Rights of Workers in Ontario

In Ontario, Canada, workplace rights are an important part of the employment experience. Every employee has the right to be treated fairly at the workplace, to work in a safe environment, to be trained to deal with any workplace emergencies or hazards, and to become a part of a trade union.

Workers in Ontario are protected by the Employment Standards Act (ESA), the Pay Equity Act (PEA), the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA), and the Labor Relations Act (LRA). Here are some of the rights of workers in Ontario:


All workers must have a regular payday, along with receiving a wage statement or pay stub which clearly states the relevant details. Workers are required to keep a record of the number of hours they have worked.

Even though most workers must get paid the minimum wage, this can be different for students, liquor servers, home workers, and those people involved in hunting and fishing. On October 1, 2021, the minimum wage is set to increase by 10 cents, making the new rate $14.35 per hour.


If an employee works more than 44 hours a week, they must get paid overtime pay. To work overtime, there must be an electronic or written agreement signed by both the employer and the employee.

However, just because there is an agreement between the two parties does not mean that the employer is exempt from paying the overtime fee to their employee.


In Ontario, there are a total of nine public holidays in one year. These include:

  • New Year’s Day
  • Family Day
  • Good Friday
  • Victoria Day
  • Canada Day
  • Labor Day
  • Thanksgiving Day
  • Christmas Day
  • Boxing Day

By law, employees can take off from work on these days. However, employers cannot deduct pay as these are considered paid leave. Employees are also given the choice of working on holidays. Based on the agreement, they will be paid:

  • The pay for the public holiday, along with premium pay for working on the holiday itself.
  • The pay for their regular hours, along with another day off from work as a substitute. This will be given in addition to the public holiday pay.


A worker’s salary can only be deducted in three cases, including for statutory purposes (taxes), court-ordered statements, or if the worker has already authorized a wage cut in writing form.

At some jobs, employees are supposed to pay for their uniforms themselves. However, deductions from an employee’s wages can only be made if they personally authorize it in writing, along with the specific amount that needs to be deducted.

This rule also means that in case a customer does not pay for the product they bought, or there is some error in cost and the employer has to pay the remaining money, no money can be deducted from the employee’s wages unless it is already there in writing and has been signed off by both parties.


To learn more about Canadian labor laws, visit us at www.globalpeoplestrategist.com.

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