Frequently Asked Questions
You have the right to work in a safe environment, and to work free from discrimination or harassment. If you feel you are being discriminated against or harassed at the workplace, you have the right to file a complaint with the Manitoba Human Rights Commission.
Yes. The Employment Standards Code sets out minimums that apply to most Manitoba workers:
Employers can provide more than the minimums, but they cannot provide less, even if you sign a contract agreeing to it. The minimums are the same for full time and part time employees.
The Employment Standards Code does not apply if you work as an independent contractor or work in a federally regulated industry. Some industries also have exceptions to some of the minimums. For more information, visit the Employment Standards website at https://www.gov.mb.ca/labour/standards/index.html or call 204-945-3352 (toll-free 1-800-821-4307).
By law, your workplace must have a policy for dealing with such complaints. If you wish to proceed with a complaint under your workplace’s policy, you should consult the policy for the proper procedure.
You also have the right to make a complaint to the Manitoba Human Rights Commission. You do not have to go through your workplace’s policy first. Complaints to the Commission must be made within one year of the incident—or if the harassment is ongoing, within one year of the most recent incident.
If you work in a federally regulated industry, you would make a complaint to the Canadian Human Rights Commission instead:
If you are a member of a union, your collective agreement may set out the process for complaints. However, if you believe your human rights have been violated, you are still entitled to make a claim to the Manitoba Human Rights Commission (or Canadian Human Rights Commission, for federally regulated industries).
Under Manitoba’s The Human Rights Code, an employer’s failure to take reasonable steps to stop harassment after it has been reported is itself a form of harassment. You can report such harassment to the Manitoba Human Rights Commission (or Canadian Human Rights Commission, for federally regulated industries).
Maybe. In order to receive compensation, you would have to file a claim with the Workers Compensation Board of Manitoba (WCB). To make a claim, take the following steps:
The WCB will then assess your claim and decide whether or not you are eligible for compensation. If your claim is approved, you may be eligible to receive compensation for such things as lost wages, medication, and treatment costs.
Yes. If you believe your claim has been wrongly denied, discuss this with your case manager to see if you can come to a solution. If you cannot, you may fill out a Request for Review form and send it to:
If you are left unsatisfied by the Review Office’s decision, you may appeal to the Appeal Commission. For more information, call the scheduling co-ordinator at (204) 925-6114 (call collect if you are outside of Winnipeg).
First, you should discuss the problem with your employer, as they may have made an error and not realized it. If you cannot resolve the issue, you can file a claim with Employment Standards (the claim form is available here).
Note that you must make a claim within six months of your last day of work, or within six months of when the wages were due to be paid.
Your employer can fire you for just cause, meaning you broke your employment agreement or committed some type of misconduct (such as theft or neglecting your duties). However, your employer can also dismiss you without cause, provided they give you the appropriate amount of notice.
Wrongful termination is not the same thing as just feeling that you should not have been fired. Termination is only wrongful if your employer did not have cause to fire you and didn’t provide you with the proper notice or payment in lieu of notice. You can see the minimum requirements here.
If you believe you have been wrongly terminated, you may be able to file a claim. Contact Employment Standards for more information at (204) 945-3352 (toll-free 1-800-821-4307).
Constructive dismissal occurs when an employer does not terminate an employee outright, but rather makes the work environment so toxic or untenable that the employee resigns. Examples might include demoting the employee to a lower position, lowering the employee’s pay, relocating the employee, or unjustifiably criticizing the employee’s performance.
In order to be constructive dismissal, the employer’s conduct must be a fundamental breach of the employment contract, and depends on the circumstances. For example, an employer who cuts an employee’s hours because he wants them to quit could be constructive dismissal, but an employer who cuts an employee’s hours because there is not enough work for them to do might not be constructive dismissal.
To make a claim for constructive dismissal, contact an employment lawyer.
Most of the time, yes. The amount of notice depends on how long you have worked for your employer:
Your employer has the option to allow you to work throughout your notice period, or to let you stop working at an earlier point and pay you for the difference in time you would have worked. For example, if you have worked at your job for more than ten years, your employer could choose to dismiss you immediately and pay you for eight weeks’ worth of wages, or have you work for four weeks and pay your wages for the remaining four weeks. This is called “payment in lieu of notice”.
Notice is not required in certain circumstances, for example if you work in the construction industry or are dismissed for just cause.
Severance pay refers to an amount of money that must be paid to certain employees if they are terminated without cause. Manitoba law does not specifically require severance pay to employees. However, if you work in a federally-regulated industry, you may be entitled to severance pay if you have worked at your job for one year or longer. Your employment contract or collective agreement may also entitle you to severance pay.
People sometimes use the term “severance pay” interchangeably with “payment in lieu of notice.” In Manitoba, you are required to be given notice or payment in lieu of notice, but you are not necessarily entitled to severance pay.
Most of the time, yes. If you have been employed at your workplace for a year or longer, you must give at least two weeks’ notice. If you have been employed between 30 days and one year, you only need to give notice of one week. If you have been working for less than 30 days, you do not need to give notice.
If you have an employment contract or collective agreement, you should check to see if it requires you to give more than two weeks’ notice to your employer.
In some circumstances, you do not need to give your employer notice, for example if your employer has acted in an improper or violent manner toward you. For more information, visit: https://www.gov.mb.ca/labour/standards/doc,terminate-employment-after-apr-30-07,factsheet.html
The basic rule is that your employer must file your Record of Employment within five calendar days of an interruption of earnings (such as termination, resignation, or being laid off). However, there are some exceptions. For more information, see https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/programs/ei/ei-list/reports/roe-guide/understand.html#s1_2.
Not without your consent. Your ROE is only used by Service Canada to determine whether you are eligible for Employment Insurance (EI), and if so, to help determine what amount you should receive.
CanLII (or The Canadian Legal Information Institute) is a not-for-profit organization managed by the Federation of Law Societies of Canada. CanLII has a free database of legal information, including cases from each province and territory in Canada. You can search court decisions of various levels of court, tribunals, and administrative and regulatory bodies. There are also statutes and regulations available on the website, and legal commentary.
The Manitoba section of CanLII has court cases from the Manitoba Court of Appeal, Court of King’s Bench, and Provincial Court. There are decisions available from the Manitoba Human Rights Commission, Manitoba Labour Board, Manitoba Securities Commission, Manitoba Health Appeal Board, Labour Arbitration Awards, College of Physicians & Surgeons of Manitoba Discipline Committee, and the Manitoba Law Society Discipline Committee.
The E.K. Williams Law Library at Robson Hall has a collection of legal resources available to the public. They are located at 224 Dysart Road at the University of Manitoba and can be reached at 204-474-9995.