As retailers and other seasonal employers gear up for the holiday rush, many hire additional temporary staff to ensure they are ready for crowds of shoppers and extended holiday hours.
In preparation for this time of year, we made a list (and checked it twice!) of issues that Ontario seasonal employers should keep in mind in relation to these employees:
Recruitment & Hiring
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- Avoid Human Rights Concerns in Interviews. When hiring employees to work during the holiday season, it may be tempting to ask questions which directly or indirectly result in the disclosure of information relating to the prohibited
Last year’s Ontario Ministry of Labour (“MOL”) compliance blitz reveals that employers are having difficulty maintaining basic employment standards. From May 1 to July 31, 2015, the MOL conducted a series of workplace inspections which focused on compliance with core elements of the Ontario Employment Standards Act, 2000 (the “ESA”). The inspections targeted mainly sectors that employ “vulnerable or precarious workers” where the nature of employment is seasonal, part-time or temporary. The results do not trend well:
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- Of the 304 workplace inspections conducted by the Ministry, 232 (or 76%) employers were found not compliant with the ESA.
- Over $361,000 was
The Ontario Court of Appeal has further shattered the “24 month maximum” myth. In Keenan v. Canac Kitchens Ltd., the Court of Appeal upheld a Trial Judge’s finding that two long service workers were “dependent contractors” and therefore entitled to 26 months’ reasonable notice on termination.
We do not think that this appeal decision is particularly ground-breaking. While unusual, it is not the first time that a Court has awarded more than 24 months’ notice (we are aware of at least one case where a court awarded 30 months). Also, dependant contractors have long been a recognized category of … Continue Reading