Labour & Employment Law Blog

Ontario Government is introducing legislative changes to increase worker protections

Ontario Government is introducing legislative changes to increase worker protections

The Ontario government has introduced far-reaching new workplace legislation this week called the Working for Workers Act, 2023.

Particularly, these changes would establish the highest maximum fines in Canada for business or individuals who are convicted of withholding a foreign worker’s passport or work permit. Individuals could end up on the hook for a $100,000 to $200,000 penalty for every worker who had their passport or work permit withheld. That means that if an employer has been found to be withholding documents from multiple foreign workers, the fines could cumulatively be in the millions of dollars. To understand just how drastic of a change this is, the current fines only range from $250 to $1000.

The Working for Workers Act, 2023, would also make the following changes if passed:

  • Increase protections for temporary foreign workers by establishing the highest maximum fines in Canada for employers who are convicted of taking possession of or holding a foreign worker’s passport or work permit.
  • Increase the maximum fine that may be imposed on a corporation convicted of an offence under the Occupational Health and Safety Act from $1.5 million to $2 million. This would result in Ontario having the highest maximum corporate fine for these type of offences in Canada.
  • Include employees who work remotely in the count for mass termination provisions in order so that these remote workers receive the same eight (8) week minimum notice of termination or pay-in-lieu as in-person employees do.
  • Allow military reservists to have job protected leave when the employee may need additional time off to recover from physical or mental injuries.
  • Ensure that employers are required to provide employees with information about their new job (such as pay, work location and hours of work) before the employee’s first shift.
  • Remove barriers facing internationally trained professionals when those individuals seek registration in regulated professions in Ontario.
  • Remove barriers for women in the construction industry by ensuring that they have access to women’s only washrooms on jobsites and properly fitting safety equipment like boots and safety harnesses.
  • Expand WSIB coverage for firefighters to include thyroid and pancreatic cancers.

To be clear, the Working for Workers Act, 2023, follows the Working for Workers Act, 2022 and 2021.

The above article is for general information purposes only, does not constitute legal advice or create a solicitor-client relationship. Because each case is unique and factually driven, if you have concerns with regard to the foregoing issues, please make an appointment with one of our lawyers or a qualified legal practitioner elsewhere. We represent clients in the Greater Toronto Area including Toronto, North York, Markham, Vaughan, Thornhill, Newmarket, Aurora, Brampton, Mississauga, Barrie, Ajax, Whitby, Pickering and Oshawa.

Legal Receptionist

Zeilikman Law is an employment law firm located in Vaughan, Ontario. We are looking to hire a legal receptionist to join our firm. Preference will be given to candidates who have experience working as a receptionist at another law firm.

Location: Vaughan, Ontario.

Start Date: Immediately.

Hours: Monday to Friday, 9 am to 5 pm. Full time. In-person only. This is not a remote work position.

Wages: 35,000 to 40,000 per year.

Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Manage our firm’s multi-line telephone system to receive incoming calls.  Screen incoming telephone call inquiries to determine the nature of the telephone call and provide standard information related to our legal services.  Take and deliver messages and route incoming telephone calls to the appropriate staff person.
  • Answer general inquiries coming from the firm’s social media and website email.
  • Welcome in-person visitors upon arrival.  Direct visitors to the appropriate staff person and / or office or boardroom.
  • Organize in-person visitor schedule to prevent overlap and multiple bookings.
  • Receive, sort, and distribute daily mail and deliveries.
  • Arrange for couriers.
  • Keep front reception, kitchenette area and boardroom tidy.
  • Perform various clerical duties such as filing, photocopying, and faxing on an as-needed basis.
  • Process client or other payments.
  • May be asked to run minor errands outside of office such as attending post office to arrange a courier or pick up mail.
  • May be asked to assist other law clerks or lawyers of the firm as required and as appropriate.
  • Any other basic administrative duties or tasks as deemed appropriate.

Required Skills:

  • Basic knowledge of general office procedures including filing, faxing, and printing and copying.
  • Basic word processing computer skills.
  • Proficient in receptionist and telephone practices, etiquette, and decorum.
  • Professional attitude and appearance.
  • Excellent organizational skills.
  • Positive customer service attitude is a must.
  • Must be able to maintain confidential and sensitive information.

Education and Experience:

  • Highschool diploma or equivalent.
  • 1 – 2 years’ experience in an office setting with an emphasis in accounting, reception or clerical work is required.   We would prefer experience in a law firm environment.

Applications for this position should be sent via email to jennifer@zeilikmanlaw.com. All applications should include a cover letter, resume and at least two references. Only successful candidates will be contacted.