Can workplace losses and damages be deducted from a paycheque?
When is it okay to work alone?
Do young workers have special rights?
How many paid vacation days are you entitled to?

Are employers required to provide workers with PPE?

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OHS legislation requires employers to provide workers with, and pay for, PPE for emergency response, respiratory and hearing protection if it is required for the job. Employers are not required to provide workers with PPE such as hard hats, safety boots, flame resistant clothing or eye protection. However, if this equipment is necessary for the job, it is the responsibility of the workers to ensure they have it. In many cases, employers often exceed the minimal requirements and provide this equipment to their workers. In all cases, employers must make sure that workers use PPE when it is necessary.
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How many hours is the maximum work week?

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The basic rule states that any time worked over 8 hours in a day or 44 hours in a week is considered overtime. Maximum work day or work week hours vary by industry. There is no maximum for most managers and certain professions.
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Who should get general holiday pay?

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Most employees who have worked for an employer for at least 30 days in the 12 months before the general holiday are eligible for general holiday pay. There are some exceptions. Construction workers, for example, are not usually given general holidays off with pay. Instead, they are given general holiday pay in an amount that is at least 3.6% of their wage. Some employees, including non-retail salespersons, realtors, and film extras are not entitled to general holidays and general holiday pay.
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What should you know about lifting heavy loads?

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There are no exact rules about the maximum weight a worker can lift. Due to variables such as age, health, strength and the size and shape of the object, it’s not possible to give an exact weight. A better guide is for employers to do mandatory hazard assessments and remove or reduce risk of injury when manual lifting is needed. When lifting loads, workers should keep the natural curve in the lower back, contract abdominal muscles, avoid twisting the back, and hold the objects close to the body.
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Is there approved health and safety training available?

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Health and safety on the job is important in every workplace. Certain jobs need special training approved by the Government of Alberta. These approved training courses are: asbestos worker training, audiometric technician training, emergency mine rescue, explosives safety training and blaster's permit, first aid training, and pulmonary function training. No other occupational health and safety training courses are required to be approved by the Government of Alberta. Whether your job needs approved training or not, employers must ensure that workers are adequately trained and competent to perform their work.
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When is travel time paid work?

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Travel time is paid work when travelling between job locations during the time of work; or when a worker is directed to pick up materials or perform other tasks on the way to work or home. Travel time is NOT paid work when travelling from ‘home to work’ or ‘work to home’, even when going to a different work location, or using transportation provided by your employer. The rate of pay needs to be at least minimum wage and the worker must be aware of the rate ahead of time.
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How much notice should you give when quitting your job?

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You must tell your employer in writing that you will be quitting. How much notice you give usually depends on how long you’ve worked at the job. There are some exceptions, but generally you need to give one week of notice if you have worked for less than two years and two weeks’ notice if you have worked for two years or more. No notice is required if you have worked for three months or less. If you don’t provide the proper amount of notice your final pay can be delayed.
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What should you do if you think a job is unsafe?

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You must refuse and report unsafe work that is an imminent danger situation, meaning it is abnormal for your occupation. If you refuse unsafe work, it is your employer’s duty to address the issue to eliminate the imminent danger. If you think an unsafe condition exists, but you are not in imminent danger, report it to your employer to determine the next steps.
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Do injuries and incidents need to be reported?

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Employers must report certain workplace incidents to the Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Contact Centre. These include any work-related incidents that result in fatalities or a worker being hospitalized for more than two days. Incidents like explosions, fires or floods that could have resulted in serious injury must also be reported. These notifications are separate from any notice that must be given to the Workers’ Compensation Board or local authorities such as the police. When in doubt, report the incident by calling the OHS Contact Centre.
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What can you do about harassment at work?

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If you’re being bullied or harassed at work and it is likely to cause physical harm, it could be identified as a workplace hazard. If your employer doesn’t address the situation, you may file a workplace violence complaint with the Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Contact Centre. If you believe you are being discriminated against, you should contact the Alberta Human Rights Commission. While there is no specific legislation addressing workplace harassment or bullying, you can call the OHS or Employment Standards Contact Centre to speak to someone about how to address your concerns.
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How many breaks are workers entitled to?

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For every shift greater than five consecutive hours, a worker is entitled to at least 30 minutes of rest. Employers can decide whether these breaks are paid or unpaid, but if workers are unable to take their break, it must be paid. The rest period can be broken into smaller breaks if desired. As a best practice, most employers provide their workers more than the required 30 minute break. There are some unique rules for different industries that may modify the standards.
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Who is entitled to sick leave?

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Employers are not required to provide workers with paid or unpaid sick leave – this is decided by the employer. Despite this, compassionate care leave (caring for a seriously ill family member at risk of death), parental and maternity leave, and Canadian Armed Forces’ reservist leave are all legislated in order to provide job protection for employees. As a best practice, employers are encouraged to provide better than minimum benefits for their workers.
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Is your job making you sick?

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Illness directly related to a job can occur if a worker is exposed to a health hazard at work. Symptoms can be immediate, or develop over time – even over years. Common examples of occupational disease are hearing loss due to noise, carbon monoxide poisoning, lead poisoning and asbestos-related lung disease. Employers must identify and address all workplace hazards, including health hazards, before work begins on any site.
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What should I know about working in the cold?

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There are no specific rules on temperatures that are unsafe to work in. Under Alberta law, employers must assess and control all hazards to ensure the health and safety of their workers, whether they are working in extreme cold or heat. For cold conditions, best practices for employers could include providing heated shelters for workers, providing more frequent breaks, keeping work spaces sheltered from wind and ensuring workers are dressed appropriately. Workers should always be aware of early signs of cold exposure, such as frostbite and hypothermia, in order to prevent injuries. If you feel your workplace has become unsafe due to extreme temperatures, call the OHS Contact Centre.
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What is a workplace hazard?

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A workplace hazard is a situation, condition or thing that may put the safety or health of workers at risk. Hazards can be obvious, such as a puddle of oil or dangerous machinery. Hazards can also be not so obvious, such as clutter or sitting in awkward positions for long periods of time. Hazards can cause slips, trips and falls. They can also involve tools, machinery, lifting and the use of chemicals.
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What is required when you are laid off or fired?

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Unless your employer has just cause, termination notice or termination pay needs to be given to you if you have been employed for at least three months. The amount of notice, or pay in lieu of notice, depends on your length of employment.
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How should falls be prevented in the workplace?

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Employers and workers must ensure a fall protection system is used under these conditions:
  • If a worker could fall three metres or more
  • If a worker could fall less than three metres and there is an unusual possibility of injury
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Do workplaces need first aiders and first aid kits?

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Yes. The minimum requirements are to have first aid services, equipment and supplies available at every work site. Requirements vary depending on the type of work site. It is important to seek more information from Occupational Health and Safety.
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How many weeks are given for parental leave?

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All eligible employees are entitled to take maternity and parental leave without pay up to 52 consecutive weeks in the event of the birth of a child. In the event of the adoption of a child, eligible employees are entitled to 37 consecutive weeks.
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How often should you be paid?

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You have to be paid at least once a month. All wages, overtime and general holiday pay earned in a pay period must be paid within 10 consecutive days after the end of the pay period. If you didn't receive your pay on time, and are unable to resolve the issue, you may submit a complaint to Employment Standards.
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