In Ontario, there are several ways to seek legal help in the workplace. Here are some options:
- Employment Standards Act, 2000: The Employment Standards Act, 2000 (“ESA”) is the main law that governs employment standards in Ontario. It sets out minimum standards for things like hours of work, overtime pay, vacation time, and termination notice. If you believe your employer has violated the ESA, you can file a complaint with the Ministry of Labour or commence a civil action in a court of law.
- Human Rights Code, 1990: The Ontario Human Rights Code, 1990, protects employees from discrimination and harassment based on factors like race, gender, sexual orientation, and disability, etc. If you believe you have been the victim of discrimination or harassment, you can file a complaint with the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario or commence a civil action in a court of law if the discrimination arises out of a cause of action.
- Union representation: If you are a unionized employee, your union has to provide you with legal representation and help you negotiate with your employer.
- Workplace Safety and Insurance Board: The Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (“WSIB”) provides workers’ compensation benefits to employees who have been injured on the job. If you have been injured at work, you can file a claim with the WSIB.
- Legal Aid Ontario: If you cannot afford a lawyer, Legal Aid Ontario provides legal services to low-income individuals. They offer some assistance with employment law matters, including wrongful dismissal claims.
- Private lawyers: If you are seeking legal representation for a workplace matter, you can hire a lawyer who specializes in labour and employment law.
In general, it’s important to seek legal help if you believe your rights have been violated in the workplace. A lawyer can help you understand your legal rights and options and guide you through the process of seeking redress.