What is different about Transportation Labour Law?
Simply stated, it is the industry. Transportation is the lifeblood of a nation. It drives our economy. It moves goods and people throughout the country and beyond; thus, fulfilling the essential elements of commerce.
With transportation being of such critical importance to Canada, it is understandable why labour and employment law is an essential part of the process. Every successful transportation company will tell you that its strength is in its people. People can be a company's greatest asset; they can also be a company's greatest liability. Good Human Resources Professionals know this, and to this end, solid HR practices and procedures are the key to maintaining a healthy transportation company.
Transportation is a different kind of business. In the majority of cases, it operates 24-7. This also means that labour and employment relations, must be dynamic, flexible and must be prepared to respond quickly and effectively, often on a 24-7 basis. In most cases, employee issues simply cannot be put on the "back burner" or left for the next day. For this reason, transportation human resources people are effective because they are well prepared, knowledgeable, and like the businesses they serve. A good Transportation Labour Lawyer knows this, understands the pressures placed upon transportation human resources people, and delivers on their needs and expectations. Hyde HR Law has a proven track record in the Transportation Industry. We partner with Human Resources to uniquely deliver the kind of legal advice and representation that is essential and specific to the Industry.
Why is jurisdiction important in the Transportation Industry?
Transportation labour and employment law begins with understanding jurisdiction. Transportation as an industry that can fall within either provincial jurisdiction (and therefore subject to provincial or territory labour and employment laws) or federal jurisdiction. Most non-transportation businesses (factories, hospitals, service businesses and the like) fall within provincial/territorial jurisdiction, because their operations are exclusively within the province or territory. They may have other locations in other provinces or territories, however the labour or work performed is specific to that jurisdiction.
On the other hand, transportation companies can fall either in provincial/territorial jurisdiction or federal jurisdiction depending upon the extent of their activity. For example, if a truck transport company operates exclusively within the Province of Ontario, its labour and employment relations will fall within the parameters of Ontario law. This means, it will be subject to the Ontario Labour Relations Act, the Ontario Employment Standards Act, Ontario workplace and human rights legislation, etc. However, if that company regularly operates beyond Ontario (for example into other provinces, or cross border into the United States), its labour relations fall exclusively within federal jurisdiction. Accordingly, the Canada Labour Code would apply for labour law, health and safety and employment standards, along with the Canadian Human Rights Act to protect workers' entitlements.
Simply put, depending upon the nature of your transportation business, different labour and employment laws apply. This can also become very complex. For example, the labour and employment relationship with in-house mechanics of a transportation company subject to federal jurisdiction would fall under the Canada Labour Code. However, the mechanics working for an unrelated garage across the street would be subject to provincial labour and employment laws, even if they regularly serviced the transportation company. It is important to know when to make this distinction. Provincial and federal jurisdictions have different rules regarding overtime, termination and severance pay, or hours of work. They have different rules regarding union organization and, the rights and responsibilities of companies can be very different depending on the jurisdiction. For example, federal labour law under the Canada Labour Code provides non-unionized, non-management employees a right to claim unjust dismissal . Outside of a unionized environment, provincial law does not provide this mechanism.
Transportation is a Safety Sensitive work environment. Generally, there is little if any direct supervision. Hours of work, rest periods, workplace safety and drug and alcohol use must be commonly addressed based upon the "isolated" nature of the transportation workplace and the potential impact upon the general public. For cross-border transportation, consideration must also be had to the extra-jurisdictional application of U.S. law.
In a nutshell, the unique nature of the Transportation Industry demands specialized knowledge and experience, from both the Human Resources Professionals that deal with workplace issues on a daily basis and the Transportation Labour Lawyers who serve them.
What can Hyde HR Law do for my company?
Hyde HR Law is your trusted partner in Transportation Labour Law. We can guide you through the maze of legislative requirements in the Transportation Industry and provide you with strong and effective representation in defending your HR decision-making. The lawyers at Hyde HR Law are specialists in their field, and have extensive labour and employment law experience within the Transportation Industry. Contact us today.