ontario employment standards act
In Ontario, employers owe vacation pay on employee wages. Wages are defined in section 1 of the Employment Standards Act to include “any payment required to be made by an employer to an employee.” Here is where it gets tricky. In Ontario, the employment standards may require two separate types of payments to an employee who is terminated without cause.
The Ontario Human Rights Tribunal recently awarded a woman $35,000 after her employer fired her when she revealed on her first day of work that she was four months pregnant. (The award covered $20,000 in lost wages and benefits, and $15,000 for injury to dignity, feelings and self-respect.) In addition to the damage award, given the overwhelming number of women working for the employer, the tribunal ordered the company to implement and distribute a written policy on the accommodation of pregnancy to ensure future compliance.
In the vast majority of cases, there is absolutely no reason for an employer not to provide a positive letter of reference for a dismissed employee. As discussed below, this conclusion is based upon two general points:
1) There is little or no risk in providing an honest, good faith reference;
2) Organizations can benefit financially if a dismissed employee finds new employment quickly.
It’s a pleasure to welcome Stuart Rudner as a guest blogger. He will be blogging about human resources, employment and labour law issues.
On November 6, 2009, amendments to Ontario’s Employment Standards Act (ESA) will come into force. Temporary help agencies will have new responsibilities, and temporary help assignment employees will have new rights. The new requirements only cover assignment employees working for agencies but not employees who work for the agency and are not sent out on assignments with clients.