Employment law is defined as the law as it relates to non-unionized employees. It contrasts with labour law which is the law of unionized workplaces. Employment law topics include wrongful dismissal, constructive dismissal and termination for cause. Employment law impacts virtually every individual at some point in their lives.  Unfortunately, employment law is widely misunderstood.  Employers and individuals often make ill-informed and costly decisions based on a mistaken understanding of how the law impacts their specific circumstances. Even lawyers who focus their practice on other areas of law often misunderstand its subtleties.  Mistakes can result in a significant financial loss, in some cases without the employee or employer even realizing that they have suffered a loss.  

Employment Law 101 provides an overview of the law of the workplace in Ontario Canada. It has been created for human resource professionals, employees (current, past and future), students and lawyers.  It is designed to be an online legal textbook and employment law blog.   

Each chapter in Employment Law 101 can be divided into two parts.  The overview section provides a simplified summary of the topic.  It has been written for those interested in gaining a general understanding the law yet who have little need or interest in being referred to the legislation and leading court cases that have created the law as it currently exists.  In contrast, the second part of each chapter is more comprehensive and written in the style of a traditional legal text, providing much greater detail on the topic including references to the leading cases and legal commentary as well as hyperlinks and footnotes.

The employment law blog provides summaries, analysis, and commentary of recent court decisions.

Although Employment Law 101 is focused on employment law in Ontario Canada, readers in other provinces or countries will find the website helpful.  There are many similarities between employment law as it is practiced in Ontario and the law in the other Canadian provinces (with the exception of Quebec).  In practice, there is little difference between how the courts in each province interpret the common law.  The courts in each province regularly refer to decisions of the courts in other provinces.  The most significant differences between the provinces tend to be found in the various provincial employment standards legislation which sets out the minimum standards governing various aspects of the employment relationship.  Although the purpose of the legislation is the same, the minimum standards in each province can differ.  

In contrast to the employment standards legislation in the provinces, the Canada Labour Code (the statute governing federally regulated employees in Canada) is significantly different in many respects from the employment legislation governing most provincially regulated employees.

It must be stressed that the purpose of Employment Law 101 is not to provide legal advice.  It is strongly recommended that anyone reading Employment Law 101 who is facing a legal issue not act on their own and, instead, seek legal advice from a qualified employment lawyer.  Do not rely on this website for legal advice.

Philip R. White is the author of Employment Law 101 and a Toronto employment lawyer.  The site will be updated and expanded with additional employment law topics in the future when time permits to take into account any changes to the law