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Employment standards: Risks of paying employees “under the table”

Before hiring your first employee, an employer needs to educate itself on the various requirements under the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (and other legislation such as the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act (the “WSIA”) and Occupational Health and Safety Act­) and the nuances associated with termination of an employee’s employment. Although there will be some upfront costs associated with record keeping, registering for insurance pursuant to the WSIA and learning about employment legislation, the benefits of such proactivity will pay off in the future when issues inevitably arise, even if you only have one or two employees.

 

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Busting myths about employments standards: What employers need to know about overtime and vacation

When it comes to employment standards legislation, employers must remember that just because an employee agrees to something, that does not make it lawful. More importantly, parties cannot contract out of employment standards requirements, and employers that breach employment standards legislation expose themselves to significant risk, even if the employee in question appears to have acquiesced. This often arises when it comes to overtime or vacation.

 

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Employer risk 101 – Ministry enforcement of the ESA

If you are reading an employment law blog you already know that employers have legal obligations under the Ontario Employment Standards Act. The top five violations for the fiscal year 2014/2015, as compiled by the Ministry of Labour, were with respect to…

 

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The unpaid internship: Exploitation or opportunity?

The use of unpaid interns has come under increased media and political scrutiny. Fuelled by horror stories of young interns collapsing under extreme workplace pressures, the issue reached the political agenda. In the summer of 2014, the Ontario Ministry of Labour carried out a highly publicized workplace inspection blitz to determine if intern rights were being respected. Rules governing the appropriate use of interns in Ontario are not new. They had been in place long before the summer 2014 blitz. The rules are set out in section 1(2) of the Employment Standards Act.

 

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A financial analyst, if a “manager”, is not entitled to overtime in Quebec

The Court of Appeal of Quebec recently considered, in the Skiba v. Playground[1] decision, the issue of overtime pay and, in particular, the correct interpretation of sections 54 and 55 of the Act respecting labour standards. In our opinion, this decision will have certain repercussions in the workplace, and we find it useful to review the factual background giving rise to those repercussions, as well as the conclusions of both the Superior Court and the Court of Appeal.

 

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Navigating Ontario’s Employment Standards Act

Ontario’s Employment Standards Act (the ESA) sets out the minimum terms of employment for most employees in Ontario. It is a complex law that is difficult to understand. An employer cannot contract out of these minimum standards. Did you know your organization must post a Minister of Labour poster entitled “What You Should Know About The Ontario Employment Standards Act” in your workplace?

 

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Small employers are not complying with Ontario’s new accessibility and employment laws

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According to an AODA Alliance news release and a Nov. 18, 2013, Toronto Star article, the Ontario government fully knows that 70 percent of Ontario private sector organizations with at least 20 employees have not complied with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act’s (AODA) reporting requirements. Reports were due December 31, 2012. This is not surprising because in my experience, most small businesses are simply not aware of the law.

 

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The Ontario Ministry of Labour is coming for retailers: 5 common ESA violations

The Ontario Ministry of Labour (MOL) conducts inspections to ensure compliance with the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA). The MOL targets employers in (as they put it) “sectors where there is a history of employment standards violations and where vulnerable workers are employed.” Thankfully, at least the MOL announces the targeted sector so that employers can prepare. This time, the target is the retail industry.

 

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Five employment issues facing Ontario retailers

I am fortunate in my practice to work with clients in different industries, ranging from healthcare and social services to traditional manufacturing. Although employment laws generally apply to all industries in much the same way, there are usually certain issues that some industries face more than others. This is true of many clients I assist in the retail industry.

 

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Most-viewed articles this week on HRinfodesk

The three most viewed articles on HRinfodesk this week deal with the court calling into question the termination without notice of a probationary employee, how the law around references is changing and how a mistake in a contract led to constructive dismissal.

 

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How to avoid an overtime claim

So you have an employee who has been working with you for five years, and now you have to terminate the employee because it is just not working out. When parting ways, the employee insists that you should have been paying him overtime pay for all the years he has worked for you – and he wants to claim this alleged outstanding overtime pay, or he will be making a claim for unpaid wages with the Employment Standards Branch for unpaid overtime. How can employers avoid this and other types of overtime claim?

 

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Overtime class action certification order slammed by Court of Appeal

Ontario’s Court of Appeal has just decided that the overtime pay claims of a group of front-line supervisors at Canadian National Railway lacked commonality; hence, overturning a lower court decision that had certified a “misclassification” overtime class action against CN. The supervisors claim CN excluded them from overtime pay by calling them “managers” when they were not.

 

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Ontario Ministry of Labour proactively inspecting temp agencies

Ontario Ministry Of Labour Temp Agency Inspections

To ensure temporary employment agencies/temporary help agencies are in compliance with the Employment Standards Act, the Ontario Ministry of Labour announced on Friday June 8, 2012, a three-month inspection blitz of temp agencies running form June 2012 until the end of August 2012.

 

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What you should know about the Ontario Employment Standards Act

Most employers in Ontario are aware that the Employment Standards Act imposes standards on employers with respect to the treatment of employees. However, many are not aware that they are required to display a poster issued by the Ministry of Labour titled, “What You Should Know about the Employment Standards Act.” This poster, which can be downloaded from the ministry’s website, advises employees of their rights with respect to employment standards of hours of work, wages, public holidays and more…

 

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Applying overtime rules in Ontario can sometimes be complicated

Ontario’s Employment Standards Act provides that in most circumstance, an employee who works more than 44 hours in a given week shall be paid at least one and one-half times his or her regular rate of pay for overtime hours worked. However, this simple rule can become complicated and lead to lawsuits, as several employers have found out recently due to their failure to pay statutory overtime.

 

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