Relevance of Changes in Canadian Employment Law

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A career is significant for each individual because of numerous advantages. A decent and stable career, for example, gives stability and genuine feelings of serenity throughout everyday life. Being guaranteed a stable income flow, we are spared a lot of stress and uncertainties that life brings in its wake without a career. Subsequently, individuals continually searching for a decent and stable career to work for the majority time of life, or even a good job, and keeping up it for quite a while. That is the reason, as distinct from Labour Law, the government enacted Employment Law to protect the jobs of citizens. The law has changed and adjusted to the monetary development around the globe. It has included new sections, rules and terminology to make it more relevant and practical to enforces and punishes those who break the law. In this paper, I will examine the Canadian Employment Law by analyzing the case study of Haseeb v. Imperial Oil Limited in 2019.

Summary of Case Study

The case is about an international student at McGill University who applied for an engineering job that would start after graduation in his final semester – Muhammad Haseeb. At that time, he was an international student with a student visa. Upon graduation, he would be eligible for a three-year 'postgraduate work permit' (PGWP) that would allow him to work full-time, anywhere, with any employer in Canada. He expected that within three years he would gain permanent residency status (Zacks, 2018).

On the other side, Imperial Oil Limited, the company Mr. Haseeb was applied for, required graduate engineers to have permanent residency or Canadian citizenship and asked a number of questions throughout the application procedure regarding whether the applicant was eligible to work on a permanent basis in Canada, to which he answered 'Yes' repeatedly. He has been successful in the multi-step selection process of Imperial Oil and has been offered a job, subject to verification of citizenship documentary or permanent residency. The offer was canceled when he was unable to provide such proof (Zacks, 2018). According to Woloshyn (2019), Mr. Haseeb was Imperial Oil’s top-ranked candidate when he applied for a position in 2014, however, when the company learned that he was neither a Canadian citizen nor a permanent resident, they rescinded their job offer to him and he later brought a human right claim against them.

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Law’s Outline

The Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario (Tribunal) found that Imperial Oil had breached the human rights of Haseeb by discriminating against him based on his citizenship status. According to the Canadian Human Rights Act (Government of Canada, 2019), every person has a right to equal treatment with respect to employment without discrimination or harassment because of race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, record of offences, marital status, family status or disability. While the Code does not contain a definition of citizenship, the Tribunal determined that the Code contemplated that discrimination would arise where there existed a “requirement or consideration that distinguished among individuals on the basis of either “Canadian citizenship”, “permanent residency” status or “domicile in Canada with the intention to obtain citizenship”.” Because of this finding, the Tribunal concluded that hiring practices and interview screening processes of classifying individuals as “eligible” and “ineligible” based on the ability to work in Canada on a “permanent basis” is discriminatory. (Mathews, Dinsdale & Clark LLP, 2018).

Therefore, despite his dishonesty, Mr. Haseeb supposed to be treated as a regular applicant without discrimination of his citizenship status. In the step of discovering the remedy he entitled to from Imperial as a result of the company’s human rights violations, the Tribunal applied this general remedial principle: “Mr. Haseeb should be put in the position he would have been in had there been no violation of his human rights” (Woloshyn, 2019). On the off chance that Mr. Haseeb was to be placed in the position in which he would have been if Imperial Oil had not asked him any discriminatory questions, he would not have lied, and therefore he would have been hired, in light of his top-ranking and the fact that the company actually offered him a job (Woloshyn, 2019).

According to the evidence, if Mr. Haseeb had been recruited by Imperial Oil, he would have been employed by them from 30 March 2015 until 3 May 2019, when he left his job with Deloitte to pursue other opportunities, minus the 10-month duration of unpaid absence, it would be a period of approximately 39 months, which equates to more than three years. In order to calculate his lost income for this period, the Tribunal looked at what he did at Deloitte compared to the starting salary that Imperial Oil offered plus the average annual wage increases that the three engineers that Imperial Oil actually hired received (Woloshyn, 2019). Imperial Oil's total compensation owed Mr. Haseeb for loss of income would be more than 100,000 dollars. Moreover, add to that the $15,000 given him by the Tribunal as compensation for “injury to dignity, feelings and self-respect,” plus pre-judgment interest of Imperial Oil for the amount of $4,000, it ended up costing them more than $120,000 for an employee they never actually employed on August 23, 2019 (Keung, 2019).

The Importance and Relevance of Employment Law

The Employment Law was created as protection for both employer and employee with their rights and responsibilities. Employment Law functions as acts that cover your basic employment rights such as working hours, minimum wages, sick days, leave of absence, maternity leave, vacation and severance provisions, and so on. Furthermore, The Canadian Human Rights Act (CHRA) forbids discrimination based on gender, race, ethnicity, age, and several other reasons. In the same area of discrimination, another piece of legislation – Employment Equity Act (EEA) was added under the Department of Justice Canada to protect the rights of four “designated groups” in particular: women, people with disabilities, Aboriginal people, and visible minorities (Swartz, n.d.). On the other hand, by profoundly understanding the Employment Law, employers will able to avoid lawsuits, fines, and legal expenses in the basics of unaware discrimination or other grounds. The Employment Law has been updated consistently to be more relevant to nowadays situations. Overall, with the existence of the Employment Laws, both employer and employee will be benefited from the high level of health and safety in the work environment, knowing that stability, discrimination-free and sexual harassment-free are maintained. As employees, the acts ensure that hiring processes, dismissal processes, and their workplace as a whole, are fair for every individual while employers will be profited from high-quality production and loyalty from their employees.


In conclusion, Canadian Employment Law has been incredibly enhanced to become more applicable to these days. After the case of Haseeb, Imperial Oil has eliminated the requirement of the candidate is “eligible to work on a permanent basis”, which opens up more chances for international students and workers as well as more talented from the wider variety of nations. With support from the Employment Law, it makes workers and laborers feel more secure and happy to get to work as well as eliminates the stressful working environment. However, there are still some circumstances that might not be covered by the Canadian Employment Law yet, which lead to changes in the law in the future that might be getting better or worse off.

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