The institution of work is one of the primary ways in which public goods are distributed. For most Canadians, the laws that govern work relations are a critical determinant of income, satisfaction, fairness, safety, and ultimately, fulfillment.

This course will introduce students to the various legal regimes that regulate work relations: the common law regime; the regulatory regime which includes employments standards, health and safety rules, and human rights; and the collective bargaining regime that applies to unionized workplaces. Students will understand that the law of work is a dynamic area, constantly affected by economic, historical, political and global forces. Students will emerge from this course with an understanding of the legal and social issues at play in the laws that apply to work.

Course Learning Outcomes (CLO)

By the end of this course, students should be able to:

  • CLO 1: Describe the historical, economic, and political context of workplace regulation in Canada.
  • CLO 2: Describe the overlapping regulatory systems applying to the workplace.
  • CLO 3: Apply basic legal reasoning within the context of workplace regulation.
  • CLO 4: Extract relevant legal issues from specific situations within Canadian workplaces.
  • CLO 5: Argue a legal position resulting from a workplace issue.
  • CLO 6: Describe the impact of global changes on workplace regulation and prospects for reform.

Assessment Weighting

Quizzes 5%
Individual Assignments 40%
Group Assignments 30%
Final Exam 25%

Course Materials 

Required Textbook 

The following material is available from the Queen's Campus Bookstore:

The Law of Work: Complete Edition (Toronto: Emond, 2017), David J. Doorey