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Employment Standards for Ontario Workers
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Employment Standards for Ontario Workers


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Recorded on May 30, 2013 - This webinar, intended for community workers, gives an overview of workers' rights under the Employment Standards Act, including overtime pay, illegal deductions, …

Recorded on May 30, 2013 - This webinar, intended for community workers, gives an overview of workers' rights under the Employment Standards Act, including overtime pay, illegal deductions, termination pay, severance pay, and public holiday pay. It covers steps a worker can take if the employer violates these standards.

Watch an archived recording of this webinar and download copies of presentation materials at

Published in: Education, Career, Technology
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  • 1. Employment Standards Act Presented on May 30, 2013 for Community Legal Education Ontario
  • 2. This presentation is designed to provide you with an understanding of the rights provided to the workers in Ontario under the Employment Standards Act (ESA). Overview
  • 3. The ESA outlines the basic rights of workers in Ontario. However, some workers are not covered by the ESA and there are special exemptions to many of the ESA protections. The information in this presentation does not cover all the exemptions. General Overview Employment Standards Act
  • 4. Minimum Wage Rate General $10.25 per hour Students $9.60 per hour Server of Liquor $8.90 per hour Minimum Wage Employment Standards Act
  • 5. You are entitled to 1½ times your regular rate of pay for every hour worked over 44 hours per week. You can agree in writing to average the hours you work over periods of two or more weeks to calculate overtime pay. • You have the right to refuse to agree to this practice. Overtime Employment Standards Act
  • 6. If you work your regularly scheduled shifts before and after a public holiday, then you are entitled to holiday pay even if you did not work on the Public Holiday. Public Holiday pay is calculated by dividing the previous 4 work weeks earnings by 20. • This usually works out to be about one day’s pay. Public Holiday Pay Employment Standards Act
  • 7. If you work on a Public Holiday, you can agree in writing to either: • Be paid both Premium Pay (1½ times the hourly rate for all hours worked) AND Public Holiday Pay OR • Work the Public Holiday at your regular rate of pay AND take another day off with Public Holiday pay. Working on Public Holidays Employment Standards Act
  • 8. Case Study Employment Standards Act Mary was hired as a server at a bar. Her new boss told her that she will receive minimum wage. Since Mary’s first two days (10 hours total) at work was for training, her boss told her that she will not be paid for those days. Next week, she came into work for a 5 hour shift, but her boss told her that the work was slow that day and sent her home. How much does the employer owe Mary, if any?
  • 9. You must be paid for training. If you are called into work but are sent home early, then you must be paid for at least 3 hours of work, unless you were originally scheduled to work for less than 3 hours. Other Protections Employment Standards Act
  • 10. Case Study Employment Standards Act Amanda works at an electronics store as a salesperson along with 4 other co-workers. She has never signed a contract or any other agreements with her employer, but she earns $12.00 per hour and always works 46 hours per week. There is no employee at the store who only does cashier duties. Each salesperson is responsible for ringing up their sales. Amanda received this pay stub this week. What is wrong with it, if any? Earnings Total Regular Pay @ 44 hours $528.00 Overtime Pay @ 2 hours $36.00 Total Gross $564.00 Deductions Total CPP Pension $29.92 EI $7.84 Tax Deductions $118.44 Cash Shortage @ $125/5 employees $25.00 Total Net $382.80
  • 11. An employer cannot withhold or deduct your wages for faulty work or because the employer had a cash shortage, lost property, or had property stolen when more than one person had access to the lost or stolen cash/property. Other Protections Employment Standards Act
  • 12. An employer must give you a working notice or pay instead of notice (termination pay) if you are to be fired or laid off. The length of notice depends on your length of service. Time Worked Notice Less than 3 months No Notice More than 3 months, less than 1 year worked 1 week More than 1 year, less than 3 years worked 2 weeks More than 3 years, less than 4 years worked 3 weeks And so on up to a maximum of 8 weeks Termination Notice and Termination Pay Employment Standards Act
  • 13. An employee who is fired or laid off can also get severance pay in addition to termination pay. To be entitled severance pay: • you must have worked for at least 5 years for your employer, and • the employer must have an annual payroll of more than $2.5 million, or • must have terminated 50 or more employees in the last 6 months Severance pay is approximately one week of pay for every year worked up to a maximum of 26. Severance Pay Employment Standards Act
  • 14. If you feel that the notice (or the pay in lieu of notice) that you received was inadequate, the employee can sue the employer for more. Determining if a fired or laid off employee should sue for more notice (or pay in lieu of notice) is complicated. Suing For More Termination Notice Employment Standards Act
  • 15. You are not entitled to termination pay or severance pay if you quit or if you are fired for neglect of duty, disobedience, or wilful misconduct. Termination Pay and Severance Pay Employment Standards Act
  • 16. After 1 year of working with the same employer, you are entitled to take off 2 weeks of paid vacation. • Your employer can tell you when you can take your vacation. • Your employer can’t make you take your vacation one day at a time. If you don’t take your paid vacation, then you are entitled to 4% vacation pay for every dollar you earn. • If you leave a job before taking vacation, make sure you get your 4%! Vacation Pay Employment Standards Act
  • 17. 1. Keep a diary of your hours worked and of any significant events that occurred at work, e.g. harassment. Keeping a record is a great way of proving your claim later. 2. If you know that your employer is not following the ESA, then talk to your co-workers and see if they have the same problems that you have. 3. Approach your employer as a group and tell your employer about your concerns. 4. If your employer refuses to follow the ESA, then you can file a complaint with the Ministry of Labour. 5. You can also unionize to obtain more protections. How to Protect Yourself Employment Standards Act
  • 18. ESA Time Limits Employment Standards Act Multiple claimants 6 months 2 years for reprisals 1 year for repeats and vacation pay
  • 19. ESA Claim (online, mail, or fax) | ESO Level 1 | ESO Level 2 | Application for Review | Labour Relations Officers Meeting | OLRB Hearing ESA Claim Process Employment Standards Act
  • 20. THANK YOU Employment Standards Act