The Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) sets out the rights and duties of all parties in the workplace. It establishes procedures for dealing with workplace hazards and it provides for enforcement of the law where compliance has not been achieved voluntarily.
Every day in Ontario, an average of nearly 20 young workers under age 25 sustain lost-time injuries or are killed on the job. Don’t get hurt at work! Protect yourself!
Learn how to work safely. Follow the rules and know what to do in an emergency.
Supervisor, will you be here to see that I do the job right? If you’re not around, whom should I ask?
Hair nets, gloves, aprons, safety glasses, ear plugs, etc. Use them properly as required.
Before you start the job, report unsafe practices and situations to your supervisor or employer.
There are no “dumb” questions. Learn about your rights and obligations under the OHSA.
Don’t do anything you haven’t been asked to do, or have been told specifically not to do.
And if you don’t know the safety rules, ask your supervisor.
Tell your supervisor if you see anything hazardous, even if it involves another worker.
No matter how minor, report injuries to your supervisor or employer and tell your family.
Tell them what you’re doing at work. Let them know if you think something’s wrong.
If a task is too much for you, say so! Don’t attempt something that you can’t handle.
Don’t assume you can do something without instruction, guidance or supervision.
It's your job to protect yourself.
The Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA) sets minimum standards for things like pay, work hours and time off. Most workplaces in Ontario must follow this law and employee rights are the same whether you work full-time or part-time. For detailed information on Employment Standards in Ontario visit Your Guide to the Employment Standards Act, 2000.
Expect a regular pay day and a pay stub that is clear. Keep a record of the hours that you work.
Some employers require you to pay for your uniform. Deductions from your wages to pay for a uniform may be made only if you agree in writing to have a specified amount deducted.
If a customer leaves without paying, or your error costs your employer money, that amount cannot be deducted from your wages.
Employers cannot withhold tips and other gratuities from employees or make deductions from their employees’ tips to cover things like spillage, breakage, losses or damage, etc. However, employers can make deductions from employees’ tips and other gratuities if it is authorized by statute or a court order, or if the amount will be distributed to other employees as part of a tip pool.
The Employment Standards Poster describes important rights and requirements under the Employment Standards Act, 2000. The poster must be posted in the workplace where it is likely that employees will see it. Employers are also required to give every employee a copy of the poster.
Time spent in training that is required by the employer or by law counts as work time. If you have to transport materials from the workplace to another job site, that is work time, too.
If you work in a hotel, motel, tourist resort, restaurant, tavern, hospital or an establishment with continuous operations, you may be required to work on a public holiday. If you work on a public holiday, you are entitled to premium pay.
Some jobs have special standards or exemptions. To learn more, try our Special Rule Tool.
Vacation pay is at least 4% of wages (excluding vacation pay). Any vacation pay not already paid is owed to you when your employment ends.
Temporary employees generally have the same rights as other employees under the ESA.
It's your job to know your rights.
Disclaimer: This resource has been prepared to help you understand some of the rights and obligations established under the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA) and the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA). It is not legal advice. It is not intended to replace the ESA, OHSA or their regulations and reference should always be made to the official version of the legislation. Although we endeavor to ensure that the information in this resource is as current and accurate as possible, errors do occasionally occur. The ESA provides minimum standards only. Some employees may have greater rights under an employment contract, collective agreement, the common law or other legislation. You may wish to obtain legal advice.