Stronger Workplaces for a Stronger Economy Act, 2014 – What does it change?

1. This act offers unpaid interns, co-op students and volunteers’ safety under the Occupational Health and Safety Act. Employers will now have to inform unpaid interns and co-op students of potential workplace hazards. Employers are to provide health and safety training to workers. Consequently, employees can also reject unsafe work. An employer cannot retaliate against you if you choose to inquire if your work is safe and exercising your rights under the OHSA. What if an employer doesn’t follow? Employers who neglect to take all reasonable safety measures to protect their workers will be held accountable under the law and pay fines.

2. As of October 1st, 2015, the minimum wage will continue to increase annually to reflect the inflation from the prior year. This will affect bartenders, restaurants, employers, students under 18 years old and homeworkers.

3. Good news for those of you would like to recover unpaid wages through the Ministry of Labour! This act removes the $10 000 limit on recovering unpaid wages. In fact, there is a limitless monetary order under the Employment Standards Act on how much an employer may be required to pay the employee. Unpaid wages include termination/severance pay under ESA.

4. How long do you have to file a complaint under the Employment Standards Act? The Stronger Workplaces for a Stronger Economy Act has extended the time limit under the Employment Standards Act to two years.

5. Temporary help agencies along with their clients (employers) will be held accountable for upholding employment standard violations including failing to provide overtime pay, not respecting public holiday pay claims and failing to provide regular wages. This also means that employers will have to pay their employees if the temporary help agencies fail to do so.

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