File an employment standards appeal

Most employment standards decisions can be appealed by those subject to the decision.

The legislation on this page comes into effect on January 1, 2018

For information on Employment Standards legislation that is in force until December 31, 2017, go to http://work.alberta.ca/employment-standards.html

Basic rules

  • An appeal is a request to reverse or modify an Employment Standards decision resulting from a:
    • complaint investigation
    • compliance enforcement measure
    • administrative penalty
  • Appeals are made to the Director of Employment Standards or the appeal body.
  • An appeal can be made by any of the following:
    • employer
    • corporate director of a company
    • employee
    • third party (through an application to the Court)
  • An employer and employee involved in an appeal are encouraged to come to a voluntary agreement at any point.

All appeals must be made in writing within 21 days of receiving a notice from Employment Standards.

Appeals by employees

Employees can appeal:

  • to the Director a decision that no amount is owing:
    • the Director or a reviewing officer may review this appeal
  • to the appeal body regarding the following issues:
    • an order for payment of wages, overtime, general holiday pay, vacation pay or termination pay
    • a Director’s collection notice
    • a Director’s order for reinstatement or compensation

Appeals by employers

Employers can appeal to the appeal body regarding the following issues:

  • an order for payment of wages, overtime pay, general holiday pay, vacation pay or termination pay
  • a single employer declaration
  • a Director’s collection notice
  • a Director’s order for reinstatement or compensation
  • a notice of administrative penalty
  • a Director’s cancellation of an hours of work averaging agreement

An employer’s appeal of an order must include payment of the amount the employer is required to pay under the order, which includes fees owed to the Minister of Finance and total amount owed to an employee.

The amount of the order plus applicable fees is held in trust pending the resolution of the appeal.

Appeals by corporate directors

Corporate directors may appeal a certificate received from Employment Standards to the appeal body. Valid reasons of appeal are that:

  • the person appealing wasn’t a director of the corporation at that time
  • the director reasonably believed the corporation could have paid the debt
  • the certificate was filed more than 2 years after the date the person ceased to be a director of the company

In order to be valid, an appeal of a certificate must include payment of the amount of the wages the corporate director, or former director, is required to pay for the employee as per the certificate.

The amount of the wages is held in trust pending the resolution of the appeal.

Applications by third parties

Third parties indebted to an employer, and who’ve been issued a demand from the Director, may apply to the Court for an order to determine one or both of:

  • that the share in the joint debt or account is different than what’s stated
  • that the employer or any person identified isn’t a co-owner of the joint debt or account

File an appeal

  • An appeal form must:
    • be filed in writing with the Registrar of Appeals within 21 days of receipt of the document
    • clearly state the reasons for appeal and why an error is believed to have occurred
    • include any fees and amount(s) required to be paid (if applicable)
  • Appeals are reviewed in the order they’re received.
  • The employer and employee (if applicable), or appellant, will be notified in writing whether the appeal is deemed valid or not.

After filing an appeal to an appeal body

For appeals to an appeal body, a notice of hearing will be sent to the applicable parties noting information of a hearing:

  • date
  • time
  • location

The parties are encouraged to participate in appeal meetings with an appeals officer prior to the hearing date to discuss the matter being appealed, review relevant documents provided as evidence and discuss a mediated resolution.

Hearings are held in a provincial court before a member of the appeal body. At a hearing, the parties present information under oath and witnesses may be called.

Appeal body authority

If the appellant fails to appear at the hearing, the appeal body member may:

  • declare the appeal abandoned, or
  • adjourn the matter

If any other person fails to appear at the hearing, the appeal body member may adjourn the matter or proceed in the person’s absence.

The appeal body member may:

  • receive evidence and request the attendance of witnesses
  • confirm, revoke or change anything that’s the subject of appeal
  • do anything the Director or officer could’ve done under the Code
  • order an employer or employee to attend an Employment Standards educational program
  • award costs

After hearing an appeal, the appeal body member makes a decision that will be put into writing. The appeal body member’s decision is considered final and is not subject to further appeal.

After filing an appeal to the Director

Employee appeals of a decision that no earnings are owed to them are reviewed by the Director or a reviewing officer. Following the review, the decision may be confirmed or, if overturned, an order for payment of earnings may be issued.

How the law applies

Part 3, Division 4 of the Employment Standards Code provides more information on appeals.  Sections of the Regulation also address rules and processes around appeals.

Disclaimer: In the event of any discrepancy between this information and Alberta Employment Standards legislation, the legislation is considered correct.
 

Contact Employment Standards

780‑427‑3731 (Edmonton and surrounding areas)

For toll-free calling, dial 1‑877‑427‑3731

From a cell phone, call #310 on Telus and Bell or *310 on Rogers.

Ask a question online

TTY/TDD for the deaf or hard of hearing

780‑427‑9999 (Edmonton and surrounding areas)

For toll-free calling, dial 1‑800‑232‑7215