What is Employment Law?
Employment law refers to the group of legal rights that you have as an individual in the workplace. Your employment law rights include, to name a few, the right to be paid wages, to take leaves of absence, and to enjoy a workplace free of harassment and discrimination.
One of the biggest, most important areas of employment law in Canada is termination of employment. All Canadian employees have a presumptive right to be given “reasonable notice” (or pay in lieu thereof) in the event of a termination. Often, employees do not seek to understand their employment law rights until they have already been terminated. However, most employees would benefit from knowing these rights much earlier.
Why should I learn about my employment law rights?
Many employees feel comfortable relying on their employers to protect their workplace rights. This is a big mistake. Employers regularly and casually ignore employees’ human rights, minimum wage, hours of work, severance pay, and more. Most of the time, these violations are allowed to happen because neither the employee nor the employer knows any better.
Employment law is often misunderstood and misapplied by employees and employers alike. It is often counterintuitive and confusing. There is no comprehensive list anywhere of all the workplace rights you may have. If you work in Ontario, your rights are likely based on three main pieces of legislation: the Employment Standards Act, the Human Rights Code and the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act. Aside from this legislation, courts have developed their own laws dealing with termination of employment. This is known as the common law of wrongful dismissal.
Knowing your rights can be difficult without the assistance of an experienced employment lawyer. For instance, if you work in Ontario, your workplace could be governed by federal or provincial law (but not both), depending on your industry. Even such a seemingly simple question can be difficult to answer for anyone other than an employment lawyer. At the same time, the answer to that question can have a profound effect on your workplace rights.
Who enforces employment law?
The onus is on YOU to protect your rights. The good news is that, generally speaking, employment law prioritizes your rights as an employee over those of your employer. An experienced employment lawyer can advise you as to your legal entitlements and represent you in the course of enforcing your rights. However, it is up to you to take the initiative and contact an employment lawyer if you believe your rights have been violated.
What can an employment lawyer do for me?
A qualified employment lawyer can assist you at every step of your employment, from the moment you are offered a job up to the end of your employment, and at any point in between. We review employment contracts and provide legal advice to our clients. We assist with workplace disputes over bullying, harassment, workplace accommodation, and bonus entitlements, to name a few. We negotiate severance packages on behalf of clients who have been terminated and represent clients in legal proceedings arising out of their termination or other workplace issues.
What can Hyde HR Law do for me?
The lawyers at Hyde HR Law are experts in the area of employment law and have helped countless employees to pursue and enforce their legal rights in the workplace, and to obtain settlements and judgments against their employers after being wrongfully dismissed. If you would like your employment offer or contract reviewed, if you have been harassed or discriminated against, if you have been terminated, or if you are simply looking for legal advice regarding a specific workplace situation, we can assist you. Contact us today.