Dismissed employee failed to mitigate by choosing retraining over applying for comparable re-employment

In Benjamin v. Cascades Canada ULC, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice reviewed the law surrounding an employee’s duty to mitigate their common law reasonable notice damages arising from wrongful dismissal. In such cases, the onus is on the employer to establish a failure to mitigate, and that onus requires the employer to establish that the employee did not take reasonable steps to seek comparable work.

In this case the employee, Benjamin, had worked as an unskilled general labourer at Cascades for 28 years when he and 41 other employees were dismissed without cause when Cascades eliminated all production functions at its Scarborough plant. After Benjamin refused a 50-week severance package, Cascades paid him the termination and severance pay he was entitled to under the Employment Standards Act, 2000.  Unsatisfied with this result, Benjamin sought 24 months common law reasonable notice.

As a service to all employees whose jobs had been eliminated, Cascades provided one-on-one coaching, weekly updates on the job market, and workshops on resume building, interview tips, and job searching techniques. But rather than apply for two comparable jobs Cascades informed him about, Benjamin chose to enrol in a six-month welder training program in order to “brush up from unskilled labour to skilled labour”. Cascades argued that the decision to retrain, instead of apply for comparable work, was not reasonable.

The judge agreed with Cascades.  By choosing to start a new career as a welder so that he could control his own hours and enjoy increased job security, Benjamin had failed to reasonably mitigate his common law damages. Although choosing to seek retraining is not, on its own, sufficient to claim that an employee did not adequately mitigate, since Benjamin took no reasonable steps to search for comparable employment and opted out of the services provided by Cascades, he was not entitled to any recoverable damages.

Had Cascades not provided the affected employees with job search assistance, it would have been demonstrably more difficult for it to satisfy the legal onus placed on employers to prove that the employee had not taken reasonable steps to find comparable employment. The gold standard adopted by Cascades in this case serves as an important guide for employers hoping to avoid common law reasonable notice claims after no-cause terminations.

Written with Travis Bertrand, summer student.

Preparing for the changes to Ontario’s vacation entitlements proposed in Bill 148, Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act

 

Currently, employees covered by the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA) are entitled to at least two weeks of vacation time after completing 12 continuous months of employment (whether active or inactive). Vacation pay is addressed separately from vacation time, and employees are currently entitled to at least 4% of their wages as vacation pay.  These are statutory minimums and many employers provide employees with greater vacation entitlements.

Unlike in employment standards legislation in many other Canadian jurisdictions, under the ESA an employee’s vacation entitlements do not increase beyond two weeks 4% of wages no matter how long the employee has been employed by their employer.

It looks like that is about to change.

Under Bill 148, employees with five or more years of continuous service with their employer would become entitled to three weeks of vacation time and 6% of wages as vacation pay.  If Bill 148 is passed into law, these changes to vacation time and vacation pay will come into force on January 1, 2018.

Given the likelihood of this change to the ESA, there are a number of things Ontario employers should consider doing before January 1, 2018:

  • Review existing policies and any template contract language relating to employee vacation entitlements to see what, if anything, would need to be changed if the proposed legislation comes into effect.
  • Determine which employees may be impacted by this change if it comes into effect and how the change will be communicated to them.
  • Consider the impact of increased vacation time for employees on business operations and the bottom-line, and consider what coverage arrangements may need to be in place.

Bill 148 passed First Reading on June 1, 2017 and, in an expedited process, was referred to the Special Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs the same day. The Special Committee has since posted a Notice of Public Hearings on Bill 148 to be held:

  • the week of July 10, 2017 in Thunder Bay, North Bay, Ottawa, Kingston, and Windsor-Essex. Those planning to make an oral presentation in any of these locations must provide their name and contact information to Committee Clerk by 10:00am on July 4, 2017; and 
  • the week of July 17, 2017 in London, Kitchener-Waterloo, Niagara, Hamilton, and Toronto. Those planning to make an oral presentation in any of these locations must provide their name and contact information to Committee Clerk by 10:00am on July 10, 2017.

Alternatively, written submissions may be sent to the Special Committee by 5:30 pm on July 21, 2017.

This gives employers and other stakeholders a final chance to have their voices heard on the Bill 148 amendments.

If you have questions or concerns about these or any of the Bill 148 amendments to Ontario’s labour and employment laws do not hesitate to contact the Norton Rose Fulbright Canada Labour and Employment Team.

