Q:

What are some standard employee rights in Canada?

A:

Quick Answer

Canada's employment standards cover issues such as overtime pay, minimum wage, vacation time, meal breaks, pregnancy and parental leave, among others. Employers are required to pay employees overtime at a rate equivalent to one and a half times the employee's regular rate of pay. Employers are not allowed to fire employees who complain about not receiving appropriate overtime pay.

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Full Answer

The minimum wage is determined differently in each province. The lowest minimum wage is $10.30 in New Brunswick, and the highest is $12.50 in the Northwest Territories, as of 2015. Some groups of workers are exempt from the minimum wage. For example, farmers can be paid a piece rate and are not eligible for overtime or holiday pay. Additionally, in several provinces, workers who serve liquor or work in gratuity-earning positions receive a lower minimum wage.

Workers have the right to paid vacation, which typically amounts to two weeks of vacation compensated at the worker's regular rate of pay after an employee completes a full year of employment. The two-week rule applies to British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec. However, this rule is subject to variation in several provinces.

Canada's laws make it illegal for employers to refuse to hire employees because of their race, sex, ethnicity, religious views or sexual orientation. Employees can report any cases of discrimination to harassment to their employer, their union or the Canadian Human Rights Commission.

Employees also have the right to refuse any work that they think may potentially harm them or their colleagues by reporting their refusal to their employer or supervisor. All provinces provide compensation benefits for employees who become sick or injured due to their work.

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