Every day when we leave for work, we go with the basic expectation of being respected, treated equally, and given the best employment opportunities. Ever wondered what employer obligations give working professionals their basic rights? The answer lies in the three main sets of laws that are meant for workplace rights. Approach any law firm in Alberta and you will be introduced to these three mandates for workers’ rights in Canada.
The Canadian Human Rights Act
The federal website describes the Canadian Human Rights Act as “a law to prohibit discrimination in employment and services within the federal jurisdiction.” The act protects you against discrimination if you are employed or receive services from the Federal government, First Nations governments or private companies that are regulated by the federal government, including banks, trucking companies, broadcasters and telecommunications companies. Employers and service providers have to ensure that all employees are treated equally.
Under the Canadian Human Rights Act there is something called the duty to accommodate. It mandates organizations to an employer to make a change to an employee’s work environment or duties, to make it possible for that person to do his or her job every day.
The Employment Equity Act
The employment equity act stresses on providing equal employment opportunities to the following four groups of people:
- Aboriginal peoples (Indian, Inuit or Métis),
- people with disabilities, and
- members of visible minorities.
There are various programs and initiatives under this act that promote equal employment opportunities for the above four groups of people. Some of these programs include the Federal Contractors Program, the Legislated Employment Equity Program, and the Workplace Equity Information Management System,
The Canada Labour Code
This is one of the most common laws pertaining to employment rights in Canada. The federal website states that “The labour rights and responsibilities of about 12,000 businesses and 820,000 of their employees are defined by the Canada Labour Code. These employees account for approximately six per cent of all Canadian workers.”
The Canada Labour Code covers the following topics:
- Workplace health and safety norms
- Industrial relations – certification of unions, labour management relations, collective bargaining and unfair labour practices.
- Employment standards – general and sick holidays, working hours, minimum wage, payoffs, layoff procedures and severance pay.
Awareness is always the first step towards action. Sometimes we tolerate unfair treatment at work because we are unaware of our basic rights or we fail to realize that we could be in a much better place. We hope the awareness of the three main sets of laws governing workplace rights has enlightened you to stand up for your rights as an employee. If you wish to learn more about these laws, consult with our legal experts today. We are one of the most sought after law firms in Alberta.