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Kenneth Wm. Thornicroft

Kenneth Thornicroft of the Gustavson School of Business

Professor

Contact:
Office: BEC 206 250-721-6424
Credentials:
BCom, Concordia University; Masters of Science in Administration, Concordia University; PhD in Management, HEC Montreal
Area of expertise:
Arbitration and dispute resolution, constitutional and administrative law, employment contracts, labour and employment law, labour relations, organizational restructuring (employment and labour law issues)

Biography

Kenneth Wm. Thornicroft is a professor of law & employment relations with the University of Victoria’s Peter B. Gustavson School of Business. Dr. Thornicroft holds a law degree (LL.B./JD 1979) from the University of British Columbia and a doctorate (PhD 1996) in Labour and Human Resource Policy/Employment Law from the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University. Dr. Thornicroft has received numerous teaching awards including 6 separate “Professor of the Year” awards, as well as several other research and scholarship awards. Dr. Thornicroft is a member of the Law Society of British Columbia, the Canadian Bar Association, the British Columbia Council of Administrative Tribunals, the Canadian Industrial Relations Association, the Society of Labor Economists, the Society for International Hockey Research and is a member of several academic journal editorial review boards. 

Prior to joining academia, Dr. Thornicroft spent 10 years as a trial lawyer in Vancouver, B.C. and has for the past 3 decades acted a third party neutral. Dr. Thornicroft’s professional practice is restricted to arbitration and alternative dispute resolution. He has acted as a third-party neutral (both as an arbitrator and a mediator) in a wide variety of contexts including employment disputes (in both the union and nonunion sectors), shareholder and partnership disputes, commercial and residential tenancy disputes, property valuation disputes, major personal injury claims and franchise disputes. During the past 2 decades, Dr. Thornicroft has served as a third-party neutral in several thousand disputes. Dr. Thornicroft is a former member of the B.C. Arbitration Review Panel, the B.C. Employment and Assistance Appeal Tribunal, the B.C. Parole Board and the Delta Police Board. He is a current member of the B.C. Property Assessment Appeal Board, the B.C. Employment Standards Tribunal and is the provincial adjudicator for the B.C. Ministry of Education Student Appeals Branch. 

Dr. Thornicroft is the author of over 170 journal articles, conference papers, book reviews and book chapters; his writing has been published in, among other outlets, The Advocate, Alberta Law Review, Business & the Contemporary World, Canadian Bar Review, Canadian Labour & Employment Law Journal, Education & Law Journal, Employee Relations, Employee Responsibilities and Rights Journal, Entertainment & Sports Law Journal, Industrial and Labor Relations Review, Journal of Collective Negotiations in the Public Sector, Journal of Individual Employment Rights, Journal of Labor Research, Journal of Workplace Rights, Labor Law Journal, Labor Studies Journal, Relations Industrielles/Industrial Relations and Women in Management Review. He is the co-author of Employment Obligations and Confidential Information (2nd edition, 2009; 3rd ed., 2015) and Collective Agreement Arbitration in Canada (4th edition, 2009; 5th ed., 2013; 6th ed., 2017) both published by LexisNexis Canada Inc., and Canadian Business Law: A British Columbia Perspective (Emond Publishing, 2020). 

Dr. Thornicroft’s current research focuses on employee/er rights issues, employment law and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and the interpretation and enforcement of employment contracts.

Teaching

Courses taught

  • Legal Issues Management (BCom)
  • The Legal Environment of Business (BCom, Minor)
  • Employment Law (BCom)
  • Managing in Unionized Environment (BCom)
  • The Law of the Workplace (BCom)
  • Selected Topics in Management: Labour Relations in Professional Sports (BCom)

Selected publications

Journal publications

Thornicroft, K.Wm. (in press) Class Actions, Employment Contracts & Remedying Hostile Workplaces, Canadian Bar Review

Thornicroft, K.Wm. (2022) Player versus League Interests in Sexual Assault Allegations – A Case Study from the National Hockey League, LawInSport, August 2022 (sub nom. Ensuring Fair Process For Players In Sexual Assault Claims – The Jake Virtanen NHL Case) https://www.lawinsport.com/topics/item/ensuring-fair-process-for-players-in-sexual-assault-claims-the-jake-virtanen-nhl-case 

