Kelly Nicholson
Kelly Nicholson
Partner / Privacy and Data Protection Officer
News + Views + Events

Kelly Nicholson combines deep knowledge of labour and employment law with hands-on experience conducting investigations, making him a valuable asset to employers.

As a member of our Calgary Labour + Employment Group and the firm’s Privacy Officer, Kelly advises private and public-sector clients on all aspects of the employment relationship. His experience includes recruitment, discipline and termination, wrongful dismissal claims, privacy matters, human rights complaints, disability and insurance issues, interpretation and enforcement of non-competition and confidentiality agreements, contract negotiation, policy development, benefit and incentive plan management, executive compensation, collective agreement interpretation and arbitration, and alcohol and drug testing. Kelly also regularly advises police services and other law-enforcement agencies throughout the province on various matters including policy development and implementation, public complaints, internal investigations, police discipline and termination, collective agreement negotiation, and grievance arbitrations.

Beyond his advisory role, Kelly has successfully led investigations into a wide array of workplace issues including bullying, discrimination and harassment. His ability to navigate complex legal landscapes is enhanced by his completion of formal training in the conduct of workplace investigations offered by the Workplace Institute, which equips him with advanced techniques for handling sensitive investigations effectively and empathetically. This training, combined with his comprehensive legal background, allows Kelly to offer nuanced guidance that respects both the procedural and human aspects of workplace investigations.

Kelly has represented clients before a wide range of adjudicative bodies in Canada, including labour and employment arbitration panels, the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench, the Alberta Court of Appeal, the Supreme Court of Canada, the Alberta Labour Relations Board, the Board of Reference, the Alberta Human Rights Commission, the Alberta Law Enforcement Review Board, and the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner.

Kelly is a veteran speaker at legal conferences and seminars, and he makes frequent presentations to clients, lawyers, and the public on privacy, policing, education, and employment law matters. He also regularly contributes articles to a variety of publications in the areas of privacy, employment, education law, and human resources.

Outside the Office

Kelly is an avid runner and climber in his spare time.

