A Guide to Canadian Labour and Employment Laws

The Employment Equity Act was a piece of legislation passed by the Canadian Government in 1998. It is an important piece of legislation because it is Canada’s first federal employment equity act, meaning that the Employment Equity Act provides employers with guidelines for how they are to achieve equitable representation of four designated groups with regards to their workforce. These groups include women, persons with disabilities, aboriginal Canadians, and visible minorities. If an employer does not follow these guidelines or discriminates against any members of these groups during the course of hiring then this may be discrimination under the Human Rights Code.

The Employment Equality Act was passed in Ontario in 1986 as means to protect workers from discrimination of the basis of their sex. This act was later succeeded by the Employment Standards Act (2000), which combined both Employment Equality and Employment Equity into one legislative framework, but it still retained protections for sex-based harassment.

This case is important because it demonstrates how Employment Law can be used to challenge discriminatory hiring practices, even when there isn’t a specific Employment Law dealing with such discriminatory practices specifically. There wasn’t an Employment Equity Act in place at this time and so therefore this case dealt with Employment Law issues that could be applied to hiring practices.

Canadian Union of Public Employees v Ontario (Minister of Labour) demonstrated that an employer must provide working conditions which are free from sexual harassment and assault. The Court ruled in favour of the plaintiff and found that Employment Law requires employers to provide a work environment which is free from sexual harassment and assault. This case highlights how Employment Law can protect employees in both the workplace and out of it, such as when they are travelling to and from work.

Employment lawyer Toronto and Employment Law has continuously evolved over time with many new acts and regulations being introduced and amended to reflect current societal issues. One recent example of this is the introduction of Bill C-36 which amended many aspects Employment Law including Employment Equity Act, Canada Labour Code, Employment Insurance Act, Human Rights Act, Canada Industrial Relations Board Act, Public Service Employment Act.

The most important concept in Employment Law is protecting an employee’s right to seek employment without discrimination based on any protected ground. Discrimination in Employment is widely covered by provincial and federal discrimination legislation. Employment Law also guarantees that all employees have a right to organize into unions, as well as having the right to strike. The best employment lawyer Toronto can help with Employment Law which has been extended to protect those who are being discriminated against because of their family status, sexual orientation, race, national or ethnic origin. Employment Legislation sets maximum hours of work for most people, minimum wages and prohibits compulsory retirement on grounds of age

Employment Law offers protection from discriminatory hiring practices based on an individual’s sex, disability and/or age. It was historically difficult for individuals suffering from disabilities to gain employment due largely in part to a lack of knowledge surrounding certain disabilities that employers viewed as a liability rather an asset. However this stigma towards individuals with disabilities is quickly fading, Employment Law is a reflection of this shift in attitude. Employment Legislation has been introduced and amended to provide protections for individuals with disabilities from discriminatory hiring practices. Employment Law also provides protection from harassment or discrimination based on an individual’s race, national or ethnic origin, sexual orientation, family status and religion.