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Employment Rights & Responsibilities

In Nova Scotia, the Labour Standards Code sets the standard for employer-employee relationships. Both the workers and employers have rights and responsibilities under these rules. Both employees and employers have the right to file a complaint with the Labour Standards Division whenever they feel a rule has been broken. 

It is important to understand these rules when you are looking for a job, or when you want to hire employees for your own business.

The Labor Standards Code sets:

  • minimum wage
  • vacation and holidays
  • pregnancy/parental leave
  • the right of retail workers to refuse work on Sundays and holidays
  • rules for workers under 14 years old
  • rules for workers under 16 years old, and more

Minimum Wage Rate

A wage rate is the amount of money an employer pays an employee for each hour of work. In Nova Scotia, the General Minimum Wage Order sets minimum wage rates, which is the smallest amount of money an employer must pay an employee for each hour of work.

In Nova Scotia there are two minimum wage rates: one for experienced employees and one for inexperienced employees. An experienced employee has done a kind of work for at least three months. An inexperienced employee has done a kind of work for less than three months.

Human Rights Act

In Nova Scotia it is against the law for anyone to discriminate because of age, race, colour, religion, creed, sex (gender), sexual orientation, physical or mental disability, ethnicity, national or aboriginal origin, family or marital status, source of income or political belief or affiliation. These rights are protected by the Nova Scotia Human Rights Act.  The Act also prohibits sexual harassment in all areas of public life.

For more information, take a look at the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. It is also important to give a look at the Nova Scotia Human Rights Act for a more in-depth look at these rights in the Province.

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