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Slaw: Ontario’s Ministry of Labour targets employers using unpaid internships

From April to June 2014, the Ontario Ministry of Labour is conducting an employment standards inspection blitz targeting organizations that employ unpaid interns. The goal is to ensure worker rights are protected and enhance employers’ awareness of their responsibilities.

The law

Ontario’s Employment Standards Act (ESA) does not mention interns and unpaid internships by name, but employers must understand that the law does discuss them. The Act specifies that an employee (a person that receives wages for services or work performed or offered to an employer) includes a person who receives training from an employer. In other words, most people that work for an employer qualify as employees, with two strict exceptions.

One, a person who meets all of the following conditions is not considered an employee:

For more, read my latest post on Slaw here.

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Yosie Saint-Cyr

Managing Editor at First Reference Inc.
Yosie Saint-Cyr, LL.B., is a trained lawyer called to the Quebec bar in 1988 and is still a member in good standing. She practiced business, employment and labour law until 1999. For over 15 years, Yosie has been the Managing Editor of the following publications, Human Resources Advisor, Human Resources PolicyPro, HRinfodesk and Accessibility Standards PolicyPro from First Reference. Yosie is one of Canada’s best known and most respected HR authors, with an extensive background in employment and labour across the country. Read more
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