Employees rights in ontario
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Employees’ Rights in Ontario. Dental Programs. Legislative Framework. Employment Standards Act (2000) Took effect Sept.4/2001 Sets out rights and responsibilities of employees and employers

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Legislative framework
Legislative Framework

  • Employment Standards Act (2000)

    • Took effect Sept.4/2001

    • Sets out rights and responsibilities of employees and employers

    • Contains minimum standards only - any employment agreement giving an employee better benefits will apply

    • No employee can give up rights set ot under the Act

Employment standards act
Employment Standards Act

  • The Act covers most workers in Ontario

  • It does not apply to

    • Federal jurisdictions such as airlines, banks, post offices

    • Students in a work experience program

    • Those participating in Ontario Works Act, 1997

    • Police Officers

    • People who hold political, judicial, religious or trade union office

    • Employees of the Crown

Employment standards act1
Employment Standards Act

  • Certain occupations are not covered by the ESA

    • e.g. lawyers, doctors, architects, teachers and students training in these professions

    • Generally, employees represented by a union & collective agreement must consult with the union representative if there are concerns that the ESA has not been followed

Esa resolving complaints
ESA - Resolving Complaints

  • When an employee believes that the Act has not been followed and certain rights have been violated [ most commonly “pay” issues ]:

    • Communicate with your employer, preferably in writing, stating problem and desired resolution

    • Contact Ministry of Labour Office for information/help

    • The Ministry will ecourage the employer to resolve the issue without a formal investigation

Resolving compaints
Resolving Compaints

  • If the matter is unresolved:

    • Employee can file a Claim with the Ministry

      • Usually a six month time limit to file

      • Can be up to two years e.g if employer has threatened reprisals or violations of provisions dealing with leaves of absence

    • An Employment Standards Officer will review the evidence and decide if the ESA has been violated

      • Can issue an “order to Pay”

      • Can prosecute an employer and impose a fine or imprisonment

Contacting ministry of labour
Contacting Ministry of Labour

  • Web Site:

    • http://www.gov.on.ca/lab/main.htm

    • Toll Free: 1-800-531-5551

    • Call centre: 1-416-326-7160

    • Fax-on-Demand: 1-416-326-6546 for Fact Sheets

Occupational health and safety act
Occupational Health and Safety Act

  • Came into force in 1979

    • Has been amended to reflect evolution of accountability of employers

    • Provides the framework and tools to achieve goal of making workplaces safe and healthy

    • In 1990 The OHS was updated to require a joint workplace health and safety committee[over 20 workers]

    • or safety representative in smaller sites.

Employees rights in ontario

  • The safety committee must meet once every three months

  • There must be two co-chairs

    • One chosen by employer

    • One represents workers

  • Members must receive at least one hour paid preparation time

  • Written minutes of meeting must be kept

Employees rights in ontario

  • The main purpose of the safety committee is to identify hazards

    • At least two members must be ‘certified’ through special training

    • Set standards for protective clothing and devices

    • Guidelines for handling of dangerous materials

    • Monitors exposure to and ventilation of chemical agents

  • Certified committee members have the right to stop dangerous work in certain circumstances

Employees rights in ontario

  • Employers and supervisors are required to:

    • Maintain all equipment , materials and protective devices in good order

    • Keep and maintain accurate records re handling, storage and use of hazardous agents

    • Monitor levels of agents and comply with standards

  • Workers have the right to refuse work that they believe is hazardous


  • Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System

  • Came into effect on October 31, 1988

  • The aim is to reduce accidents and health hazards

  • Three elements:

    • Labels that clearly indentify risks and precautions

    • Material Safety Data Sheets [detailed information]

    • Worker education on interpreting and using information[

Human rights code 1990
Human Rights Code , 1990

  • Reflects the public policy of Ontario to :

    • recognize the dignity and worth of every person

    • Provide equal rights and opportunities without discrimination

    • Create a climate of understanding and mutual respect within the community so that each person can contribute fully


  • Discriminate

    • To select for unfavourable treatment on the basis of a “difference between’

  • Harassment

    • Engaging in a course of vexatious comment or conduct that is known or ought reasonably to be known to be unwelcome

    • Vexation- a state of irritation or distress

The human rights code
The Human Rights Code

  • Every person has a right to freedom from discrimination in the areas of :

    • Services

    • Accomodation

    • Contracts

    • Vocational associations

    • Employment

Human rights code
Human Rights Code

  • Every person has a right to freedom from discrimination because of:

    • Race/ Ancestry

    • Place of origin/Ethnic origin

    • Colour

    • Citizenship

    • Creed

    • Sex/ sexual orientation

    • Family or marital status

    • Age [ between 18 and 65 years for employment area]

    • Disability

Employment issues
Employment Issues

  • Employees have the right to work in an environment that is free from discrimination and harassment

  • The opportunity for employment must be free from systemic discrimination

  • Applicant selection must be based on qualifications that are bona fide occupational requirements

Employment issues1
Employment Issues

  • Reasonable Accomodation:

    • A disability must be accomodated unless doing so would present undue hardship considering the costs and health and safety issues

    • The Human Rights Commission or a court will assess what is undue hardship

  • The right to equal treatment because of sex includes the right to treatment without discrimination because a woman is or may become pregnant

Sexual harassment1
Sexual Harassment

  • The employer or person in authority will be held responsible if a “poisoned atmosphere” is permitted

  • Victims of sexual harassment often feel isolated, embarassed and guilty

  • If you feel uncomfortable it’s harassment

  • Harassment is not your fault

Sexual harassment2
Sexual Harassment

  • The Human Rights Code recognizes three types of sexual harassment

    • Vexatious conduct or comment that ought reasonably to be known to be unwelcome e.g. sexual remarks or physical contacts

    • A sexual advance or solicitation made by a person who is in a position to grant or deny a benefit e.g. landlord, supervisor

    • A person in a position to grant or deny a benefit who threatens or institutes reprisals against one who rejects a sexual proposition

Sexual harassment3
Sexual Harassment

  • Levels of Severity [ categorized by K.C. Cooper]

    • 1. Aesthetic appreciation – non-aggressive

    • 2. Active mental groping –leering, sexually demeaning jokes

    • 3. Social touching – unwelcome sensual touching

    • 4. Foreplay harassment – “accidental “ fondling

    • 5. Sexual abuse – kissing, propositions for sex

    • 6. Ultimate threat - conceding to sexual demands or suffering career or physical consequences

What to do1
What to Do

  • Tell harasser clearly that the attentions are unwelcome

  • Complain to someone in authority or union rep

  • Complain in writing requesting that person in authority take steps –keep a copy

  • Keep written notes about incidents, if possible have a witness

  • Contact Ontario Human Rights Commission

Employees rights in ontario

  • Head Office:

    • Ontario Human Rights Commission

    • 180 Dundas Street W, 8th floor

    • Toronto ON M7A 2R4

  • Web Site: http://www.ohrc.on.ca

  • 1-800-387-9080

  • 416-326-9511


  • These pieces of legislation are in place to ensure that:

    • Workers have a safe and healthy work environment

    • Employment decisions are based on merit and not criteria unrelated to the job

    • Employees are free from discrimination and harassment in the workplace