Ontario Bill 148, Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act proposes key reforms for bargaining unit review

 

Under the current Labour Relations Act, 1995 (“LRA”), once a bargaining unit is certified, any changes to the composition of the bargaining unit are voluntary. Bill 148 proposals, if passed, would amend the LRA to provide that:

  • the Ontario Labour Relations Board (“OLRB”) can review the structure of a bargaining unit if it is satisfied that the bargaining unit or units are no longer appropriate for collective bargaining in the circumstances; and
  • where the OLRB certifies a union (or council of unions) for a bargaining unit and the same union or council of unions is certified for a unit of employees in a separate location of the same employer (or for an additional unit at the same location), whether or not a collective agreement is in effect in the prior certified unit, the OLRB can consolidate or vary the bargaining unit description.

In short, the proposed changes would give the OLRB significant powers to change the structure of bargaining units in specific circumstances.

Along with other key proposals for reforming the LRA, the proposals related to the structure of bargaining units will make it easier for unions to consolidate their bargaining power and expand into new sectors. For example, one underlying rationale for providing these powers to the OLRB is to allow for the expansion of union representational rights in industries or sectors where there are multiple small locations; for example, in the retail and restaurant industries. Historically, unions have struggled to establish a foothold in such industries.

Employers should be mindful that these Bill 148 proposals could make it significantly easier for unions to overcome challenges that have been historically associated with single unit locations.

Bill 148 passed First Reading on June 1, 2017 and, in an expedited process, was referred to the Special Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs the same day. The Special Committee has since posted a Notice of Public Hearings on Bill 148 to be held:

  • the week of July 10, 2017 in Thunder Bay, North Bay, Ottawa, Kingston, and Windsor-Essex. Those planning to make an oral presentation in any of these locations must provide their name and contact information to Committee Clerk by 10:00 am on July 4, 2017; and
  • the week of July 17, 2017 in London, Kitchener-Waterloo, Niagara, Hamilton, and Toronto. Those planning to make an oral presentation in any of these locations must provide their name and contact information to Committee Clerk by 10:00 am on July 10, 2017.

Alternatively, written submissions may be sent to the Special Committee by 5:30 pm on July 21, 2017.

This gives employers and other stakeholders a final chance to have their voices heard on the Bill 148 amendments.

If you have questions or concerns about these or any of the Bill 148 amendments to Ontario’s labour and employment laws do not hesitate to contact the Norton Rose Fulbright Canada Labour and Employment Team.

Written with Andrew Nicholl, lawyer. 

Overtime Entitlement Did Not Extend to Time Spent at Labour Management Meetings

In Fabrene Inc. v International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, Local Lodge 2922 employees who were Union Grievance Committee (“UGC”) members unsuccessfully argued that the hours they spent attending Labour Management meetings on their days off constituted compensable overtime.

Factual Background

The UGC members worked 12-hour day shifts on Monday and Tuesday, 12-hour night shifts on Thursday and Friday, and attended Labour Management meetings on Wednesday, their scheduled day off.  The meetings – which were held on the third Wednesday of each month at 1:30 p.m. – varied in length from 1 to 3 hours and addressed a combination of management and union issues and initiatives.  UGC members would arrive at the union office at 8:00 a.m. on the day of the meeting to begin preparing for the meeting.  Where UGC members were scheduled to work on the night prior or the night of the meeting, they were not expected to attend for work.

Article V of the collective agreement stated that the Fabrene would pay 4 hours’ pay if the UGC member was on a scheduled day off and attended a Labour Management meeting.  However, Article XI of the collective agreement provided that “regular scheduled hours” in excess of 44 hours per week would be paid at the rate of time and one half.

The Positions of the Union and Employer

The union took the position that because the meetings were held monthly at predetermined times and dates, they constituted “regular scheduled hours” within Article XI.  Consequently, the union argued that UGC members should be paid at 1.5 times their regular rate for 8 hours given that the total hours worked during the weeks they attended UGC meetings was 52 hours, 8 hours above the 44-hour threshold in Article XI.  The union further argued that because the meetings were expressly contemplated in the collective agreement, the meetings provided a shared benefit to Fabrene and the union and, therefore, that the meetings constituted compensable work.

Not surprisingly, Fabrene disagreed, taking the position that the union had negotiated a flat 4-hour stipend for attendance at Labour Management meetings.  Fabrene further argued that UGC members attended UGC meetings not for the benefit of their employer, but rather as union representatives on behalf of their bargaining agent.  As a result, the Fabrene argued, time spent at Labour Management meetings did not qualify as “time worked” for attracting overtime premiums either pursuant to the Employment Standards Act, 2000 or the collective agreement.

