Employment Law

What Is Employment Law?

employment lawyer calgary

Working is a large part of most Canadians’ lives. Employment Lawyer Calgary can support people that are thinking about their career path. Many will develop a plan to go to college or university to study their desired subject so they can enter the industry and progress their career path towards their goals.

Since working becomes a large aspect of our lives, it is important to be familiarised with what it entails. During this moment of our lives, we will meet places that will want to see us grow professionally as well as places that will try to take advantage of our inexperience.

Because of that, we need to look into Employment Law. Understanding the law is crucial for us to know our rights, duties, and responsibilities. In the next topics, let us look over what is employment law, why it matters to you, and relevant documents to it.

What Defines Employment Law?

First of all, it is imperative to understand the difference between employment law and labour law. While we will not go deep into labour law, it is important to understand that it refers to unionised employees. Employment law regards the employee and employer relationship in federal and provincial workplaces. 

Employment law exists to create standards that need to be followed and rights that need to be kept in mind to ensure equity and a fair work environment for all. While every province has some rules that vary, they are fairly similar. In this article, we will focus on Alberta’s employment standard rules.

Important Documents and What They Say

There are three documents that we will mainly focus on. The Canadian Human Rights Act, the Employment Equity Act, and Alberta’s Employment Standards Rules. 

Firstly, while the Canadian Human Rights Act tackles many important issues, the part of it we will focus on is where they tackle employment rights. Under it, it is forbidden for any employer from the federal government, First Nations governments, and any private company under federal regulations in Canada to discriminate against people on the grounds of things such as, but not limited to, gender identity, sexuality, ethnicity, and cultural background. Furthermore, companies are required to accommodate people’s needs to make sure they are able to work adequately and conclude their daily duties, as long as it does not bring undue hardship to the company to do so.

Many lawyers in Calgary will agree that another pivotal document to understand next is the Employment Equity Act. It is a federal law that requires regulated organisations and businesses to have equal opportunities to four protected categories, being them women, aboriginal people, people with disabilities, and members of visible minorities. To ensure compliance, there is something called The Legislated Employment Equity Program which basically is a federal program that requires employers to report annually how many people of the four protected categories are working under them, and their plans to bring inclusivity into the workplace.

As mentioned, provinces also have specific rules that also apply. In Alberta, the Employment Standards Rules sets minimum standards and guidelines that employers must follow. It deals with topics such as minimum wage, overtime, vacations, termination, and more. For example, it is the Employment Standards Rules of Alberta that sets that employers must pay a minimum of $15 per hour of work for anyone over the age of 18, or that defines overtime as hours worked above the daily 8 hours or weekly 44 hours – with a pay rate of 1.5 times the employee’s regular wage rate. Those guidelines may be one of the most important documents for employees in Alberta and it is highly recommended that you discuss it with an employment lawyer to ensure your rights are being protected and best interests are kept in mind.


Employment laws and rights are the fruits of decades-long movements of workers demanding better working conditions in order to live, develop a career path, and work with dignity. Employment lawyers in Calgary have a deep understanding of those laws to support you in case of things such as wrongful terminations, companies not following guidelines, or reviewing contracts to ensure your rights are protected. They are your best line of defence and it is in your best interests to talk to one.

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