In Canada, the laws that protect employee grievances vary by province and territory. Generally, they include the following:
- The Canada Labour Code, which applies to federally regulated employers and employees, such as those in banking, telecommunications, and interprovincial transportation.
- The Human Rights Code, which prohibits discrimination based on certain grounds, such as race, national or ethnic origin, religion, age, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status, family status, disability, and applies to all employers and employees in Canada.
- Occupational Health and Safety legislation, which sets out the employer's duty to provide a safe and healthy work environment and applies to all employers and employees in Canada.
Additionally, each province and territory has its own labour relations legislation, which sets out the rights and responsibilities of employers and employees with respect to collective bargaining and the resolution of disputes.
Furthermore employers may stipulate additional grounds for employee grievance which can be detailed in the body of company policies and procedures.
When an employee files a grievance, it is important for Canadian companies to take the complaint seriously and conduct a thorough investigation to determine if the grievance is genuine. Here are some steps that companies can take to assess the validity of an employee grievance:
- Gather all relevant information: The first step in assessing a grievance is to gather as much information as possible about the situation. This includes any documentation related to the complaint, such as emails, reports, or performance evaluations. It is also important to interview the employee who filed the grievance, as well as any other employees or managers who may have relevant information.
- Review company policies and procedures: It is important to review the company's policies and procedures to determine if the employee's complaint is in line with the company's expectations. For example, if an employee is complaining about discrimination or harassment, the company should have policies in place that prohibit such behavior and provide guidance on how to handle these types of complaints.
- Look for evidence: When assessing a grievance, it is important to look for evidence that supports or undermines the employee's complaint. This can include witness statements, physical evidence, or other documentation that can help to verify the employee's claim.
- Take appropriate action: If the investigation finds that the grievance is genuine, the company should take appropriate action to resolve the issue and prevent it from happening again in the future. This may involve disciplinary action against the employee or manager responsible, or changes to company policies or procedures.
- Communicate with the employee: Finally, it is important for the company to communicate with the employee who filed the grievance to let them know the outcome of the investigation and any steps that will be taken to address the issue.
By following these steps, Canadian companies can ensure that they are taking a fair and objective approach when assessing employee grievances, and that they are taking appropriate action to resolve any issues that are found to be genuine.