Find out if Ontario's laws apply

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Employment and Work - Claiming your rights as a worker
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CLEO (Community Legal Education Ontario / Éducation juridique communautaire Ontario)

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Can my employer punish me if I act on my rights?
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Find out if Ontario's laws apply

Employment Standards Act

Ontario's Employment Standards Act (ESA) has rules that employers must follow including rules that say they can't punish you if you act on your rights as a worker.

But not all jobs are covered by the ESA. And, in some cases, only parts of the ESA apply.

Use the Ministry of Labour's online tool called Industries and Jobs with Exemptions or Special Rules to find out if your job is covered by the ESA and which parts of the ESA apply.

You can also call the Ministry's Employment Standards Information Centre at 1-800-531-5551, 416-326-7160, or 1-866-567-8893 (TTY).

If you're in a union

Talk to your shop steward or union representative about what to do. You can't make a claim under the ESA but there are other steps you can take. You have rights in your collective agreement

Human Rights Code

Most employers in Ontario must follow the Ontario Human Rights Code. The Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario deals with complaints against these employers.

But some industries are covered by federal laws. These are laws made by the Government of Canada and they apply throughout the country. These industries include banks, airlines, some trucking businesses, and broadcasting. The Government of Canada website has a more complete list.

Employers in these industries must follow the Canada Labour Code. The Canadian Human Rights Commission deals with human rights complaints against these employers.

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Reviewed: February 23, 2018

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