In Ontario, many employers are required to abide by the basic obligations, which are set out in the Employment Standards Act (“ESA”). These basic requirements involve hours of work, overtime, vacation entitlement, public holidays, leaves of absence, deductions from wages, internship, minimum wage, keeping records, etc. The ESAalso specifies the minimum requirements for notice of termination, severance, and termination pay.
Employers that are federally regulated in Ontario, such as banks, would use the Canada Labour Code (Code) to determine the basic requirements and obligations. Under the Code, both employers and employees must abide by the set out minimum standards to ensure a level playing field for all federally regulated industries.
For employers that are unionized, it can be complex to properly interpret and apply the basic requirements and obligations while ensuring compliance with the collective agreement. However, unless specifically provided for by statute, the basic requirements and obligations cannot be contracted out through the collective agreement, and where the collective agreement provides greater rights or benefits than the ESA, then the agreement will prevail.
It is important for the applicable statutes to be interpreted and applied properly in practice, as failure to do so could result in legal action. In Ontario, the Ministry of Labour conducts proactive inspections and investigates claims and complaints, through the Employment Standards Program, to ensure fairness in the workplace. Violations found by the Ministry can result in compliance orders, orders to pay wages/fees, Part I Notice of Offence (“tickets”), and even prosecution.
How can Zeilikman Law help?
Our experienced lawyers understand the importance of correctly interpreting and applying the ESA’s or Code’sprovisions. Our lawyers can help employers understand and accurately implement provisions required by the Employment Standards Actor Canada Labour Code and represent them in the course of a regulatory proceeding.
At Zeilikman Law, we approach these issues with logical and creative solutions. Our lawyers are professional, friendly, and determined. We have the know-how to navigate through the psychology of any given dispute.