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
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.
Employment Standards Act (ESA)
Tobacco and Vapour Products Control Act
Income Tax Act
Tobacco Reduction Act
Apprenticeship and Industry Training Act
Alberta Personal Income Tax Act
Income Tax Act
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.
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