Workers in Alberta are protected under various laws, such as the Human Rights Act, Occupational Health and Safety Act and the Employment Standards Code. While most employees know about laws that protect them from discrimination, they may be unaware of other rights they have as workers. For example, under the Occupational Health and Safety Act, workers have the right to refuse work orders that threaten their safety. With some exceptions, employers must pay workers who reported for duty for at least three hours, even if they were sent home without working for three hours. Those who work for more than three hours must receive compensation for the hours they worked.
A consulting company conducted an online poll from April 10 through May 1 among over 5,000 employees of large companies with employee numbers exceeding 1,000. The aim was to judge the level of discrimination in workplaces across Canada, including Alberta. The survey focused on inclusion and diversity in recruitment, advancement, retention and commitment of leadership in the surveyed companies.
When non-unionized people in Alberta start new jobs, they typically form a contractual relationship with their new employers. Many people do not realize that, when they sign employment contracts, they agree to more than what is in writing. Many employment contract disputes involve implied obligations of which the parties were not aware.
In the 12 months since cannabis became legal across Canada in Oct. 2018, many employers are unsure about their rights when it comes to employees who are impaired by cannabis. This includes business owners in Alberta. While alcohol-impairment on the job might justify termination, does the same apply for cannabis impairment on the job?
Anyone in Alberta who shares his or her workplace with other people might have to endure with some indignities. While it remains playful and innocent, good-natured name-calling, teasing and harmless flirting, it might be acceptable. However, such behaviour can become offensive in an instant, changing conditions from pleasant to hostile work environments.
Employees in Alberta who were dismissed and then became disabled during the termination notice period might have questions about their rights when it comes to payment for lost wages. A recent decision made by The Alberta Court of Queen's Bench provides clarity about the termination of employment with a reasonable notice period. The court found that double dipping is not allowed.
A recent decision by the Alberta Court of Queen's Bench might give employers several things to consider. Employment contract disputes can be costly and time consuming. In this case, an employee filed a wrongful termination lawsuit against his employer, and an unpaid performance bonus formed a part of the claim.
Many workers in Alberta might have become more aware of their rights after the former NDP government overhauled occupational health and safety codes and employment standards. New legislation spelled out new rules related to workplace harassment and violence. This made workers aware of the process by which such incidents could be reported anonymously.