Employers should be wary of differences between Canada, U.S. legal systems

Federal and state laws play a big part in employment law south of the border
By Stewart Saxe and Brian Arbetter
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 01/05/2010

Canadian and American employment laws may appear similar but there are numerous traps waiting for Canadian organizations that have employees located south of the border.

Canada has a fairly simple system to inform employers as to whether they are governed by federal or provincial law. Once that has been determined, it remains true for virtually all aspects of the relationship, from union rights to health and safety laws.

In the United States, federal law sets minimums and has a much greater role than is the case in Canada. State laws, however, are frequently involved and, depending on the issue, often provide greater entitlements than the federal law.