Employment Standards Act


The Employment Standards Act (SNB, c. E-7.2) protects employees who have disclosed information regarding a contravention of the Act to the Director of the Employment Standards. The Act also prohibits any reprisals against any employee who disclosed information regarding a violation of the Act. 

What kind of disclosure is protected?

The Act protects any employee who, while acting in good faith and on the basis of reasonable belief, has disclosed information regarding an alleged violation of any provincial or federal statute by the employee to the Director of the Employment Standards. 

Who is eligible for protection?

The Act protects any employee who has disclosed information regarding wrongdoing to the Director of the Employment Standards. 

Under the Act, an employee s.1 is defined as a person who performs work for or supplies services to an employer for wages, but does not include an independent contractor. 

The complaint must be filed in any form to the Director within 12 months following the alleged violation s.61(1).

How are whistleblowers protected?

The Act prohibits any person from taking any kind of reprisal against an employee who had made a disclosure regarding a wrongdoing s.28(b)-(c).

Under the Act, a reprisal includes any of the following actions: dismiss, suspend, lay off, penalize, discipline or discriminate s. 28.

Any person who knowingly takes any kind of reprisal against an employee for making a protected disclosure to the Director is liable to receive a notice of non-compliance from the Director. An employer who is issued a notice of non-compliance and who fails to comply within the prescribed deadline may be liable to an administrative penalty between $150.00 and $900.00 s.64.1(4) s.64.2(2).

The Director of the Employment Standards may agree to keep the identity of a complainant confidential where he or she is satisfied that there exists a possibility of reprisal by any person towards the complainant s. 61(2).

How should disclosures be made?

Be careful! Despite presenting some challenges for follow ups, one of the best protections for whistleblowers is their anonymity. Be cautious when providing any information through electronic means, especially emails! Read the security tips section.

An employee of an organization may make a disclosure of wrongdoing to the Director of the Employment Standards. The disclosure can be made in any of the following ways:

  • By phone, toll free at: 1-888-452-2687
  • Printing the complaint form and mailing it to: 
    • Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour,
      Employment Standards Branch,
      P.O. Box 6000, Fredericton, NB  E3B 5H1
  • Completing and directly submitting the online complaint form

If an employee is unsatisfied with the results of the investigation, they have the right to refer the matter to the Labour and Employment Board for adjudication.


For additional information on making a complaint, please visit: https://www2.gnb.ca/content/gnb/en/departments/post-secondary_education_training_and_labour/People/content/EmploymentStandards/making_a_complaint.html