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Human Rights For Employees

For Employees

Understanding your rights as an employee in BC is paramount. Knowing your rights can reduce the stress that surrounds job security, increase your awareness and minimize the possibility of mistreatment or missing out on entitlements. 

Intentionally or not, employee rights can be violated in a number of ways. It’s not always the extreme examples like harassment and discrimination. It can be issues such as statutory holiday pay, work scheduling or over-work. These situations are unpleasant and can have lasting effects on employees. Luckily, British Columbia and Canadian legislation have expanded in an attempt to address such violations at work. 

Federal Vs Provincial Employee Rights

In Canada, employee rights are governed by either federal or provincial laws. While the federal government sets the standard for employment rights across the country for those in federally-regulated sectors, provincial laws like the BC Employment Standards Act address provincially-governed employees (and most employees fall within provincial jurisdiction). It’s important that you understand under which legislation your current employment falls under. If in doubt, we can help!

Federal human rights legislation covers those who work for federally-governed employers such as many employees of First Nations and industries which are regulated by the federal government. These industries include banks, telecom and broadcasting companies, interprovincial transportation, grain silos, and more. 

Workplace Safety

Workplace safety is a fundamental right for all employees. Employers in BC are required to provide a safe working environment, free from hazards and potential dangers. This includes proper training, safety equipment, and adherence to safety regulations.

Fair Pay

Fair pay is another critical aspect of employee rights. In BC, employers are required to pay at least the minimum wage, provide overtime pay for extra hours worked, and ensure equal pay for equal work, regardless of gender, gender expression, sex or other characteristics protected under the human rights legislation.

Overview of Employee Rights Legislation in British Columbia

British Columbia has implemented robust legislation to safeguard employee rights in the workplace. The Employment Standards Act creates several minimum employment standards such as minimum wage, working hours, rest breaks, vacation entitlements, statutory holiday pay and more. Legislation exists not only to protect employee rights in the workplace but also throughout the hiring process. Furthemore, the legislation provides a guide and framework for employers to follow when administering the employment relationship.

Right to Privacy During Hiring Process

During the hiring process, potential employers have the right to ask for certain information to assess your suitability for the role. As a potential job prospect, you should know exactly what you can and shouldn’t disclose. In BC, employers are prohibited from asking about your race, religion, sexual orientation, or any other personal information that doesn’t directly impact your ability to perform the job.

Necessary Information Disclosure from Both Sides

Transparency is a two-way street. Just as employers have obligations, potential employees also have a duty to disclose certain information during the hiring process. You should be transparent and truthful about your work experience and qualification. However, you are not obligated to disclose information that is clearly not related to the job or employment requirements. 

Law Protects Foreign Workers

If you’re a foreign worker in BC, you are protected under the same laws as Canadian workers. Foreign workers also have the robust employment rights described above: the right to fair pay, safe working conditions, and freedom from harassment and discrimination.

Making a Claim

If you feel that your employee rights in the workplace have been violated, you can make a complaint with the appropriate governing body. If you’re a federally regulated employee, the claim would be submitted under federal law. Conversely, if you’re not in a federally regulated industry, you would submit a claim under the provincial legislation.. 

Protection Against Retaliation

If you believe your rights have been violated, you have the right to make a claim without fear of retaliation. The law protects employees from being punished or treated unfairly for filing a complaint or participating in an investigation.

Employee Rights Lawyer

If you are facing an infringement of your workplace rights or privileges, it is important to know your rights. The role of a legal counsel is important and personal. We understand that this could be a challenging time for you, and we want you to know that you’re not alone. Our dedicated team is here to shed light on your rights, guide you through the intricate maze of legal procedures, and fervently advocate for you from start to finish.

The right team, dedicated to your success