Constellation #131: Workplace Rights

This constellation is made of the following stars:

As an employer, you need to know about the laws and regulations that protect you and your employees. They establish obligations on topics such as pay, hours of work and safety. When you follow these laws, you protect yourself from damage to your business and your reputation.


Human Rights

The B.C. Human Rights Code  defines the basic rights of everyone in B.C. It prohibits discrimination in hiring and harassment on the job and requires equal pay regardless of gender. Read an overview (PDF) or get more detailed information about human rights in the workplace, including employers’ responsibilities from the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal.


Minimum Employment Standards

B.C. has minimum standards for wages and working conditions for most workplaces in the province. The Employment Standards Act  sets out rules on hours of work, time off, notice, severance pay and other topics. Read how the rules apply to most employers in the Guide to the Employment Standards Act.

Some industries, such as high-tech, agriculture, taxis and others, have special rules. Learn the details in Employment Standards factsheets. Find out about special rules that apply to foreign workers in Employment Standards for Foreign Workers. Many of these factsheets are available in several languages.

Unions and Labour Relations

If your employees are, or may be, in a union, the B.C. Labour Relations Code defines the rights and obligations that apply. The Guide to the Labour Relations Code describes how it works.

Under the Code, any employee is free to be a member of a trade union and participate in its lawful activities. Employers are also free to be members of employer organizations.

An agreement between an employer and its unionized workers, called a collective agreement, defines wages and working conditions. The Labour Relations Board of British Columbia  oversees unionized jobs in B.C.

Safety Standards

All employees have the right to work in a safe and healthy environment. Employers must meet minimum health and safety standards that are described by WorkSafeBC. WorkSafeBC has many publications that detail how to keep your workplace safe.

As an employer, you must register with WorkSafeBC and contribute to the workers compensation system, which provides income and care for workers who are injured on the job.

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