Employment Law Resource Round Up

In today’s post, we wanted to gather up some resources to help you answer your patron’s employment law questions. Employment law is a wide area which includes many different topics related to work and the workplace. We hope the resources below will give you some good places to start when you get these questions at the reference desk.  

BC Employment Standards  

The Employment Standards Act and accompanying regulations set the standards of payment, compensation, and working conditions in most workplaces in BC. The Act is administered by the Employment Standards Branch, which has the ability to address complaints made under the Employment Standards.  

You can see the Employment Standards online. The Employment Standards Branch has also produced a guide which shows how the Act and regulations are interpreted to provide a clearer understanding of the legislation.  

If your patron is having issues at work, one resource you can direct them towards is the Employment Standards Solution Explorer. This is an online guided pathway; patrons are prompted with a series of questions about their situation and given information and further links to resources relevant to their responses.  

Note that the Employment Standards don’t apply in every workplace; some exceptions include independent contractors and certain licensed professions such as dentists and doctors. You can learn more about whether the employment standards apply using the resources below:  

Online Resources 

Clicklaw is a good go-to resource when beginning your search for legal information. They have several common questions concerning employment law, including:  

Clicklaw also allows you to search for resources by topic area. You can find a whole list of resources concerning employment law here: https://www.clicklaw.bc.ca/global/search?f=Employment  

People’s Law School is a good resource for all things civil law. They have pages concerning many aspects of employment law, including getting paid, leaving a job, and one’s rights in the workplace. You can also check out their Q&A section for answers to employment law questions, such as: 

People’s Law School also operates Dial-A-Law. Information on Dial-A-Law can be read on their website but is also available audibly. People can listen to the information directly on the website or call the phone service at 1-800-565-5297 to have the information read that way. Some Dial-A-Law pages on employment include:  

Print Resources 

If your patron prefers a print resource, one option would be the Law Students’ Legal Advice Program Manual. The Manual features a chapter on Employment Law, as well as chapters on Employment Insurance and Worker’s Compensation. This title is available online as a Clicklaw Wikibooks; chapters can be downloaded as PDFs and printed. You should also have a copy of the book in print on your shelves, sent to you by LawMatters.  

There’s also a number of titles on the Law Books for Libraries list concerning employment law. New to the list this year is Building a Better World: An Introduction to the Labour Movement in Canada, which provides a comprehensive overview of the Canadian labour movement and analyses why workers form unions.  

Other titles currently on the list include:  

All these titles are pre-approved for purchase with your LawMatters’ grant. If you don’t have it in your library, make sure to check CLBC’s catalogue – we may have a copy near you!  

Referral Options

It may be that your patron’s legal issue is more complex and they need to seek legal advice. Clicklaw HelpMap and Povnet’s Find an Advocate tool can help you find legal help organizations both locally and across the province.  

Some programs available provincially are:  

Migrant Workers Centre: this organization facilitates access to justice for migrant workers and provides legal services in immigration law, employment law, labour exploitation and trafficking, and workplace sexual harassment.  

Disability Law Clinic: this clinic provides free legal advice to people with disabilities about human rights and discrimination issues, including accommodations in the workplace.  

Sexual Harassment Advice, Response, and Prevention for Workplaces (SHARP Workplaces): this legal clinic provides up to five hours of free and confidential legal advice for those who are experiencing or have previously experienced sexual harassment at work. Check out our previous guest post from the program to learn more!