Calgary Bar Association
Canadian Bar Association
Law Society of Alberta
Law Society of Saskatchewan
Listed Labour + Employment Law
The Best Lawyers™ in Canada
2020 - 2024
Employment + Labour: Alberta
Chambers and Partners
2021 - 2024
Alberta Association of Chiefs of Police
Calgary School District No. 19 v Alberta Teachers' Association, 2017 CanLII 10820 (AB GAA)
Alberta Teachers Association v Calgary Roman Catholic Separate School Division No. 1, 2016 CanLII 97764 (AB GAA)
Alberta Teachers' Association v Information and Privacy Commissioner, 2014 ABCA 432 (CanLII), Court of Appeal of Alberta
Renfrew Insurance Ltd. v. Donald, 2012 ABQB 228
Jayman Masterbuilt Inc. (Re), 2011 CanLII 97926 (AB ESU)
AM Inspection Ltd. v. Chizen, [2007] A.J. No. 626, Alberta Court of Queen's Bench
Calgary (City) Police Service v. Edmonton (City) Police Services, [2007] A.J. No. 1549, Alberta Court of Queen's Bench
Warren v. West Canadian Industries Group Ltd., 2007 CarswellAlta 1282, Alberta Human Rights and Citizenship Commission
Whitford v. Agrium Inc., 2007 ABCA 109, Alberta Court of Appeal
Whitford v. Agrium Inc., [2006] A.J. No. 1235, Alberta Court of Queen's Bench
Brandt Tractor Ltd. v. Pardee Equipment Employees Assn., [2006] A.J. No. 1432, Alberta Court of Queen's Bench
Tolko Industries Ltd., Slave Lake Division v. United Steelworkers of America, Local 1-207 (McRee Grievance), [2006] A.G.A.A. No. 25, Alberta Grievance Arbitration Award
Ternier v. Brandt Tractor Ltd., [2005] B.C.H.R.T.D. NO. 486, British Columbia Human rights Tribunal
Toronto-Dominion Bank v. Jaikaran, [2004] A.J. No. 1086, Alberta Court of Queen's Bench
Seraphin v. Calgary (City) Chief of Police, 2002 CarswellAlta 698, Alberta Master
June 12, 2024
Legal Considerations for Employee Off-Duty Conduct
The actions of employees outside of work hours can have significant implications for their careers and their employer’s business. As employees and employer both navigate an increasingly connected world, it is vital to understand the boundaries of...
February 2024
2023 - A Year in Review: Labour + Employment (Part 2)
Seminars + Webinar
Join members of our Labour + Employment Group for our annual Year in Review, which focuses on legal updates for management and employee groups.Part 2 of this series covered Employment, Privacy and Human Rights. To view Part 1, ...
February 2023
2022 - A Year in Review: Labour + Employment (Part 2)
Seminar + Webinar
Join members of our Labour + Employment Group for our annual Year in Review, which focuses on legal updates for management and employee groups.Part 2 of this series will cover Privacy, Employment and Human Rights. To view the recording for Part 1, whic...
August 17, 2022
Employment Law Fundamentals
ASBA Taps + Tips
Join Kelly Nicholson and the Alberta Small Brewers Association for a presentation and Q+A session on employment law fundamentals.Topics covered will include: Why employers should have a written employment agreement Most important provisions to in...
February 24, 2022
2021 - A Year in Review: Labour + Employment (Part 2)
Join members of our Labour + Employment Group for our annual Year in Review webinar, which focuses on legal updates for management and employee groups.Part 2 of this series will cover Privacy, Human Rights and Employment. To view the recordin...
November 17, 2021
Coffee + Counsel: Family Status Accommodation - Where Are We Now?
Q+A Session
Join us for another edition of Coffee + Counsel, a complimentary series that brings you together with a few of our lawyers for an unscripted chat about legal issues pertinent to organizations in Alberta. Your questions guide the discussion, and we prov...
July 2021 - 7 min read
Clarity From Confusion: Court Confirms Test for Family Status Discrimination
Workwise Newsletter
Jonathan Swift once observed that there is nothing constant in the world but inconsistency. The truth of that statement is nowhere more apparent than in the Canadian law governing family status accommodation, where the legal test applied to a...
February 24 + March 10
2020 - A Year in Review Webinar Series
Did you miss the Field Law Labour + Employment Group's annual Year in Review? The recordings are now available! Is employer-friendly OHS legislation coming to a worksite near you? What are the impacts of COVID-19 on employment legislation a...
October 7, 2020
Cocktails + Counsel: Workplace Accommodation in the COVID Era
Q+A Session
Join Field Law for the second installment of a complimentary new webinar series that brings you together (virtually) with a few of our lawyers for an unscripted chat about legal issues. Your questions guide the discussion, and we provide our legal pers...
September 16, 2020
Privacy for Condo Corporations: Understanding + Complying with PIPA
Condominiums in Alberta are defined as organizations which are subject to the requirements of the Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA). This means that condo corporations must develop and adhere to policies and practices that comply with PIPA whe...
July 23, 2020
Coffee + Counsel: Mitigating Risk as Employees Return to Work
Q+A Session
Field Law presents a new series that brings together you and a few of our lawyers for an unscripted chat about legal issues. Your questions guide the discussion, and we provide our legal perspectives. As businesses open up again, and employees retur...
July 7, 2020
Privacy for Health Care Organizations: What Has Changed and What Hasn’t?
Health care organizations have had to adapt quickly during the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to managing an unknown disease and focusing on patient care, day to day operational life has changed- videoconferencing, fit for work screening, and liab...
April 1, 2020
Privacy + Data Management Considerations for Employers in a Pandemic
During a pandemic it can be difficult to balance employee privacy rights with the need to collect the information required to make critical decisions. Presented by Katrina Haymond and Kelly Nicholson, this webinar will provide employers with informatio...
March 16, 2020
COVID-19: An Update for Employers
Changes to Alberta’s Employment Standards Code and an Updated Employer’s Guide to Managing Pandemics in the Workplace
While the risk of contracting COVID-19 in Alberta and the Northwest Territories remains low, the situation is fluid and changing quickly. As a result, employers worldwide are balancing the steps necessary to lessen the effects of COVID-19 with continui...
February 2020
“False Light” Publicity: A New Risk in Data Management
Canadian courts have traditionally been more reluctant than their American counterparts to recognize torts relating to privacy interests. The American Law Society adopted the following four torts protective of individual privacy some time ago in its we...
February 2020
An Employer’s Guide to Managing the Coronavirus in the Workplace
While the public risk associated with the Coronavirus in Canada is still considered low, employers should prepare antidotes for the various workplaces issues that arise in the wake of large-scale threats to health. Below are some frequently asked quest...
Winter 2020
2019 - A Year in Review Seminar Series
Join the Field Law Labour + Employment Group for our annual seminars featuring legal updates and practical challenges for management and employee groups.Part 1 has been approved for 1.75 CPD hours and Part 2 has been approved for 2.25 CPD hou...
December 2019
2019 Field Law Post-Secondary Summit Recap
The fourth annual Field Law Post-Secondary Summit was held on November 28 in Calgary and was co-chaired by Frank Molnar, KC and Greg Harding, KC. Brief summaries of the presentations given at the Summit are provided below. Innovative Governance During...
October 2019
Election Day Voting Rights
As most people are no doubt aware, Monday, October 21 is Election Day, and federal law requires employers across Canada to provide employees with paid time off to vote (unless an employee has already exercised the right to vote by casting an advance ba...
August 2019
Alberta Court of Appeal Confirms the Limitation Period for Statutory Damages Claims under PIPA
The Alberta Court of Appeal has recently confirmed that the limitation period under the Alberta Limitations Act applicable to a statutory claim for damages under the Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA) does not begin to run until a Commissioner&...
February 2019
A New Approach to the Reasonable Expectation of Privacy: R v Jarvis, 2019 SCC 10
Labour + Employment
Though it emerges in a criminal law context, the new decision of the Supreme Court of Canada in R v Jarvis, 2019 SCC 10 is likely to have an impact on future cases that consider the scope of an individual’s privacy interest, whether in the crimin...
February 6, 2019
2018 Year in Review for Northern Employers
Join Field Law for a review of the most important legal cases from 2018. Topics covered will include: Labour Employment Human Rights Occupational Health + Safety Privacy Immigration Cannabis This seminar will be broadcast live via ...
Winter 2019
2018 A Year in Review Seminar Series
The Field Law Labour and Employment Group presents the annual Year in Review seminars in Calgary and Edmonton. Join us for legal updates and practical challenges for management and employee groups in the areas of:  Part 1: Human Rights ...
University of Saskatchewan, 1997, Juris Doctor With Distinction
University of Victoria, 1991, Master of Arts With First Class Standing
University of Regina, 1990, Bachelor of Arts With Honours