Beginning in May 2015, the Ontario Ministry of Labour will begin
a province-wide employment standards workplace inspection blitz
targeting the janitorial, security, business services, fitness and
recreation centres, amusement, and recreation sectors. The Ministry
of Labour has labeled the blitz's focus as "precarious
employment", likely due to the high occurrence of part-time
and other atypical forms of employment in these sectors. This blitz
follows the release of the Ministry of Labour's results on its vulnerable and temporary
foreign workers employment standards blitz last fall. Those
inspections found 171 non-compliant employers, recovering over
$175,000 for 1,406 employees. As is typical, the most common
violations included non-compliance with the public holiday pay,
vacation pay, and overtime pay requirements of the ESA.
Employers should keep in mind that part-time employees are
protected under the ESA. As such, they are entitled to minimum
wages (currently at $11 per hour in Ontario, but
soon to increase), vacation pay, public holiday pay, and
overtime pay. These employees will also have rights upon
termination, including under both the ESA and to sue for wrongful
dismissal at common law.
Any employer found to be non-compliant with the ESA can face a
compliance order, an order to pay, a ticket with a fine, a notice
of contravention, or prosecution. These penalties can bring
significant financial consequences. In 2012, a Mississauga operator
of 25 fitness clubs was fined $100,000 for violating the wage
provisions of the ESA. In addition, with
the amendments brought by Bill 18 now in effect, wage claims
may grow, as there is no longer a monetary cap on the wage amount
that the Ministry of Labour can order an employer to pay per
In addition to the sectors targeted by this blitz, employers
across the province may face stricter regulations and increased
enforcement, as the Ontario government undertakes a formal review of both the ESA and
the Ontario Labour Relations Act to address the rise of
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