Decision

Arbitrator Hayes agreed with Fabrene.  Specifically, the arbitrator found it impossible to overlook that the parties had “turned their collective minds directly to the issue at hand”, and that Article V of their collective agreement explicitly stated that Fabrene agreed to pay 4 hours’ pay for meetings attended by UGC members on their day off. Furthermore, Arbitrator Hayes found that the meetings did not constitute “time worked”, stating that in attending UGC meetings the UGC members were “no more performing work for the Employer than they would be doing should they access negotiated paid leave to participate in collective bargaining.”

Written with Scott Thorner, summer student.

Ontario Bill 148, Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017 proposes considerable changes to equal pay for equal work provisions

The recently released Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act (Bill 148) proposes considerable changes to Ontario’s Employment Standards Act (ESA), including a number of new equal pay for equal work provisions.

If passed, Bill 148 would considerably expand the current ESA equal pay provisions, which only contemplate equal pay between the sexes. In particular, the proposed sections mandate that casual, part-time, temporary, seasonal and full-time employees be paid equally when performing the same job for the same employer. Employees from a temporary help agency who perform substantially the same work as an employee of the temporary help agency’s client would also be paid equally to the client’s employee. Bill 148 precludes employers from reducing the rate of pay of an employee in order to comply with the equal pay provisions.

In addition, Bill 148 would entitle employees to request a review of their wages without reprisal. In turn, employers would be required to respond by either increasing the wage rate or providing a written explanation of the pay differential.

These proposed provisions are subject to some exceptions. The equal pay requirements do not apply in instances where there is a difference in wages among similarly situated employees due to (a) a seniority system; (b) a merit system; (c) a system that measures earnings by quantity or quality of production; or (d) another factor justifying the difference on objective grounds. Where Bill 148 does not provide any guidance on what “another factor” under subsection (d) may be (this would likely shake out in subsequent jurisprudence), an employer would certainly need to be sure that any factor on which it relies to justify a pay difference does not directly or indirectly discriminate against employees or otherwise offend human rights legislation.

Bill 148’s equal pay provisions also carve out a limited exception for collective agreements that are in effect on April 1, 2018, and that provide for different wages for assignment employees and employees of the client. In such circumstances, the collective agreement prevails over the ESA until the collective agreement expires. As a result, employers currently engaged in collective bargaining may wish to consider the proposed provisions in the context of their negotiations. This exception does not apply to collective agreements made or renewed on or after April 1, 2018.

The new equal pay provisions would require employers to take a holistic look at their employees and positions, to determine which roles are exempt from the provisions, and which non-exempt roles are substantially similar in skill, effort, responsibility and working conditions so as to require equal pay. In addition, employers would likely wish to consider standardized procedures as to how wage review requests would be determined and communicated.

Bill 148 passed First Reading on June 1, 2017 and, in an expedited process, was referred to the Special Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs the same day. The Special Committee has since posted a Notice of Public Hearings on Bill 148 to be held:

  • the week of July 10, 2017 in Thunder Bay, North Bay, Ottawa, Kingston, and Windsor-Essex. Those planning to make an oral presentation in any of these locations must provide their name and contact information to Committee Clerk by 10:00am on July 4, 2017; and
  • the week of July 17, 2017 in London, Kitchener-Waterloo, Niagara, Hamilton, and Toronto. Those planning to make an oral presentation in any of these locations must provide their name and contact information to Committee Clerk by 10:00am on July 10, 2017.

Alternatively, written submissions may be sent to the Special Committee by 5:30 pm on July 21, 2017.

This gives employers and other stakeholders a final chance to have their voices heard on the Bill 148 amendments.

If you have questions or concerns about these or any of the Bill 148 amendments to Ontario’s labour and employment laws do not hesitate to contact the Norton Rose Fulbright Canada Labour and Employment Team.

Written with Rebecca Liu.

 

Dismissal for racist slurs in the workplace

An employer who dismisses an employee for making derogatory comments in the workplace must prove both that the employee made the comments, and that the comments are objectively derogatory. In South African Breweries (Pty) Ltd v Heindrich Hansen and others (30 May 2017, CA06/2016) the Labour Appeal Court (LAC) dealt specifically with the use of the iniquitous term ‘k affir’ by a manager against an employee of a third party contractor, a truck driver.  In doing so, the LAC set out what an employer must prove, and reiterated the test on review.

SAB dismissed the manager concerned for gross misconduct, i.e. making a racial and derogatory comment to the truck driver. After an internal appeal failed, the manager challenged the dismissal at the CCMA.  The dismissal was found to have been procedurally fair but substantively unfair.  The arbitrator found that SAB had not proved that the manager had made the comment “Julle k affirs is donnerse ewe onnosel” (meaning ‘you k affirs are all equally bloody stupid’).  SAB was ordered to reinstate the manager with retrospective effect.  Given the egregious nature of the misconduct and its organisational values, SAB brought an application to the Labour Court to review and set aside the arbitration award.  The Labour Court found that the award was “not so unreasonable that no other arbitrator could have come to the same conclusion”.

