Chapter 2 - Chapter 2 The Changing Legal Emphasis...

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Chapter 2 The Changing Legal Emphasis: Compliance and Impact on Canadian Workplaces Hierarchy of Employment Legislation in Canada 1. At the broadest level all persons residing in Canada are guaranteed protection under constitutional law, particularly the Charter of Rights and Freedom 2. Provincial human rights codes ensure that the rights of every Canadian are protected and that all persons are treated with equality and respect 3. In Canada, employers must abide by a series of employment-specific legislation, such as the Employment Standards Act. A company with employees in more than one province must monitor the legislation in each of those jurisdictions and remain current as legislation changes 4. There are laws that specifically regulate some areas of HRM – occupational health and safety, union relations, as well as pensions and compensations 5. Even more specific is the issue of contract law, which governs collective agreements and individual employment contracts. Such laws impose specific requirements and constraints on management and employee policies, procedures, and practices Tort Law Tort law : primarily judge-based law, whereby the precedent and jurisprudences set by one judge through their assessment of a case establishes how similar cases will be interpreted Tort laws are often separated into two categories (1) international torts and (2) unintentional torts Regulations : legally binding rules established by special regulatory bodies created to enforce compliance with the law and aid in its interpretation There are two opposing interpretations of Canadian legislation o Employees often choose to view the regulations as a statutory floor and expect to receive higher than minimum requirements o Employers often prefer to view legislated guidelines as a contractual ceiling and align maximum commitment levels to the minimums Charter of Rights and Freedoms Charter of Rights and Freedoms : federal law enacted in 1982 that guarantees fundamental freedoms to all Canadians and takes precedence over all other laws There are two notable exceptions to this generalization 1. The Charter allows laws to infringe on Charter rights if they can be demonstrably
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