Employee Rights

You have many rights as an employee in Canada. There are laws to create fair working conditions that safeguard workers’ incomes, health and safety, basic human rights and personal privacy in the workplace.

An employment lawyer can help you if you feel any of your rights have been violated in the workplace. Usually the first half hour of consultation is free.

Employment Standards

Canadian employment standards laws cover:

  • Wages:¬†minimum wage rates, allowed paycheque deductions
  • Time off:¬†what you are entitled to regarding days off, and rest time during a shift
  • Overtime:¬†how much you must be paid if working in excess of 44 hours per week
  • General holidays (statutory holidays):¬†you are entitled to a paid day off on the statutory holidays in your province as long as you have worked for the employer for 30 days in the last 12 months before the holiday.

Health and Safety

Workers are protected by occupational health and safety laws, which are a set of rules for safety and hazard controls. A hazard is a situation, condition or thing that may be dangerous to the health of a worker. Hazards can be physical: lifting and handling heavy items, slippery floors, moving machinery parts.

  • Chemical:¬†battery acids, asbestos dusts, fire, fumes, vapours,
  • Biological:¬†viruses, fungi, exposure to sewage
  • Psychological:¬†working conditions are stressful, or induce fatigue to a dangerous degree

Human Rights

Canadian legislation enshrines your basic human rights, protecting you against discrimination on the basis of:

  • Race or colour
  • Gender
  • Religion, including native spirituality
  • Ancestry, or where you were born
  • Membership in trade unions, employers’ organizations or occupational associations
  • Age
  • Physical or mental disability
  • Family status (who you are related to by blood, marriage or adoption)
  • Sexual orientation

Personal Privacy

A number of laws protect individual privacy and govern how personal information can be used at work, to prevent exploitation of workers.