Probationary periods in employment… for something seeming so simple, they still cause a lot of confusion, and employees and employers alike are frequently mistaken about the legality of probationary periods and how they apply to the non-unionized worker. Employees who are terminated during probationary periods often accept their lot without ever receiving legal advice, while employers often terminate ‘probationary’ employees without providing any compensation, only to be surprised by a demand letter or civil action claiming wrongful dismissal. So where do these challenges come from? And how can they be remedied?
Opposition MPP Jonah Schein has introduced a private member’s bill to place stricter limits on unpaid internships in Ontario. Bill 170, Employment Standards Amendment Act (Greater Protection for Interns and Vulnerable Workers), 2014, doesn’t seek to eliminate unpaid internships entirely, but rather hopes to make employers more accountable and give interns (and students) more legal clout.
This case is a stunning example of mistreatment of migrant workers: a live-in nanny recently launched a wrongful dismissal claim against her employer in the Ontario Superior Court seeking damages in the amount of $195,000 for breach of contract, unpaid wages, statutory holiday pay and vacation pay.