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5/28/2004

the digitaldownpour guide to canadian employment law 

Employers are bullies. If you are, or ever have been a student, you can probably think of some great examples of an employer taking advantage of your labour. Maybe they didn't pay you enough for the hours you worked. Maybe they fired you without just cause. Maybe they didn't let you eat lunch. Well, guess what. You are not in the wrong, and you deserve better. This is a digitaldownpour guide unlike any other. It's for serious. Student workers need to know their rights. And digitaldownpour is there for the children. So here, now, is the hard truth about Canadian Employment Law that your employer doesn't want you to know.

1. I gotsta get paid!

And so you shall. Federal minimum wage recently increased to $7.15/h. You are entitled to this wage. Do not accept a job that attempts to pay you a weekly salary in order to avoid paying you overtime. If you divide your weekly salary by the number of hours you work, and it amounts to less than minimum wage, blow that whistle, baby. Your employer is a weasel.

2. The effing deal with overtime.

Here's the deal. If you work more than 44 hours a week, or more than 12 hours in a day, any extra time, is overtime. This means you get 1.5x your usual wages! You also get this if you work the following summer holidays:

Victoria Day
St. Jean-Baptiste Day (Quebec)
Canada Day
Simcoe Day (1st Mon. in August, Ontario)
Labour Day

3. I'm hungry. And my boss won't let me go have lunch.

Your boss is a jerk. Tell him that for every 5 hours you work, you get 30 minutes of break. And that, is the Law.Who's gonna fight with the law? Enjoy your scooby snacks kids.

4. Holy Shit! I didn't even start work yet and I'm fired!

Now this is where things can get messy. If you get hired somewhere, and have a contract of sorts (verbal or otherwise), and then one day they call you up and say they found someone else, or that they don't have a job for you anymore, you can totally sue them. Not only are they jackasses, they are breaking the law. It's called Anticipatory Breach of contract, and you have the right to sue for all the money you would have made, had your sleazy employer been good for his word.

5. F-U! I'm quitting!

If your job sucks, and you want to quit, giv'r. If you've been working for less than a month, you don't even have to give any notice! After 3 months you have to give a weeks notice, that's it that's all.

There are tons laws out there to protect you from evil, heartless employers. Know your rights. I got all of my information from a book called "For Better or For Worse: A Practical Guide to Canadian Employment Law" by Randall Scott Echlin and Christine Thomlinson.

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