Thornicroft, K.Wm. (2022) Storming the Ivory Tower – Student Challenges to University Academic Decisions, Education & Law Journal 31(1): 45-61. https://www.proquest.com/openview/6c043dd6f58d37fba2ada7cc4f57202a/1?pq-origsite=gscholar&cbl=44752 

Thornicroft, K.Wm. (2022) Commentary: The Misclassification of Gig Economy Workers – The Case of Ride-Hailing Drivers, CanLII Connects  [Online Journal Published by the Canadian Legal Information Institute] 

Thornicroft, K.Wm. (2021) Commentary: Not Cleared for Takeoff: Lewis v. WestJet Airlines Ltd., CanLII Connects [Online Journal Published by the Canadian Legal Information Institute]. 

Thornicroft, K.Wm. (2021) When ADR Means “Avoiding Dispute Resolution” – Uber Technologies Inc. v. Heller Canadian Arbitration and Mediation Journal 30(2): 24-26. https://adric.ca/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/ADRIC_JOURNAL_2021_Vol30_No2.pdf

Thornicroft, K.W. (2021) Uber Technologies Inc. v. Heller –  Implications for Ride-Hailing Drivers in British Columbia. The Advocate 79(3): 361-373. https://the-advocate.ca/emag/issues/2021/May/page_42.html

Thornicroft, K.W. (2021) Chalk and Cheese: The Deductibility of Statutory Termination Benefits from Common Law Severance Pay Awards. CanLII Connects [Online Journal Published by the Canadian Legal Information Institute]. https://canliiconnects.org/en/commentaries/74653

Thornicroft, K.W. (2021) Unionized Police Officers, Discipline, and the Scope of Grievance Arbitration. CanLII Connects [Online Journal Published by the Canadian Legal Information Institute]. https://canliiconnects.org/en/commentaries/73818

Thornicroft, K.W. (2020) Reframing Workplace Discrimination as a Breach of the Employment Contract. CanLII Connects [Online Journal Published by the Canadian Legal Information Institute]. https://canliiconnects.org/en/commentaries/70247

Thornicroft, K.W. (2020) Rethinking McKinney: To What Extent Should Universities Be Charter-Free Zones?. Education & Law Journal 29(1): 79-94. https://search.proquest.com/openview/2539d7a0082c12926719aff99047bdca/1?pq-origsite=gscholar&cbl=44752

Thornicroft, K.W. (2019) Wage Discrimination in British Columbia Business and Law Schools: An Empirical Analysis. Labor Law Journal 70(3): 202-211. https://search.proquest.com/openview/a0852b4cbb9673eed6c7a11c72737f3d/1?pq-origsite=gscholar&cbl=41326

Thornicroft, K.W. (2019) Reassessing “Good Faith” in Contracts of Employment under Canadian Common Law. The Journal of Human Resource and Adult Learning 15(1): 7-19. 

Thornicroft, K.W. (2019). Paid to Play? – The Canadian Hockey League Players Class Action Litigation. Sports and Entertainment Law Journal (University of Denver, Sturm College of Law), 22, 213-251. https://heinonline.org/HOL/LandingPage?handle=hein.journals/denversel22&div=11&id=&page

 Thornicroft, K.W. (2019). Contracting out of the Bhadauria Exclusive Jurisdiction Doctrine: Lewis v. WestJet Airlines Ltd. The Advocate, Volume 77 (Part 3), 371–377. https://heinonline-org.ezproxy.library.uvic.ca/HOL/Page?lname=&handle=hein.barjournals/advvba0077&collection=&page=371&collection=journals

Thornicroft, K.W. (2018). When Rights Collide - Religious Freedom, Equality Rights and the Regulation of the Professions. Education & Law Journal, 28(1), 101–121. https://search.proquest.com/openview/a7cbd1004bda40efcd59ed0a5878a7cb/1?pq-origsite=gscholar&cbl=44752

Thornicroft, K.W. (2017). Case Dismissed for Illegal Procedure - Bruce v. Cohen, 2017 BCCA 186. CanLII Connects [Online Journal Published by the Canadian Legal Information Institute]. https://canliiconnects.org/en/commentaries/46693 

Thornicroft, K.W. (2017). Not a Day Late…Perhaps a Dollar Short? - Government Intervention, Teacher Bargaining & the Charter. Education & Law Journal, 26(2): 207–228. https://search.proquest.com/openview/7f341313e27d74379440a7637c4302ae/1?pq-origsite=gscholar&cbl=44752

