Ridout Barron


Laws that protect employee rights in Canada

As astounding as it sounds today, it was once illegal to be in a union in Canada. You could be arrested and charged as a criminal. The first annual Labour Day parade happened in 1872, as a protest, and things have changed massively over they years as a result. Today, employees have many rights that are protected by law, and it's important to know what they are. A few examples are noted below.

1. The Employment Standards Act gives employees rights to things like severance provisions, set hours of work, sick day allowances, vacation days, and a minimum wage. In most workplaces, a poster spelling out these rights has to be hung up where workers can easily see it.

2. The Canada Labour Code does similar things to the above, but for federal employees. It's said that about 10 percent of the workers in Canada fall into this category.

3. The Employment Equity Act (also known as the EEA) helps to stop discrimination in the workplace. It revolves around four groups: individuals with disabilities, visible minorities, women and Aboriginal people.

4. The Canadian Human Rights Act is similar to the above, in that it also stops discrimination on the grounds of race, ethnicity, gender, age and other factors. It is more of a general law, while the EEA is more specific to its four groups.

Unfortunately, workers still experience discrimination and the violation of their rights in the workplace, despite this legislation. If this has happened to you, it's crucial to know what legal options you have to protect yourself and to make sure laws are upheld.

Source: Monster, "Canadian Employment Law: Knowing Your Employee Rights," Mark Swartz, accessed July 08, 2016

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