[author: Adrian Miedema]
The Ontario Ministry of Labour is publishing the names of employers convicted of violating the Ontario Employment Standards Act, however minor the offence or the fine.
Almost all of the employers fined in November or December 2011 were convicted of “Part I Tickets” (not the more serious and high-stakes prosecutions under Part III of the Provincial Offences Act) and were fined $360.00.
Some of the common violations for which employers were convicted and fined, were:
-failing to pay overtime pay
-requiring or permitting employees to work in excess of the maximum hours of work
-failing to give a wage statement when required
-failing to post the Employment Standards Act poster
The MOL notes that the number of prosecutions under the Employment Standards Act has increased from 5 in 2003 to 345 in 2007 and 480 in 2008 (the last year for which the MOL publishes these statistics on its website).
While in the past the MOL took a softer approach to encouraging compliance with the Employment Standards Act, today the MOL is much more likely to consider laying charges against employers.