WORKERS’ ACTION CENTRE: New protections for Ontario workers announced today

Action Alert: Workers' Action Centre

New protections for Ontario workers announced today

Workers in Ontario have won important new protections against wage theft under new legislation introduced today.

The new bill introduces many changes that Workers’ Action Centre members and supporters across the province have been calling for through the Stop Wage Theft campaign.  If passed the new legislation would:

  1. Give workers 2 years to claim unpaid wages
  2. Get rid of the unfair $10,000 limit on the unpaid wages that can be claimed
  3. Make temp agencies and client companies jointly liable for ESA violations
  4. End WSIB rating system loopholes that provided an incentive for companies to use temp agencies
  5. Ban recruitment fees for all migrant workers

The Ministry of Labour also announced that they will fulfill their 2008 commitment to $10 million for proactive employment standards enforcement.  The government pledged to bring in more penalties for employers who violate the law and indicated the need to continue to make further changes to address precarious employment.

The bill will be tabled at Queen’s Park later this afternoon. We will share more analysis in the coming days.

WAC speaks out

WAC members spoke out today about the new protections:

“Wage theft is increasing across Ontario because many employers know there is virtually no cost to breaking the law. We have been fighting to make sure workers, including temp agency workers, have better protection at work. We now need the government to use stronger and more effective enforcement tools to fully protect workers on the job.” – Tom Wu

“Getting rid of the unfair $10,000 limit for employment standards claims and giving workers 2 years to file claims is a significant victory for Ontario workers, especially migrant workers. If these laws had existed a few years ago, I could have claimed the thousands of dollars of my stolen wages immediately rather than being forced to go to court. – Senthil Thevar

In a front-page Toronto Star article featuring the changes WAC coordinator Deena Ladd stated  “the way things are now, a client company can have someone working for them for five years as a temp worker but never be held responsible for any of their working conditions…under this bill, these companies will now be held jointly liable – which means they would have to think about their business practices.”

We also need to make sure temp workers get equal pay for equal work and to close the gaps so that all workers covered under the law.

Recruitment fee ban just a first step 

The Migrant Workers Alliance for Change and other migrant worker groups have documented how migrant workers pay an equivalent of two years’ salaries in fees in their home countries to unscrupulous recruiters and agencies to come work in Canada.  

Extending the ban against recruitment fees to all migrant workers is an important first step in taking action to stop recruiter abuses. However, the Ontario government must take steps to license recruiters and make employers jointly liable for violations in order to crack down on exorbitant recruitment fees.  This is just one change among other comprehensive protections for migrant workers that are needed.

Read more about WAC’s Stop Wage Theft campaign here
Read more about the Migrant Workers Alliance for Change #makeitright campaign here and MWAC’s analysis on proposed changes here

www.workersactioncentre.org

Copyright © 2013 Workers’ Action Centre, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:

Workers’ Action Centre
720 Spadina Avenue
Suite 223
Toronto, Ontario M5S 2T9
Canada

INJURED WORKERS’ DEMONSTRATION

INJURED WORKERS’ DEMONSTRATION

MINISTRY OF LABOUR
400 University Avenue, Toronto
(just south of Dundas – St. Patrick subway)

Monday December 9th, 2013
11:00 a.m.

 This is the 22nd Annual Christmas Demonstration

Injured workers and supporters demonstrating, holding banner 'Human Rights for Injured Workers'

 Not on the backs of Injured Workers!

Workers’ compensation benefits are under attack by WSIB cost cutting.

Our compensation system stands today at a crossroads. Precisely 100 years after the founding principles of our workers’ compensation system were established, the Workplace Safety & Insurance Board is veering away from these principles, and forgetting its responsibility to provide justice for injured workers.

 It’s up to us now to save the system. We have not lost sight of the founding principles, and we know what a just compensation system should look like. Join us outside the Ministry of Labour on December 9th as we demand justice for injured workers!

