Canadian workers are protected by provincial and federal laws that define a fair minimum hourly wage, hours of work and other working conditions. Under Canadian law, people also have the right to work in a healthy and safe environment and can refuse work they believe to be unsafe.
It's important that workers be aware of their rights and know how and when to file a complaint. The Ontario Ministry of Labour investigates claims that employers have not respected the rights of workers.
Workers are also protected under the Ontario Human Rights Code against discrimination on the basis of their sex, race, religion, age, ethnic origin, citizenship, ancestry, sexual orientation, marital status or disability. Complaints are heard by a Human Rights Tribunal.
Workers who are injured on the job in Canada are entitled to apply for financial compensation. It is the job of an employer to notify the provincial Workplace Safety and Insurance Board when an injury happens in a workplace.
Employers are required to pay workers of both sexes fairly and equally for the work they perform.
For More Information
What are my rights as a worker in Ontario?
The Employment Standards Act sets out rules for workers and employers about minimum wage rates, hours of work, overtime, vacations, pregnancy and parental leave, personal emergency leave, sick days, termination and severance pay.
Your Rights as a Worker
A fact sheet with information about who has rights, what those rights are, what to do if someone discriminates against a worker and how to get help. The fact sheet can be read or listened to in Arabic, Chinese, French, Somali, Spanish, Tamil and Urdu.
Working in Canada Guide
Individual sections of the Guide to Working in Canada can be viewed and printed from this site. Includes chapters on starting a business, labour market contacts and networking, communication skills, taxes and benefits, worker rights and minimum rate rates, immigration representatives and pre- and post-arrival steps.
Workplace health and safety, hours of work, vacations, minimum wage, layoff procedures, and the rights and obligations of workers, employers and union members are defined under Canadian labour laws.
Workers who are injured on the job or develop diseases directly related to their occupation are entitled to compensation programs.
Minimum Wage Database
Information about minimum hourly wages in Canada. Includes an online tool to search for general wage rates in different parts of Canada from 1965 to present.
Workplace Health and Safety Fact Sheets
Short facts sheets on workplace health and safety for a variety of difference occupations. Many fact sheets are available in multiple languages and can be printed. Other languages include Chinese (Traditional), French, Russian, Somali, and Spanish.
The Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario
The Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario hears complaints filed under the Human Rights Code. Information, policies, forms and guides are available on this site for both parties involved in a dispute.
Official Ontario Ministry of Labour website for young and new workers. Includes information on labour laws, how to be safe at work, treated fairly, volunteering and the minimum legal age for work.
Working in Canada
Overview about working in Canada. Includes links to information on government, wages, taxes, important documents, challenges, and rights as well as videos
and guides. Also features the Working in Canada Tool
, which helps newcomers decide where to live and work by researching different occupations in different locations. Includes job opportunities currently available in Canada.
Your Legal Rights
A large resource of general legal information for Ontarians, compiled from hundreds of organizations across Ontario. While the site itself is only available in English, materials are available in multiple languages
, including French
. Managed by Community Legal Education Ontario.
Ontario Ministry of Labour — Podcast Archive
A series of podcasts on employment standards and health and safety. A wide variety of topics is covered, including deductions from wages, overtime, filing an employment standards claim, heat stress, farming safety, infection prevention, etc.
Service Canada — Multi-Language Information
Multiple language brochures and other informational documents on the services provided by Service Canada. Includes information on employment insurance (EI), workers rights, job bank, social insurance number (SIN), child care benefit, child and family benefits, Canada pension plan, old age security, and others. Available in English, Arabic, Gujarati, Persian, Punjabi, Russian, Chinese, Spanish, Tagalog, Tamil, and Urdu.