Thornicroft, K.W. (2016). The Uncertain State of Mandatory Retirement in Canada. Labor Law Journal, 67(2), 397-414. https://search.proquest.com/openview/0b8c6f76cccfbaa8c9a7636765c77f94/1?pq-origsite=gscholar&cbl=41326

Thornicroft, K.W. (2016). “Overlapping” Unpaid Wage Claims - Administrative Adjudicative Processes v. The Civil Courts. CanLII Connects [Online Journal Published by the Canadian Legal Information Institute]. http://canliiconnects.org/en/commentaries/41831

Thornicroft, K.W. (2016). Judicial Review and Grievance Arbitration – Undue Delay for No Good Reason. CanLII Connects [Online Journal Published by the Canadian Legal Information Institute]. http://canliiconnects.org/en/commentaries/41263

Thornicroft, K.W. (2016) Pension Benefits and Wrongful Dismissal Damages: Double Recovery or Double Jeopardy?, Canadian Labour & Employment Law Journal 19(1): 171-200. https://heinonline.org/HOL/LandingPage?handle=hein.journals/canlemj19&div=9&id=&page=

Books

Thornicroft, K.W., Tamra Alexander & Pat Papadeas. (2020) Canadian Business Law: A British Columbia Perspective (Emond Publishing). https://emond.ca/Store/Books/Canadian-Business-Law-A-British-Columbia-Perspect

Thornicroft, K.W. (2015). Employment Obligations & Confidential Information (3rd edition). LexisNexis Canada; this book has been frequently reference by Canadian courts and tribunals, see, e.g., Survival Systems Training Ltd. v. Survival Systems Ltd., 2012 NSSC 202 and Simard Westlink Inc. v. Wallace, 2013 BCSC 2218. https://store.lexisnexis.ca/en/categories/shop-by-jurisdiction/federal-13/employment-obligations-and-confidential-information-3rd-edition-skusku-cad-00761/details

Chapters

Thornicroft, K. W. (2017). Evidentiary Issues in Arbitration (Chapter Six). In Collective Agreement Arbitration in Canada (Sixth Edition) (pp. 263–332). Toronto, Ontario: LexisNexis Canada, Inc. https://store.lexisnexis.ca/en/categories/shop-by-jurisdiction/federal-13/palmer-snyder-collective-agreement-arbitration-in-canada-6th-edition-skusku-cad-00589/details​

Thornicroft, K. W. (2017). The Arbitration Process (Chapter Five). In Collective Agreement Arbitration in Canada (Sixth Edition) (pp. 133–262). Toronto, Ontario: LexisNexis Canada, Inc. https://store.lexisnexis.ca/en/categories/shop-by-jurisdiction/federal-13/palmer-snyder-collective-agreement-arbitration-in-canada-6th-edition-skusku-cad-00589/details​

Presentations

Thornicroft, K.Wm. (2022) The ESA Appeal Process, Late Appeals, and “Incomplete” Appeals – A Discussion Paper, Employment Standards Tribunal Policy Conference, Vancouver, British Columbia. 

Thornicroft, K.Wm. (2020) Major Junior Hockey Players – Employees or Student-Athletes?, SIHR Fall Conference (online), Society for International Hockey Research. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HX9a3RTmycs 

Thornicroft, K.Wm.  (2019) Reassessing “Good Faith” in Contracts of Employment under Canadian Common Law, Global Business & International Management Conference, Portland, Oregon.

Thornicroft, K.W. (2019, June). Clash of Values: Privacy, the Open Court Principle & Administrative Decision-Making, Employment Standards Tribunal Policy Conference, Vancouver, British Columbia: Employment Standards Tribunal

Thornicroft, K.W. (2019, May) Precarious Work: How We Got Here…And What We Can Do About It, Continuing Legal Education Society of British Columbia, Employment Law Conference 2018, Vancouver, British Columbia: Continuing Legal Education Society of British Columbia. https://online.cle.bc.ca/CoursesOnDemand/ContentByContributor?contributorId=33520&contentType=Webinars&isToggle=True

Thornicroft, K.W. (2019, May). Law & the Gig Economy. Canadian Bar Association - BC Branch. Vancouver, British Columbia: Canadian Bar Association - BC Branch. https://www.cbapd.org/details_en.aspx?id=BC_BC19EML01W

Thornicroft, K. W. (2018, July). Adjudicating Appeals under the Employment Standards Act: Law, Practice & Some (hopefully) Practical Advice. Employment Standards Tribunal Policy Conference. Vancouver, British Columbia: Employment Standards Tribunal.

