Employment Law

EMPR 210/3.0


Employment laws govern the relationship between every working Canadian and their employer.  This introductory course will provide students with a foundation to apply employment law(s) in Canada.  The course will examine the principles of employment law with a primary focus on current provincial legislation affecting human resource management in a non-unionized setting including the: Ontario Human Rights Code, Ontario Employment Standards Act, Pay Equity Act, Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and the Employment Equity Act.  The course will also examine issues regarding privacy, voluntary and involuntary employment termination, and broader common law topics.

The course is divided into four main areas of focus.  First, students are introduced to the legal framework in Canada, a foundation for further areas covered in the semester.  Second, they learn about recruitment and selection including human rights issues, the employment contract, “best practices” and strategies used for legally compliant techniques.  Third, students examine topics frequently encountered during the life of an employment relationship including: human rights and equity issues (including the growing breadth of human rights obligations in the workplace), privacy, and employment-related legislation.  Finally, students consider legal contexts that arise at the conclusion of the employment relationship including dismissal with and without cause. 

This introductory course will provide students a foundation to understand employment law in Canada. The course will examine the principles of employment law with a primary focus on current provincial and federal legislation affecting human resource management in a non‐unionized setting. 

This course is part of the Queen’s Undergraduate Certificate in Employment Relations. The Certificate focuses on core elements of the field of work and employee-management relations, while taking account of social science perspectives from economics, law, management, and history. The Certificate provides a broad foundation in the field of employment relations, including the areas of labour/employment law, labour-management relations, conflict management and negotiations, human resources management, and labour policy. Taken together, these courses and the resulting Certificate form the basis for a recognized university credential that will support students who are seeking entry level jobs in labour relations and human resources management after leaving Queen’s. 

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the course, students will:

  1. Identify and interpret employment related legislation and the common law; 
  2. Critically analyze current and evolving areas of the law; 
  3. Develop a sound understanding of the role of human rights in the modern workplace; 
  4. Interpret and evaluate an employment contract; and
  5. Compare the legal obligations and processes for unionized and non-unionized workplaces. 


  • Week 1: Course Introduction and Foundations in Employment/Labour Law
  • Weeks 2-3: The Employment Contract
  • Weeks 4-5: Termination of the Employment Relationship
  • Weeks 6-8: Human Rights in the Workplace
  • Weeks 9-10: Regulating Employment by Statute
  • Weeks 11-12: Employment-Related Privacy and Tort Law


Fall 2023
Course Dates
Exam Dates (if applicable)
Delivery Mode


0% - Self-Assessment Quizzes (x6)
15% - Case Analysis: Case Submission
10% - Current Workplace Issue Discussion (1 post + 2 comments)
15% - Contract Interpretation (1 post + 2 comments)
25% - Midterm Exam
35% - Proctored Final Exam

**Evaluation subject to change**

Live Sessions

This course has optional live sessions (e.g. webinars, synchronous activities). Please consult the Timeline in the first week of class.


  1. You may choose to write your exam(s) online using Examity proctoring services where you will be charged the additional $100 exam fee; or
  2. You may choose to write your exam(s) in-person on Queen's campus in Kingston where you will NOT be charged the additional $100 exam fee.


Once the exam schedule has been finalized the exam date will be posted on your SOLUS account. The exam dates for each Term are listed on the Faculty of Arts and Science webpage under "Important Dates." Student exam schedules for the Fall Term are posted via SOLUS immediately prior to the Thanksgiving holiday; for the Winter Term they are posted on the Friday before Reading Week, and for the Summer Term they are individually noted on the Arts and Science Online syllabi. Students should delay finalizing any travel plans until after the examination schedule has been posted. Exams will not be moved or deferred to accommodate employment, travel/holiday plans or flight reservations.

Textbook and Materials

ASO reserves the right to make changes to the required material list as received by the instructor before the course starts. Please refer to the Campus Bookstore website at http://www.campusbookstore.com/Textbooks/Search-Engine to obtain the most up-to-date list of required materials for this course before purchasing them.

  • D. Doorey, The Law of Work, 2nd Ed (Emond, 2020)

This text is available at Queen's Campus Bookstore.

Time Commitment

A course such as this on campus would have three lecture hours per week, usually with an assignment to follow. Students can expect to spend, on average, about 10 - 12 hours per week (120 hours per term) on the course.


“I feel that the course was organized well, and that students were given a great amount of information that was presented in such a manner that it was learnable. I walked away from this course feeling that I learned a great deal about Employment Law and knowing that I benefitted from this learning experience. I would automatically sign up for another course with this professor and teaching team.”