Ontario’s legislated employment law landscape is a myriad of provincial and federal statutes. Each one governs the workplace in its own specific way and knowledge of all of them and how they interact is required for proper legal advice to be provided to clients.
We provide opinions, advice and recommendations to our clients on all legislation that impacts their workplace. This includes, but is not limited to:
Employment Standards Act (“ESA”)
The ESA applies to provincially regulated workplaces in Ontario; most Ontario workplaces fall under the ESA. This legislation sets a baseline of legislated rights within the province. These include rights such as minimum wage, overtime pay, termination and severance pay, job protected leave, and many others. All employers must abide by the ESA in their employee contracts and day-to-day operations. The ESA is front and centre in almost all employment law disputes.
Occupational Health and Safety Act (“OHSA”)
The OHSA sets out safety rules that apply to almost all provincially regulated workplaces in Ontario. These rules are extremely comprehensive and granular, especially in industries such as construction. It is important to comply with the OHSA as breaches of said act can lead to hefty fines and sometimes jailtime.
Canada Pension Plan (“CPP”) and Employment Insurance Act (“EIA”)
The CPP and EIA help to establish additional wage benefit and protection schemes in Canada. In the employment law realm. These statutes are most often consulted in proactive employer guidance, and in litigation settlements, to ensure businesses are compliant with the legislation.
Workplace Safety and Insurance Act (“WSIA”)
The WSIA outlines an employment insurance scheme that most Ontario employers must pay into in case their employees are injured on the job.
Labour Relations Act (“LRA”)
The LRA sets the rules for Ontario’s unionized employees. It also establishes and regulates the Ontario Labour Relations Board, which has a multitude of functions for both unionized and non-unionized provincial employees.
Canada Labour Code (“CLC”)
The CLC is omnibus legislation that spans various areas of employment law, but for those who are considered federally regulated employees. For example, airline staff or banking employees. The CLC is the equivalent to the provincial ESA, OHSA, and LRA, all in one piece of federal legislation.
Ontario’s Human Rights Code (“HRC”)
The HRC offers protection to provincial employees from discrimination and harassment in the workplace, based on a set of prohibited grounds (such as disability or religion). The HRC is also one of the most highly litigated pieces of employment legislation.
Canadian Human Rights Act (“CHRA”)
The CHRA is the federal version of the HRC and serves an identical purpose. However, it does have some procedural and substantive nuances.