Knowing your rights gives you an edge as you apply for work and advance in your career. 

Employee rights

The application process

In an application or interview, you are not required to provide date/place of birth, religious/political affiliation, maiden name, social insurance number, driver’s license, medical history, information about criminal offenses, personal finance information, or family status. For more information, contact the Ontario Human Rights Commission.

 

Fraudulent job postings

Not every job posting is an opportunity. Scammers know that job offers are a powerful tool for harvesting personal information and making money. You need to know how to distinguish legitimate job postings from scam attempts. For more information, visit the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.

 

Human rights

The Canadian Human Rights Act states that discrimination in employment is prohibited based on race or ethnic origin, citizenship, religion, sex or sexual orientation, disability, marital or family status (e.g., married, single, divorced, with or without children, etc.), receipt of public assistance, and record of offenses.

 

Employment equity

Labour laws govern employment equity. They are meant to eliminate employment barriers (including discrimination) and improve accessibility for marginalized groups. See the Ontario Ministry of Labour for more information.

 

Internship and volunteer parameters

The Ontario Ministry of Labour outlines guidelines for internships. Under the Ontario Ministry of Labour, volunteers are not covered by the Employment Standards Act (ESA), or the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act (WSIA). However, they do receive some protection under the Occupational Health and Safety Act. Level of protection also varies by organization. For further information, visit the Ministry of Labour.

Employment Standards in Ontario

Below is a summary of some of the major points in the Employment Standards Act (ESA). You can also visit the ESA Guide.

 

Workplace accommodation and accessibility

Under the Ontario Code of Human Rights, employers are obliged to provide a reasonable level of workplace accessibility services and accommodation to employees with disabilities and special needs. The Ontario Human Rights Commission has more information.

 

Harassment 

Harassment includes physical, visual or verbal conduct like spoken or practical jokes, threats, insults, personal comments or innuendos. Any behaviour that insults or intimidates is harassment if a reasonable person should have known that the behaviour was unwelcome. If you are harassed, report to the employer or service-provider or to the Canadian Human Rights Commission.

 

Workplace safety 

With all the pressure of starting a new job, whether part-time, summer or full-time, learn about your basic rights when it comes to workplace safety. To learn more visit Worksmart Ontario.