Employees have rights in every province and territory in Canada.
Many employee rights come from the laws made by our provincial and federal governments. Examples of rights that come from these laws include the right to a minimum wage and overtime, the right not to be discriminated against for things like colour, or sex, or disability, and the right to work in a safe workplace.
Employee rights also come from laws made by judges, called “common law” rights. These rights, and the rules around them, aren’t as well known or easy to understand as the laws written by our government. One of these common law rights that many people don’t know about, for example, is the right to “reasonable notice” if you’re fired without a good reason. This can mean that some employees are owed months of salary when they’re fired or laid off by their employer – even if they don’t have a written contract!
Employment laws mean two important things for employees and employers. First, when something goes wrong between an employee and an employer, employees can go to court or to the right government tribunal for compensation. (Examples of government tribunals include employment standards branches and human rights tribunals.) Second, when something starts to go wrong, employees and employers can talk to lawyers to better understand their rights and obligations and find, if possible, a better way forward.
Labour Rights Law specializes in employment law, and knows employment law inside and out. We advise on employment matters every day, negotiate settlements for our clients, and, when talk isn’t getting the job done, we argue fearlessly for our clients in hearings or at court.