Enforcing Your Rights in the Canadian Workplace: When, Why, & How?

Employment law issues almost never start as legal issues. We have all dealt with day-to-day issues in the workplace which start out as small issues, but if left unchecked can grow into huge problems. Most people will work through day-to-day employment issues without speaking to a lawyer – as it should be. However, this far too often puts the power in the hands of your employer to trample on your rights as an employee, leaving you feeling powerless.


Half your battle as an employee seeking to enforce your workplace rights is knowing precisely what those rights are. Employment standards, human rights, and occupational health and safety legislation contain huge volumes of detailed laws and regulations which exist purely for your protection and benefit in your employment relationship. Most employees wrongly assume that their employers and HR departments know and strictly adhere to these laws. However, that is often not the case. Many employers are shockingly ignorant about even their basic obligations to their employees. Employees who are dealing with day-to-day issues – even seemingly minor issues – would do well to arm themselves with the knowledge of their own legal rights, which can be researched online or received from a lawyer.


All Canadian employees should understand that for the most part, employment law is only enforced on a complaint basis. There are no general “check-ins” from the authorities on employment law compliance, except from infrequent and targeted occupational health and safety inspections. This means that, if you don’t raise red flags, nobody else will. Worse, not complaining can be taken as a sign of acquiescence, and could weaken your case in a subsequent legal battle.

Some employees worry about making waves in the workplace, and for that reason, keep their complaints silent. What many employees don’t know, however, is that employers are legally prohibited from retaliating against employees for making many types of employment standards, health and safety, and/or human rights complaints. Employers will often not take issues seriously until an employee lodges a formal complaint, but the effect of doing so can be so great that employers will often spend tens of thousands of dollarson investigations, for instance, of workplace harassment complaints.


Your employer is the first line of defence against virtually all employment law issues. That means that it is up to you to raise such workplace issues first with your employer – even (and especially) before a it’s time for an employment lawyer to step in.

Generally, employees would do well to keep in mind the following:

  • Report early – don’t let issues get away from you. Address them proactively.
  • Report up to management, not to co-workers.
  • Put it in writing, so there is no doubt as to what the issue is, when it was reported, and to whom.
  • Escalate the issue when it’s not dealt with appropriately.
  • Keep doing your job. Never quit or threaten to stop working without legal advice. Enforcing your rights as an employee is not cause for discipline, but insubordination is.
  • Stay respectful. Continue to treat your employers and co-workers with the same dignity you would wish for yourself – especially when the respect is not reciprocated.
  • Consult legal advice if you’ve reached the end of the line with your employer’s complaint process, or you have any questions about your rights and obligations.

If you have been terminated, laid-off, or severed from your job contact the employment lawyers at Share Lawyers. Our experienced team of Employment Law lawyers can help. We offer free consultations and there are no fees unless we win your case. Find out if you have an Employment Case!

Denied your long term disability claim?

Contact Share Lawyers today and put our experience to work for you. Our 35+ years of experience can help you win your case against Canada Life, Desjardins, Manulife, RBC Insurance, Sun Life, and other insurance companies. We offer free consultations and there are no fees unless you win your case. Join us on Facebook and become a Top Fan for a chance to win each month.


A note from our long term disability lawyers

Taking a medical leave from work is not an easy decision to make. Concerns about providing for yourself and your family and keeping your job may cause you to want to push through your pain, but this won’t make your problems go away. Stopping work is often the smartest decision for your long term health and well-being, and your disability benefits are there to provide you with financial support until you can return to work.

If you have made the tough decision to stop working and apply for your short term disability or long term disability benefits, you may feel overwhelmed by the process and have questions that your employer and your insurance company are not able or willing to answer. Share is There to see you through and answer your questions.

Our Disability law firm knows what you have been going through

We understand that things have not been easy for you over the last little while. Your health has been suffering, you are unable to work, and now your insurance company, who was supposed to be there in your time of need, has decided they will not pay your disability benefits or respect your disability claim. These benefits exist to provide you with the financial support you need so that you can focus on your health and rebuilding your life. It is unfortunate that your insurance company has not lived up to its promise. If your disability claim has been denied, we will fight to get you the benefits you are entitled to. Our disability lawyers have helped thousands of Canadians get their long term disability benefits over the past 35 years, and we can help you too.

Our experienced disability lawyers can fight back on your behalf

Share Lawyers believes that every client who is dealing with a disability claim deserves superior personal service. To achieve that goal, we have developed our team of experienced, compassionate, and caring long term disability lawyers, law clerks, and administrative staff to meet all of your needs. Our team of experienced long term disability, life insurance, employment, and critical illness insurance lawyers have made successful claims against many insurance companies, third-party administrators and employers.

If you are unable to work, your disability benefits should be there to provide you with the financial support you need. While your insurance company may be focused on finding ways to avoid paying your claim, our focus is on what is in your best interest. When Share Lawyers gets involved, you have an entire team of lawyers that are there to support you and to fight for what is yours.

Our disability claim lawyers fight for your disability insurance claim by relying on our many years of experience to apply the best strategic planning and approach in each case, using the latest technology available. Experience matters, and with Share Lawyers, you are in the best hands with 35 years of success on your side.

In this video, we explain the role of a long term disability lawyer and how we can support you when you have been denied your long term disability benefits.

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