Employment laws vary throughout Canada, with only 10 percent of workers being covered under federal legislation and the remainder working under provincial and territorial laws, notes Service Canada. Examples of legally mandated employee rights include a minimum of two weeks' paid vacation per year in British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec. Each province and territory also offers workers select public holidays entitling them to days off or overtime pay.
Other employment laws guarantee, in most jurisdictions, that employers must not require their workers to complete excessive numbers of hours and must offer them an overtime rate of generally one and a half times the amount of their regular pay, according to Service Canada. Employers cannot fire workers or threaten to have them deported for refusing overtime work. Employers must also respect provincially mandated minimum wages and must pay employees at regular intervals and provide them with pay statements. Most jurisdictions also guarantee employees the right to an unpaid meal break of no less than 30 minutes after five hours of work.
Different standards, especially with regard to minimum and overtime wages, apply for a range of workers, including farmers, fishers, professionals, salespersons and resource workers, explains Service Canada. However, some rights are universal regardless of jurisdiction, including the right to refuse unsafe work and the right to compensation for work-related injuries. Moreover, workers have the right not be discriminated against on a range of grounds, including race, religion, skin color, gender and sexual orientation, and may file complaints with provincial or federal human rights commissions over these issues.