Unfair Labour Practices

There are several laws in Ontario and Canada that protect you from unfair labour practices. Here is what you need to know about each law and how it protects you.

What is the Canada Labour Code ?

The Canada Labour Code is a federal statute that regulates employment standards for unionized and non-unionized employees who work in a federally regulated industry such as broadcasting, banking, airlines, inter-provincial trucking companies, telecommunications companies, and the postal service, among others.

The Canada Labour Code allows employees who have worked for at least 12 consecutive months to make an unjust dismissal complaint, which is usually faster and less expensive than proceeding through the court process. The Canada Labour Code also sets out the minimum wages that must be paid to dismiss a federally regulated employee.

What is the Ontario Employment Standards Act (ESA)?

In Ontario, the Ministry of Labour enforces the Ontario Employment Standards Act , 2000. You are entitled to file your grievances against your employer with the Ministry of Labour complaints department about any suspected breach of the Act, including, but not limited to:

  • failure to pay termination and severance pay
  • reinstatement after a leave of absence
  • overtime pay
  • vacation pay
  • hours of work and eating periods
  • payment of wages
  • reprisals
  • public holidays

Depending on the type of claim being made, there is a limit on how much money can be recovered through the Ministry of Labour. For example, there is a cap on termination and/or severance pay, but there is no maximum award for violations of the parental or maternity leave provisions of the legislation. Determining whether to bring a certain complaint or legal claim requires assistance. To better understand your entitlements and explore the viability of your Ministry of Labour claim, we encourage employees to seek legal advice.

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What is the Ontario Human Rights Code & the Canadian Human Rights Act ?

The Ontario Human Rights Code and the Canadian Human Rights Act protect employees against discrimination in the workplace. If you have been subject to discrimination or harassment in the workplace based on personal characteristics such as race, age, disability, place of origin, religious beliefs, gender, and orientation, among other grounds, you can make a statutory complaint against your employer and other individuals who may have been involved.

What is the Labour Relations Act and Duty of Fair Representation ?

If you are a unionized employee, you are represented by a trade union and are generally unable to sue your employer in court. Instead, as a unionized employee, you must follow the guidelines set out in the Collective Agreement, which is a written agreement addressing the employment relationship between the employer, union, and employees.

If your union has failed to properly investigate, process, or arbitrate a grievance, as a unionized employee you may file a Duty of Fair Representation complaint with the Labour Relations Board where a Board Tribunal has the authority to order various remedies.

Woman by window, looking into camera

How can Whitten & Lublin help you?

To better understand your entitlements and explore the viability of your situation, we encourage employees to seek legal advice. Determining how to bring about a complaint under the various laws requires the knowledge and experience of the employment lawyers at Whitten & Lublin. We will help you understand all your options and lay out strategies specific to your circumstances.

Your employment
is our specialty

In need of legal advice? We are committed to treating your case with the care, dedication, and compassion that you deserve. Contact us to learn how we can help you understand and resolve your workplace legal matter.

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