The Ontario government is introducing new legislation in the Working for Workers Four Act, 2023, which was tabled by the Ontario government on November 14, 2023. This bill is the fourth version of the Working for Workers Act, which was first adopted in 2021, and which purpose was to amend certain aspects of Ontario’s Employment Standards Act, 2000.
To be clear, these changes are part of a bigger group of changes following the Working for Workers Act, 2021, 2022 and 2023. We have written about these changes in our other blogs. Please read Ontario Government is introducing legislative changes to increase worker protections for more information about the other changes that have already been implemented.
This new version, which is called the Working for Workers Act, 2023, includes protections for workers in the restaurant industry. Particularly, the Working for Workers Act, 2023, would ban unpaid trial shifts for new staff and make it so that employers cannot deduct an employee’s wages when “dine and dash” occurs (or any other stolen property).
Further, the Ontario government is also proposing changes that would ensure that employers have in place a policy with respect to pooled tips and that these pooled tips would only be allowed if the employer participated in the same work as the employee staff.
Finally, there has been a major influx of employers using digital payments platforms to pay their workers in the restaurant and service industry. However, these platforms can include certain fees that employees need to pay to access their wages as well as have some security issues. The Ontario government would make it so that employers use direct deposit to pay their employees tips to allow employees to select the account that the tips are to be deposited into.
There are other changes as well that do not necessarily involve workers in the restaurant industry. For instance, the Working for Workers Act, 2023, would also require employers to disclose salary ranges in online job postings and whether artificial intelligence was used during the hiring process. It would also make Ontario be the first province in Canada to prohibit the use of Canadian work experience as a hiring requirement on online job postings or on other application forms. The purpose would be to try to ensure that more qualified candidates would still be able to progress in their search for employment regardless of whether their experience in the work industry that they are in was in fact Canadian.
What Employers and Employees Need to Know
It is clear that the employment law landscape for both employers and employees is forever changing in Ontario. Zeilikman Law will continue to monitor those changes as they arise.
If you have any questions or concerns about the above blog or any other workplace issue involving employment law and how those laws affect you, please do not hesitate to contact one of the lawyers at Zeilikman Law. We would be happy to help.