lawyers.

Whitten & Lublin Toronto Employment Lawyers

Toronto & GTA: (647) 946-1276

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