SAB took the judgment on appeal to the LAC, and finally succeeded. In determining whether the Labour Court had erred by dismissing the review application, the LAC examined the evidence, dealt with what an employer is required to prove in such circumstances, and reiterated the test on review.  In this case the arbitrator was faced with a version put forward on the one hand by the truck driver that the comment was made to him.  On the other hand, the manager admitted that there was an altercation but denied having made the comment.  A witness who overheard the discussion, a co-driver, gave evidence that corroborated the truck driver’s version.  The manager denied that the witness was present, and relied on untested documents in this regard.  However, the manager conceded that during the course of the altercation, the truck driver said to him “wie is jou k affir?”  SAB not only led the evidence of the co-driver, but called his supervisor who saw the co-driver at the scene shortly after the altercation took place.

Despite this evidence, the arbitrator failed to determine the credibility of SAB’s witnesses. This is an exercise that she was duty-bound to undertake in order to decide whether SAB had discharged the onus to prove that the manager made the remark.  The arbitrator relied on the appeal chairperson’s findings in respect of the credibility of SAB’s witnesses, and simply accepted the manager’s evidence.  The LAC found that the arbitrator’s failure to apply her mind rendered the award one that a reasonable decision-maker could not make based on the evidence before her.

The LAC held that “[i]n the ordinary course, where derogatory and racial language is used in the workplace, the employer bears the onus to prove that the language used was objectively derogatory. However, where the word “k affir” is used… its derogatory connotation is so blatant as to be taken as established.  It bears repetition in this regard, that being called a “k affir” is one of the “worst insults” in the South African context.  However, the employer will still bear the onus to prove that the employee uttered the derogatory word/s”.  In defending dismissals for use of racist language, in general, employers must lead sufficient evidence that the words were indeed used, and moreover, that the words are objectively offensive.  This may be done by calling the victim of the insult and another employee who is not involved in the incident which gave rise to the dismissal.  Ideally this could be a senior employee who also testifies to the breakdown of the trust relationship.  It is clear from this case that if the use of the nefarious term ‘k affir’ is proved, its derogatory nature may be taken as established.

The Constitutional Court (CC) in SA Revenue Service v Commission for Conciliation, Mediation & Arbitration & others ((2017) 38 ILJ 97 (CC)) has affirmed that use of such language has no place in our constitutional democracy, stating that the word “was meant to visit the worst kind of verbal abuse ever, on another person.”  The CC observed that the tendency to shift attention from racism to technicalities, may undermine the possibility of addressing racism directly.  This tendency “coupled with the neutralising reference to the word k affir as the ‘k word’, is the entrenchment and emboldment of racism that we now have to contend with so many years into our constitutional democracy.”

However, the CC also cautioned against a retaliatory reaction. The Chief Justice held that the “notion that the use of the word k affir in the workplace will be visited with a dismissal regardless of the circumstances of a particular case, is irreconcilable with fairness.”  A decision-maker must still consider whether the circumstances are such that a continued employment relationship would be intolerable.  Relevant considerations would include whether the employee has shown remorse and apologised for his conduct.  It would be in exceptional cases that such misconduct would be not be considered dismissible

While an employer need not prove how the use of the word ‘k affir’ is derogatory and extremely abusive, it must still prove that the word was used, and that a continued employment is consequently intolerable.

This article was written by Verushka Reddy,  a Director at Norton Rose Fulbright South Africa

Bill C-4: One step forward, two steps back

On June 19, House Government Bill C-4, « An Act to amend the Canada Labour Code, the Parliamentary Employment and Staff Relations Act, the Public Service Labour Relations Act and the Income Tax Act », received Royal Assent after an interesting showdown between the Government and the Senate.

The objective of this Bill, which constituted an electoral promise by the Federal Liberals during the last campaign, is twofold : i) to amend the Canada Labour Code, the Parliamentary Employment and Staff Relations Act and the Public Service Labour Relations Act to restore the procedures for the certification and the revocation of certification of bargaining agents that existed before June 16, 2015, and; ii) to amend the Income Tax Act to remove from that Act the requirement that labour organizations and labour trusts provide annually to the Minister of National Revenue certain information returns containing specific information that would be made available to the public.

