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April 15, 2010
Overtime Regulations and Exemptions under Canadian Law

In her BLR webinar "Doing Business in Canada: Navigating the Labor and Employment Law Maze From Across the Border," Canadian employment litigator Jodi Gallagher gave American employers insight into Canadian employment practices. To help attendees get a feel for some of the regulations they will face when operating in Canada, she gave a quick sketch of overtime under Canadian law:

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  • Overtime threshold varies by province (range = 40 to 48 hours a week)
  • Some industries are governed by federal law (transport, telecommunications)
  • Overtime pay is generally 1.5 times regular pay rate
  • Exclusions vary by jurisdiction (examples: professionals, managers)
  • Wage and hour class actions are a rising trend in Canada

Gallagher also pointed out, that while the language of the regulations governing overtime exemptions may differ from the US , in practice, the same classes of workers are exempt from overtime in Canada as in the US.

S. Jodi Gallagher is an associate at the Canadian law firm Heenan Blaikie, where she specializes in grievance arbitration, workers’ compensation, and wrongful dismissal litigation. She can be reached through Heenan Blaikie's website: www.heenanblaikie.com.

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