Thornicroft, K.W. (2018, May) Pucks & Politics – Major Junior Hockey & Employment Standards Coverage in Canada, Employment Standards Tribunal Policy Conference, Vancouver, British Columbia: Employment Standards Tribunal.

Thornicroft, K.W. (2018, April) Wage Discrimination in University Professional Schools: Evidence From British Columbia’s Business & Law Faculties, National Center for the Study of Collective Bargaining in Higher Education & the Professions 45th Annual Conference, New York, NY: National Center for the Study of Collective Bargaining in Higher Education & the Professions. https://thekeep.eiu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1755&context=jcba

Thornicroft, K.W. (2018, March). Face-Off in Court – Major Junior Hockey Players v. The Canadian Hockey League, National Business & Economics Society 19th Annual Conference, Honolulu, Hawaii: National Business & Economics Society.

Thornicroft, K. W. (2018, March). Accuracy versus Equity in Property Assessments (or..., My assessment is right but it’s still wrong!"). Property Assessment Appeal Board of British Columbia Annual Board Meeting. Richmond, British Columbia CANADA: Property Assessment Appeal Board of British Columbia.

Awards & grants

Recognition & awards

  • 2006 - Faculty of Business Outstanding Educator Award, University of Victoria

  • 2000 - MBA Outstanding Professor Award, Royal Roads University

  • 1997 - Commerce Students Assn. Professor of the Year Award, University of Victoria

  • 1993 - Board of Advisors Teaching Excellence Award, University of Victoria

  • 1992 - Dean's Research Award, Memorial University of Newfoundland

  • 1990 - Richard D. Irwin Foundation Doctoral Fellowship

  • 1987 - T/A & R/A Fellowship, Case Western Reserve University

  • 1975 - T. Eaton Company Commerce Scholarship, Simon Fraser University

  • 1973 - Open Scholarship, Simon Fraser University

  • 1973 - Entrance Scholarship, University of British Columbia

Grants

  • Reassessing “Good Faith” in Contracts of Employment under Canadian Common Law, 2019 Global Business & International Management Conference, August 16-18, 2019, Portland, Oregon.
  • Wage Discrimination in University Professional Schools: Evidence From British Columbia’s Business & Law Faculties, National Center for the Study of Collective Bargaining in Higher Education & the Professions 45th Annual Conference, New York, NY, April 15-17, 2018.
  • Face-Off in Court – Major Junior Hockey Players v. The Canadian Hockey League, National Business & Economics Society 19th Annual Conference, Honolulu, Hawaii, March 7-10, 2018.
  • Employee Selection in Professional Sports – The Case of the NHL Draft: 2005-2015, Academy of Business Research Fall Conference, November 1 – 3, 2017, San Antonio, Texas.
  • An Empirical Analysis of the Relative Impact of the Bardal Factors on “Reasonable Notice” Awards, Canadian Industrial Relations Association Annual Conference, May 31 – June 2, 2016, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.
  • Drug & Alcohol Testing in the Workplace: Comparing the USA and Canadian Legal Regimes, Society of Business Research International Conference, October 23 – 25, 2014, Nashville, Tennessee.
  • Severance Pay for Older Workers Under Canadian Common Law, Western Business & Management Association International Research Conference for the Management Disciplines, April 25 – 26, 2014, San Francisco, California.
  • The Uncertain Path Toward National Securities Regulation in Canada, Academy of Business Research Fall Conference, November 7th – 9th, 2012, Biloxi, Mississippi.
  • Western Business & Management International, Funded by University of Victoria, The Office of Research Services (April 25, 2014 - April 26, 2014), awarded February 21, 2014 ($1,250.00), Completed, Spring 2014, PI Kenneth Thornicroft
  • Canadian Industrial Relations Association Annual Conference, Funded by University of Victoria, Office of Research Services (May 29, 2012 - May 31, 2012), awarded April 2, 2012 ($900.00), Completed, Spring 2012, PI Kenneth Thornicroft