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BUS 381 (65)
Chapter 2

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Simon Fraser University
Business Administration
BUS 381
Karen Ruckman

CHAPTER TWO: The Changing Legal Emphasis The Legal Framework for Employment Law in Canada - Legal framework includes constitutional law (particularly Charter of Rights and Freedoms), acts of Parliament, common law, contract law - Laws that specifically regulate some areas of HRM – occupational health and safety (occupational health and safety acts), union relations (labour relations acts), pensions (pension benefits acts), compensation (pay equity acts, Income Tax Act) Employment/Labour Standards Legislation - Employment (labour) standards legislation: Laws present in every Canadian jurisdiction that establish minimum employee entitlements and set a limit on the maximum number of hours of work permitted per day or week - All employers and employees in Canada (including unionized employees) are covered by employment standards legislation - Every jurisdiction in Canada has legislation incorporating the principle equal pay for equal work Legislation Protecting Human Rights - Human rights legislation makes it illegal to discriminate - The Charter of Rights and Freedom (federal legislation) and human rights legislation (present in every jurisdiction - The Charter of Rights and Freedom - Federal law enacted in 1982 that guarantees fundamental freedoms to all Canadians - Charter applies to actions of all levels of government (federal, provincial/territorial, and municipal) and agencies under their jurisdiction as they go about their work of creating laws - Charter takes precedence over all other laws all legislation must meet Charter standards - Number 1 exception) Charter allows laws to infringe on Charter rights if it is demonstrably justified as reasonable limits in a “free and democratic society” - Usually many issues challenged under charter ends up before the Supreme Court - Number 2 exception) legislative body invokes the “notwithstanding” provision, allowing legislation to be exempted from challenge under the Charter - Fundamental rights and freedoms provided to every Canadian:  1) freedom of conscience and religion  2) freedom of thought, belief, opinion, expression (including freedom of press and other media of communication)  3) freedom of peaceful assembly  4) freedom of association - Equality rights: section 15 of Charter of R&F guarantees the right to equal protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination - Human Rights Legislation - Prohibits intentional/unintentional discrimination in its policies pertaining to all aspects, terms and conditions of employment - Human rights legislation supersedes terms of any employment contract or collective agreement - Most provincial/territorial laws are similar to the federal statue in terms of scope, interpretation and application - Discrimination Defined - Distinction, exclusion, or preference, based on one of the prohibited grounds, that has the effect of nullifying or impairing the right of a person to full and equal recognition and exercise of his or her human rights and freedoms. - Intentional Discrimination  Cannot refuse to hire, train, promote individual on prohibited grounds  Subtle direct discrimination difficult to prove  Not allowed differential or unequal treatment, and cannot engage in intentional discrimination indirectly through another party  Discrimination because of association: denial of rights because of friendship or other relationship with a protected group member (eg. can’t deny someone’s promotion because his wife is diseased) - Unintentional Discrimination  Embedded in policies and practices that appear neutral on the surface and are implemented impartially but have an adverse impact on specific groups of people for reasons that are not job related or required for the safe and efficient operation of the business - Requirement for Reasonable Accommodation - Reasonable accommodation: The adjustment of employment policies and practices that an employer may be expected to make so that no individual is denied benefits, disadvantaged in employment, or prevented from carrying out the essential components of a job because of grounds prohibited in human rights legislation - Employers expected to accommodate to the point of undue hardship, otherwise violation of human rights legislation in all
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