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Understanding Your Rights and Protections in the Workplace in Canada

Do you ever wonder how far your rights go in your workplace? Many people think about this when they are confronted with an inconvenience that affects their paycheck, work-life balance, and eligibility for a role within their company. It’s at these times that many people take the time to read up on their employer’s policies as well as the local laws that protect them against discrimination and unfair treatment in the workplace. This is when things get serious, and it can sometimes lead to a person losing their job or looking elsewhere to fulfill their career goals and ambitions.

If you’re in this position yourself and are interested in learning more about your rights as an employee in Canada, then you will highly benefit from this article. The same goes for anyone looking to inform themselves about what they are entitled to in their workplace.

Here are some pointers on what you should know about your rights and protections in your workplace.

Human Rights Act


One of the first things you’ll encounter during your search for legal clarity is the Canadian Human Rights Act. This act is a law that prohibits discrimination against Canadians when receiving employment or services from the federal government, First Nation Governments, and private companies like banks and broadcasting companies that are regulated by the federal government. This law ensures everyone is treated equally and is provided with duty to accommodate based on individual, and limited, needs.

When speaking about human rights in Canada, there’s one name that stands tall—Malliha Wilson. Malliha Wilson is a Tamil-Canadian attorney who has had a long career in defending the human rights of minorities living in the country. She is originally from Sri Lanka and has managed to break the glass ceiling for members of visible minorities by being appointed as the Assistant Deputy General Attorney for the Government of Ontario for several terms. Among her many accomplishments, Wilson has also opened her own law firm, Nava Wilson LLP, in which she works with clients to win cases on human rights, real estate, complex litigations, and corporate law.

Labor Code


Additionally, you will find the Canada Labor Code, in which the labour rights and responsibilities of some businesses and employees are defined. Those businesses and services that are not protected by this code will find their defined standards in their territory’s ministry of labour. The code covers industrial relations, meaning certification of unions and unfair labour practices, employment standards such as general holidays and layoff procedures, and workplace health and safety.

To address safety concerns in the workplace, many construction and manufacturing businesses, among other types of businesses, require employees to wear safety equipment. For this, employees may be required to wear a hard hat and safety harness when working at dangerous heights. The company All About Heights has made keeping others safe their business and purpose. They sell safety harnesses and provide insight on how to use their affordable and high-quality lifting equipment. Their decades of experience in the field have made their products some of the safest in the industry.

Employment Equity Act


Moreover, you will come across what is known as the Employment Equity Act, which is a federal law that requires regulated companies to provide equal opportunities of employment to four specific groups: women, people with disabilities, members of visible minorities, and aboriginal people. This act is also applied to federal contractor programs and includes a legislated employment equity program, which requires the reporting of the number of individuals being protected by this law in regulated businesses.

While there is more to know about Canada’s labor laws, these first ones will set you on the right path to finding the answers you’re looking for.


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