Changes in Employment Law Targeting Workers

Employment laws targeting Canadian workers are rarely ever carved in stone. The statutes are always likely to change whenever there is a change of government. New court decisions have also been known to alter certain decisions overnight.

This year has seen policies on privacy protection, equal pay, workplace impact of marijuana legalization, and minimum wages being introduced. Safeguards to protect vulnerable employees have also been put in place. Certain key issues have been dealt with at the federal level, which has gone ahead to affect the entire country. Federal level discussions have included:

Living Wage vs. Minimum Wage

There has been an unending debate on what should be the minimum wage. Currently, the minimum wage is set at $11.43 for each hour. Citizen groups have been agitating to have this increased to $15 per hour. This is what they are calling the living wage. Businesses have however been pushing back as they are aware that this new figure is likely to affect their bottom line.

Workplace Safety and Marijuana Legalization

The central government has put in place measures to ensure that marijuana is legalized by the end of the year. It is, however, something that has raised safety and health issues for the workers. Compared to arriving at work when drunk, there is currently no reliable way to confirm that an employee is high on marijuana.

Privacy Protection for All Employee Information

A new non-workplace court judgment has brought with it a number of implications for the workers. Voluntarily releasing a person’s information that may have been gleaned at the workplace may attract stiff penalties, especially when done without the employee’s permission. This will lead to the application of a new tort being called “public disclosure of private facts.” It, therefore, calls for employees to exercise caution when distributing written material video files or recordings that could affect another party.