Frequently Asked Questions

  • What are my rights as an employee?

    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.

  • Are there minimum standards for salary, overtime, vacation, breaks, etc.?

    Yes. The Employment Standards Code sets out minimums that apply to most Manitoba workers:

      • Minimum wage: $11.65/hour (as of Oct. 1, 2019)
      • Overtime: If you work more than 8 hours/day or 40 hours/week, you are entitled to be paid at a rate of 1 ½ times your normal wage for the extra time. You may not be entitled to overtime if you worked the extra time without your employer asking you to.
      • Vacation: At least two weeks of vacation per year for the first four years of employment, and at least three weeks of vacation after the fifth consecutive year of employment. Your employer may pay you at the time of your vacation, or may include your vacation pay on your cheques throughout the year.
      • Breaks: One 30 minute unpaid break after every 5 hours of work. You are also entitled to at least one day (24 hours) off per week.

    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 or call 204-945-3352 (toll-free 1-800-821-4307).


  • What are my options if I’m experiencing harassment or discrimination in the workplace?

    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.

    • Manitoba Human Rights Commission
    • Phone: (204) 945-3007
    • Toll-Free: 1-888-884-8681
    • Email:

    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).

    If you feel you are being harassed at work and would like more information about your options, you can call the Workplace Sexual Harassment Hotline at 1-877-226-4366 or email .

  • What if my employer is not doing anything after I’ve reported harassment to them?

    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).

  • I was hurt on the job. Am I entitled to compensation?

    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:

      1. Report the injury to your supervisor as soon as possible, within 30 days. Fill out a Notice of Injury to Employer Keep a copy for yourself and leave one with your employer. Your employer must report the injury to WCB within five business days of receiving the notice. Your supervisor cannot prevent or discourage you from making a claim.
      2. Get medical treatment for your injury. Let your healthcare provider know you were injured at work. They will fill out paperwork that will help WCB process your claim.
      3. Report your injury to WCB by calling 204-954-4321 (toll-free 1-855-954-4321), or by filling out the online reporting form here.

    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.

  • My compensation claim has been denied. Can I appeal the decision?

    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:

      • Review Office
      • 333 Broadway
      • Winnipeg, MB R3C 2X4

    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).

  • How do I make a claim for unpaid wages or vacation pay?

    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.

  • Does my employer need a reason to fire me?

    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.

  • What is wrongful termination?

    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).

  • What is constructive dismissal?

    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.

  • Does my employer need to give me notice before terminating me?

    Most of the time, yes. The amount of notice depends on how long you have worked for your employer:

      • Less than 30 days: no notice required
      • 30 or more days, but less than one year: One week’s notice
      • One year or more, but under three years: Two weeks’ notice
      • Three years or more, but under five years: Four weeks’ notice
      • Five years or more, but under 10 years: Six weeks’ notice
      • Ten years or more: Eight weeks’ notice

    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.

  • What is severance pay?

    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.

  • Do I need to give notice to my employer if I quit?

    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:,terminate-employment-after-apr-30-07,factsheet.html

  • How quickly does my employer need to file the Record of Employment (ROE)?

    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

  • Can future employers view my ROE?

    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.

  • Where can I find information on court cases and do research for my case?

    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.