Bring your empty medicine bottles filled with pebbles, along with any other instruments of noise!

Minister Naqvi is invited…

Join us for refreshments afterwards

Ontario Network of Injured Workers’ Groups
Toronto Injured Workers’ Advocacy Group members at:
(416) 461-2411 –  (416) 924 6477 – (416) 971 8832

(produced by volunteers from OPSEU Local 525)

CLEO (Community Legal Education Ontario / Éducation juridique communautaire Ontario)

Employment and Work

The following email bulletin provides you with the latest news, legal information resources, common questions and training webinars from Your Legal Rights on the topic Employment and Work.

Latest News and Events

Foreign nannies and caregivers fee to cost families $275
Canadian families looking to hire nannies and caregivers from abroad will be financially stung by recent changes made to temporary foreign worker program, opposition and industry critics say.

Article Source:

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC)

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Send Your Legal Rights Legal Information Bulletin on Employment and Work for 08/20/2013 to friends on Facebook share on Twitter

Register today for August 22 webinar on Return to Work and the WSIB
August 22, 2013 at 10 a.m. ET This webinar, intended for experienced workers and advocates, gives information on how to help workers navigate their return to work after a workplace injury. It includes a basic overview of the WSIB return-to-work scheme, and practical tips to protect workers from common pitfalls.

Article Source:

CLEO – Community Legal Education Ontario/Éducation juridique communautaire Ontario

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Send Your Legal Rights Legal Information Bulletin on Employment and Work for 08/20/2013 to friends on Facebook share on Twitter

Do I have to reveal my medical history in a job interview?
From a Globe and Mail “Ask an Expert” column: I have a dilemma concerning my health, specifically, what I am obliged to say, either legally or morally, upon my return to the work force.

Article Source:

The Globe and Mail

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Send Your Legal Rights Legal Information Bulletin on Employment and Work for 08/20/2013 to friends on Facebook share on Twitter

Hiring foreign workers now more onerous for employers
Changes to the federal Temporary Foreign Worker Program will make it more expensive and time consuming for Canadian companies to fill a position with workers from outside the country.

Article Source:

Canadian Lawyer Magazine

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Send Your Legal Rights Legal Information Bulletin on Employment and Work for 08/20/2013 to friends on Facebook share on Twitter

View all news on this topic

Latest Resources

Vacation
The Employment Standards branch of the Ministry of Labour has information on vacation time and vacation pay, and what employees are entitled to for both.

Produced by:
Ontario Ministry of Labour

Send Your Legal Rights Legal Information Bulletin on Employment and Work for 08/20/2013 to friends on Facebook share on Twitter

Wrongful Dismissal
Recorded on June 13, 2013 – This webinar, intended for community workers, presents options for workers who have been fired or laid off. It looks at when an employer can fire an employee, what a worker can do if they are wrongfully dismissed, and what the courts or the Ministry of Labour look for when dealing with dismissal cases.

Produced by:
Parkdale Community Legal Services

Send Your Legal Rights Legal Information Bulletin on Employment and Work for 08/20/2013 to friends on Facebook share on Twitter

View all resources on this topic

Latest Training

Return to Work and the WSIB: What Advocates Need to Know
This webinar, intended for experienced workers and advocates, gives information on how to help workers navigate their return to work after a workplace injury. It includes a basic overview of the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) return to work scheme and practical tips to protect workers from common pitfalls.

Register today at https://cc.readytalk.com/r/t5py8oy38eme&eom

Presenting Organization:
Industrial Accident Victims’ Group of Ontario

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Send Your Legal Rights Legal Information Bulletin on Employment and Work for 08/20/2013 to friends on Facebook share on TwitterView all training on this topic

Latest Common Question

What rights do workers have in relation to public holidays?View all questions on this topic

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Copyright © 2013 CLEO (Community Legal Education Ontario / Éducation juridique communautaire Ontario), All rights reserved.