Sources of Employment Law

There are two basic sources of employment law:

1) Statutes – Legislation and regulations passed by applicable levels of government

2) Common Law – Decisions of the Courts, made in particular cases

Statutes

Some laws are enacted by legislatures, such as federal Parliament in Ottawa and the provincial Legislative Assembly in Victoria. These laws are called legislation, statutes, or acts (these three terms are essentially synonymous).   Statutes often permit regulations to be made under them, by the executive branch of government, which provide further sources of law. Some of the main statutes in the area of employment law are outlined below.

British Columbia:

Employment Standards Act (ESA)

Human Rights Code

Civil Rights Protection Act

Occupational Health & Safety Regulation

Workers’ Compensation Act 

Personal Information Protection Act

Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act

Labour Relations Code 

Tobacco and Vapour Products Control Act

Apprenticeship Act

Income Tax Act

Alberta:

Employment Standards Code (ESC)

Alberta Human Rights Act

Occupational Health & Safety Act and Code

Workers’ Compensation Act

Personal Information Protection Act

Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act

Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy (FOIP) Guidelines and Practices Manual

Labour Relations Code

Tobacco Reduction Act

Apprenticeship and Industry Training Act

Alberta Personal Income Tax Act

Federal:

Employment Insurance Act

Canadian Human Rights Act

Privacy Act

Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act

Access to Information Act

Canada Labour Code

Constitution Act, s. 91, 92

Charter of Rights and Freedoms

Controlled Drugs and Substances Act 

Cannabis Act

Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations

Income Tax Act

Common Law

Some laws are based on the decisions of the courts (often called common law, case law, or jurisprudence).

In British Columbia, the courts are the B.C. Provincial Court, the B.C. Supreme Court, the B.C. Court of Appeal, and the Supreme Court of Canada.

In Alberta, the courts are the Provincial Court of Alberta, the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench, the Alberta Court of Appeal, and the Supreme Court of Canada.

Various tribunals also have jurisdiction to hear and decide workplace-related matters.

B.C. has a relatively new Civil Resolution Tribunal which is able to hear certain types of small claims disputes, up to $5,000.

Consultations

To schedule a consultation, please contact us.