Employment Standards

The law may change at any time. The information and answers to the questions below contain general information and are not a substitute for getting legal advice for your particular situation. For free legal advice, contact us at 613-632-1136 or 1-800-250-9220.

The clinic assists employees only. If you are an employer, you can contact a private bar lawyer or the Lawyer Referral Service for a referral to a lawyer and 30 minutes of free legal advice at 1-800-268-8326.

The clinic gives legal advice to employees on a variety of subjects, such as:

  • Being fired or laid off;
  • Hours of work;
  • Minimum wage;
  • Overtime;
  • Public Holidays;
  • Vacations and vacation pay;
  • Maternity and Parental leave;
  • Family medical leave;
  • Etc.

Employment standards for most Ontario employees are enforced under the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA), which sets out the minimum standards that employers and employees must follow.  However, not all jobs are covered by the ESA and in some cases, only parts of the ESA apply. Some industries are regulated by the federal government, including banks, airlines, trucking, and broadcasting. Workers in these industries are covered by the Canada Labour Code.

Other examples where the ESA does not apply include students in work experience programs authorized by a school board, college, or university; people on social assistance doing community participation (workfare) under Ontario Works, and inmates in work programs and people ordered or sentenced by a court to work.

Don’t hesitate to call us for free legal advice concerning employment standards.

Other resources:

Ministry of Labour Employment Standards Information Centre : Telephone 416 326-7160 or, Toll free 1 800 531-5551 or, Toll-free TTY 1 866 567-8893. Website : www.labour.gov.on.ca
Community Legal Education Ontario (CLEO) www.cleo.on.ca
E-Laws Ontario www.elaws.gov.on.ca and search for the Employment Standards Act.