YOUTH | I'm Turning 18, Now What: Being an employee.

AuthorSteingard, Jessica

Whether you already have a job or are looking for your first, you should know your rights as an employee.

Employment is a contract between the employer and the employee. Each party agrees to do certain things. At its most basic, your employer agrees to pay you for the work you do.

The employment relationship is governed by the individual employment contract, the collective agreement (if you are part of a union), and the law.

This article discusses the laws that apply to employees and employers, as well as the administrative bodies that deal with issues under these laws. At the end, I have listed some resources for getting more help.

The Laws

Both the provincial and federal governments make laws for employers and employees to follow. The federal government makes laws for employees in industries that it regulates. These include shipping and navigation, railways, airports and airlines, radio broadcasting, telecommunications, banks, federal government workers, and First Nations administrations. The provincial government makes laws for most other workers. Each piece of legislation says who it applies to.

The Government of Canada has made the following laws:

* Canada Labour Code--employment standards and occupational health and safety laws that apply to federally-regulated workers across Canada

* Canadian Human Rights Act--human rights laws that apply to federally-regulated workers across Canada

* Employment Insurance Act--sets out EI benefits for eligible Canadian workers

The Government of Alberta has made the following laws:

* Employment Standards Code--employment standards laws for most Alberta workers

* Alberta Human Rights Act--human rights laws that apply to most Alberta workers (and other situations, such as providing goods and services, and renting)

* Labour Relations Code--laws for unions and about the bargaining process

* Occupational Health and Safety Act--laws everyone at a worksite must follow to ensure a safe work environment (includes industry specific standards)

* Workers' Compensation Act--benefits system for Albertans injured at work Other provinces and territories have similar legislation as Alberta.

The above are some of the main laws that apply to employees and employers. Of course, there are many more, some which apply only to certain industries or workers.

Resolving Issues

There are several administrative bodies in Alberta that deal with employment issues. These bodies are created by legislation and are part of the...

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