YOUR RIGHTS AT WORKA School of Labour Workshop Maureen Hynes 416 415 5000 x 2549 firstname.lastname@example.org
Outcomes(1) Explain your basic rights in the workplace(2) Take action if workplace law is broken – what to do, where to go, who to call, what risks are involved(3) Analyze the differences between unionized and non-unionized workplaces
100 years ago, we didn’thave…. Laws that cover hours and minimum wages Laws that protect children from working full-time More equity in men’s and women’s wages Health and Safety legislation Unemployment Insurance Pensions Health insurance (OHIP) since 1966 Workers’ Compensation since 1917 Social Assistance Unions!
How did we get all these laws? Activism – marches, protests, strikes, petitions, rallies Research and study Union bargaining Lobbying and advocacy Political parties took up the issues (which ones?) Press and media coverage Coalitions of church groups, community groups, unions, etc Sometimes people died to get these rights
Similarities: then and now Situation of children globally – where is child labour still an issue? And why? Situation of immigrant workers in Canada – “desperate for work, dared not complain, would be quickly replaced” A systemic problem that doesn’t seem to get better – perhaps even for the second generation (Stats Can, 2006)
Laws that protect us Ontario Human Rights Code: no discrimination on the basis of sex, race, religion, sexual orientation, country of origin, disability, etc Employment Standards Act: covers minimum wages, hours of work, overtime, vacations and holidays, termination, etc Occupational Health & Safety Act: gives you the right to know about workplace hazards; to participate in decisions about hazards (through committees, representatives, safety inspections); and to refuse unsafe work Workplace Safety & Insurance Act: provides you with insurance payments in case of an occupational accident or injury, and some access to retraining, under conditions Ontario Labour Relations Act: protects workers who want to organize or participate in a union; covers how collective agreements must work; covers when strikes or lockouts can take place; restricts employers from unfair labour practices; makes unions represent their workers fairly) Pay Equity Act: ensures people in jobs requiring the same effort, skill, responsibilities, and conditions are paid the same
Employment Standards Act Minimum wage in Ontario Hours of work Overtime pay Meal breaks Public Holidays Vacations Pregnancy leave Parental leave Pay information and record keeping Termination of employment
1. Minimum wages March 31 March 31 Feb 1 2008 2009 2010General $8.75 $9.50 10.25minimum wageLiquor servers $7.60 $8.25 8.90Students $8.20 $8.90 9.60under 18Homeworkers $9.63 $10.45 11.28
What do you think? Ifyou are earning minimum wage, do you have enough to live on? The next slide shows you the “Low Income Cut-Off”, that is, what you need to earn in order to be above the poverty line…
Before-Tax Low-Income Cut-Offs(LICOs), 2008Source: HRDC, Citizenship and Immigration Family Size Living in a Community with a population of 500,000+ 1 person $21,202 2 people $26,396 3 $32,450 4 $39,399 5 $44,686 6 $50,397 7 $56,110 More than 7, add $5,713 per person
2. Hours of work Your employer cannot require you to work more than 8 hours in a day UNLESS the employer has set a longer work week; and in the case of accidents & emergencies. Not more than 48 hours a week UNLESS you give the employer permission in writing to work up to 60 hours a week. You have to be free from work: 11 consecutive hours a day 8 hours between shifts 24 consecutive hours a week, or 48 hours in 2 weeks. You can refuse to work on Sundays if you work in retail.
3. Overtime pay Afterworking 44 hours in a week, you must be paid at least time-and-a-half UNLESS: unless you have agreed, in writing, to take off one and a half hours for each hour worked and unless you have agreed, in writing, to average your overtime pay over 4 weeks at 44 hours each week (i.e., no overtime pay until you’ve worked 176 hours). Ifyou get $8.75 an hour (minimum wage), time-and-a-half is $13.13.
4. Coffee breaks & meal breaks One half hour meal break after 5 hours of work. Or, if you agree, two 15-minute breaks within the 5 hours Paid or unpaid?
5. Hours of workThe “three-hour call-in” rule If your employer has you come in for your regular shift – or if the employer calls you for an extra shift - BUT then wants to send you home before your shift is over – -- then s/he must pay you a minimum of 3 hours, even if you worked fewer hours than that
6. Paid Public Holidays inOntario1. New Year’s Day2. Family Day – new!3. Good Friday4. Victoria Day5. Canada Day6. Labour Day7. Thanksgiving Day8. Christmas Day9. Boxing Day
7. Termination of employment Ifyour boss lets you go, s/he must give you “notice” (warning); Or if s/he doesn’t give you notice, s/he must give you the same number of weeks of pay instead, depending on how long you’ve worked there
7. Termination pay Less than 3 months 0 weeks notice/pay 3-12 months 1 week’s notice or pay More than 1 year, less than 3 yrs 2 weeks More than 3 years, less than 4 3 weeks More than 4 years, less than 5 4 weeks More than 5 years, less than 6 5 weeks More than 6 years, less than 7 6 weeks More than 7 years, less than 8 7 weeks 8 years or more 8 weeks
9. Pregnancy leave Ifa woman has worked 13 weeks before the baby’s due date, then she can get 17 weeks of (EI-funded) pregnancy leave (actually this works out to 15 weeks with the two-week waiting period for EI). The employer doesn’t pay the woman’s wages during pregnancy leave – Employment Insurance (EI) does.
9. Parental leave A new mother or father / other parent can also get 35 or 37 weeks of PAID, JOB-PROTECTED parental leave when the baby is born or adopted – -- as long as s/he has had at least 600 hours of work in the past year, or since her last claim (e.g., 15 weeks @ 40 hours – or 30 weeks @ 20 hours). The birth mother will get 35 weeks if she’s already taken her full 17 weeks pregnancy leave; 37 weeks for the birth mother if she didn’t take the 17 weeks, or for the other parent.
10. Vacations After 12 months of working in the same job or with the same employer, you get 2 weeks of vacation a year. Your employer must schedule your vacation in 1 or 2 week blocks, UNLESS you have agreed, in writing, to take shorter blocks, like one day at a time. If you leave your job before a year is up, or if are working part-time, you will probably get your vacation as 4% of your pay
11. Emergency leave If you work in a workplace with more than 50 employees, you can have 10 days of unpaid, job-protected leave per year to deal with family or emergency issues. But -- only 50% of Ontarians work in companies or organizations with more than 50 employees
12. Family Medical Leave As of September, 2005, you are eligible for up to 8 job-protected weeks off to care for a parent (step- parent/foster parent), spouse (including same sex spouse), or child (step-child/foster child) who is at risk of dying within 26 weeks. [list expanded Oct /06] You need to get a certificate from a “qualified health professional” You can get 6 weeks of EI “Compassionate Care” payments.
13. Pay information and recordkeepingYour boss has to give you this information with your pay: The pay period The amount of any deductions Reasons for deductions Your gross pay Your net pay
12. Resolving a dispute If you have a complaint about unpaid wages, you must file your complaint with the Ministry of Labour within 6 months. If your complaint is about another ESA issue, you have 2 years to file a complaint Get help when filing a complaint – call the Workers’ Action Centre 416 531 0778, or a legal clinic