Labour Studies Index

Updated: 2019-04-26

A comparison of labour standards in the United States and Canada

Document type Article
Author Block, Richard N.
Author Roberts, Karen
Journal Relations Industrielles / Industrial Relations
Volume 55
Date 2000 Spring
ISSN 0034-379X
Pages 273-307


This article introduces a methodology for measuring differences in the labor standards between the US and Canada, taking into account variations by state and province. This methodology is then used to analyze differences in the 2 countries on 10 labor standards. The results indicate that 6 standards are higher in Canada than in the US: 1. paid time off, 2. unemployment/employment insurance, 3. workers' compensations, 4. collective bargaining, 5. unjust discharge, and 6. advance notice of plant closings/large scale layoffs. Standards covering minimum wages, overtime and occupational safety and health are higher in the US than in Canada. There is no difference in the 2 countries in standards covering employment discrimination/employment equity. The results suggest that overall, although there are exceptions, labor standards are higher in Canada than the US.