FAQs on Canada’s Labour Law

One of the key elements that comes from knowing your rights as an employee is directly derived from knowing the labour laws that regulate the employer and employee relationship in the workplace. This article will discuss some frequently asked questions with regards to Canada’s labour laws and how they work.


It is important to note that the labour laws in Canada vary from one province to the next. Such variances are not simple but rather dramatic and thus it is of the utmost importance to know the labour laws that govern Canada and the province you work in. To show how drastic the differences are between provinces it is important to note that each Canadian province enforces different amounts with regards to:

  • Paid leave
  • Minimum wages
  • Tax rates
  • Other employer-employee contributions

To know more as to whether your rights as an employee have been violated speak to a labour lawyer in Canada today for legal advice and representation.


Consider some frequently asked questions with regards to Canadian labour law:

  • What protection is provided for workers with regards to discrimination? Canada’s laws protecting employees from discrimination are considered to be robust. As a result, during an interview employers may not ask employees to provide or reveal information that could lead to discrimination. For example, employees may not be asked their age, religion, gender expression, sexual orientation and criminal history. Such questions can only be asked if they are specifically related to any duties that will be undertaken by the potential employee. With regards to an individual’s criminal history there are strict policies about criminal records.
  • At the start of an employee’s employment are they subject to a probationary period? All provinces allow for employees to be put on a probationary period at the beginning of their employment. It is during this probationary period that an employer determines whether or not the employment relationship will work out and an employee may be terminated during this probationary period without being given notice or severance pay. The standard period of probation is three months, however some provinces may allow for the period to be longer. For example, New Brunswick allows employees to be put on up to a six month probationary period; while in Manitoba probationary periods are limited to thirty days. To determine unfair dismissal during probation consult a Toronto employment lawyer.
  • Are there exemptions to certain salaried employees from receiving overtime pay? The majority of salaried employees are able to receive overtime pay. However, certain highly skilled professional employees are exempt from receiving overtime pay. For example, lawyers, managerial employees and executives, and doctors generally are not guaranteed overtime pay.
  • What is the overtime rate? Overtime rates vary depending on which province you work in. However, the majority of provinces provide a 150% overtime rate for employees receiving regular wages for a specific number of hours worked. For example, in Alberta employees receive 150% overtime rate for a normal wage for any time worked after 44 hours a week or 8 hours a day.
  • Can drug tests be administered on employees? It is illegal for employers to request a drug test for potential employees. Further, random drug testing of employees may not be carried out unless an incident has occurred regarding drug concerns.

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