Know Your BC Employment Rights (in case your employer doesn’t!)

Applying for your first Career? Make sure you know the standards.

 In today’s fast-moving economy and with new industries, companies and brands are popping up all the time. It is good to remind yourself that sometimes companies are hiring their first employees. This means that their offers or role expectations might not be 100% in-line with the minimum legal requirements. Making it important for you to understand what your employment rights are. Here are the basic legal requirements you will want to ensure your new employer complies with:

1) Employee VS Contractor

Know the difference! Unlike employees, contractors decide when and how the work is done and provide their own tools. Contractors also typically have more than one client. If a company doesn’t allow you to have more than one client, then your position may not legally qualify as “contract.”

2) Minimum Wage

Know your worth! As of June 2019, the general BC minimum wage is – $12.70 per hour and all employees must be paid at least twice per month.

3) Commission Roles

As a fully or partly commissioned employee, you’re are entitled to be paid at least minimum wage for all hours worked. However, you may be excluded from overtime and the Stat holiday pay if you make more in commission than what you would have made at your base rate or at minimum wage.

4) Probationary Periods

There is no law determining the length of a probationary period…but expect your employer to be reasonable on this. During the beginning of the probationary period, make sure your employer discusses the expectations for the probationary period and the core values of the company.

5) Quitting and Getting Fired

You are NOT legally obligated to give 2 weeks notice if you choose to quit (though it’s nice to do!). If you are fired, you must receive all outstanding wages within 48 hours. If you quit, wages must be paid to you in 6 days. Being fired after 3 months of work may qualify you for severance.

6) Human Rights and Safety

While performing activities in a job that poses potential health and safety risks, remember you have the right to refuse unsafe work. If you experience discrimination, bullying or harassment in your place of work, you can file a human rights complaint with the BC Human Rights Tribunal.

7) Overtime Compensation

If you’re working more than 40 hours a week, or more than 8 hours a day, you might be eligible for overtime! Overtime pay is calculated as 1.5x the hourly wage. Exclusions apply for commissioned salespeople (see #3).

Our role is to help you know as much about these basics for every company and role, before we put your name forward. For further information about your employment rights, please see the laws outlined in the BC Employment Standards Act and the BC Human Rights Code.

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