Having finally received Royal Assent, this new Bill will quash the effects of two Bills which were adopted under the Harper Government era, namely C-525 and C-377. C-525, which came into force on June 16, 2015, amended the Canada Labour Code, the Parliamentary Employment and Staff Relations Act and the Public Service Labour Relations Act to provide that the certification and decertification of a bargaining agent under these Acts must be achieved by a secret ballot vote-based majority. C-377 amended the Income Tax Act to require that labour organizations provide financial information to the Minister for public disclosure.

While the Liberals had no problems in the House of Commons to pass their Bill, the Senate opted to separate it so that the recent secret ballot vote-based majority provisions remained intact. The MPs rejected this proposition and last week, the Bill was sent back to the Senate. The ensuing vote in the Upper House was 43-41 in favour of the Bill as proposed by the Liberals.

The major takeaway with regards to Bill C-4 is this : effective on June 22, 2017, union certification and revocation of certification under the Canada Labour Code will no longer be subjected to a secret ballot vote-based majority. In addition, unions will no longer have to provide financial information to the Minister for public disclosure.

Ontario Bill 148, Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act proposes considerable changes to employers’ scheduling of work

The scheduling of work is one of many areas that would see significant revamping under Ontario’s proposed Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act (Bill 148). Bill 148 was recently released in response to the highly anticipated Changing Workplaces Review Final Report, which recommended sweeping changes to Ontario’s Employment Standards Act (ESA) and Labour Relations Act.

Bill 148 does not adopt all of the Final Report’s recommendations around scheduling (such as sector-specific regulations). However, it would nonetheless expand employees’ rights in the area, subject only to overriding provisions in an employer’s collective agreement.

Currently, the ESA does not regulate an employers’ scheduling of work, aside from providing that an employee who attends a scheduled shift must be paid for at least three hours’ work, even if the shift is shorter. Bill 148 not only includes this existing “three hour rule”, but would also require employers to pay employees for three hours of work when a shift is cancelled within eight hours of its scheduled start time. In addition, “on-call” employees who were scheduled but not called to work would be entitled to three hours’ pay for each 24 hour period that they are on call.

Bill 148 also gives employees the right to refuse shifts that are scheduled on fewer than four days’ notice. Further, most employees would be entitled to request a schedule or location change. Where the employer need not necessarily accept this request, it would nonetheless be required (a) discuss the request the employee and (b) notify the employee of its decision in a reasonable time. The employer would also be expected to detail why an employee’s request was denied.

If passed, Bill 148 would require employers to handle scheduling with a considerable degree of foresight to ensure that employees received ample notice of schedules, and to minimize the potentially costly application of the various three hour rules. Employers would also likely need to consider contingency plans for instances where an employee is in the position to refuse short-notice shifts. In addition, employers may wish to establish standardized processes for how employees’ requests for scheduling and local changes would be processed, determined and communicated.

Bill 148 passed First Reading on June 1, 2017 and, in an expedited process, was referred to the Special Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs the same day. The Special Committee has since posted a Notice of Public Hearings on Bill 148 to be held:

  • the week of July 10, 2017 in Thunder Bay, North Bay, Ottawa, Kingston, and Windsor-Essex. Those planning to make an oral presentation in any of these locations must provide their name and contact information to Committee Clerk by 10:00am on July 4, 2017.
  • the week of July 17, 2017 in London, Kitchener-Waterloo, Niagara, Hamilton, and Toronto. Those planning to make an oral presentation in any of these locations must provide their name and contact information to Committee Clerk by 10:00am on July 10, 2017.

Alternatively, written submissions may be sent to the Special Committee by 5:30 pm on July 21, 2017.

This gives employers and other stakeholders a final chance to have their voices heard on the Bill 148 amendments.

If you have questions or concerns about these or any of the Bill 148 amendments to the Ontario labour and employment laws do not hesitate to contact the Norton Rose Fulbright Canada Labour and Employment Team.

Written with Kaley Dodds.

A new criterion for unreasonableness: The obligation for adjudicators to demonstrate their consideration of progressive discipline

In a recent decision of the Federal Court of Canada, the Court had occasion to apply the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision in Wilson v Atomic Energy of Canada ltd (Wilson) for one of the first times. In his decision, Justice Diner found that it was unreasonable for an adjudicator not to consider both the proportionality of termination and the use of progressive discipline when determining whether the termination of an employee was unjust, within the meaning of subsection 240(1) of the Canada Labour Code.

Although it might seem obvious that proportionality and progressive discipline should be considered, the facts in this case made it less obvious.  The adjudicator found that the applicant, a school principal, was incompetent, insubordinate, had financially mismanaged the school and engaged in sexual harassment.

The respondent argued that given the applicant’s proven conduct, there was no need to consider progressive discipline. However, Justice Diner did not accept this argument. Referring to Wilson, Justice Diner concluded that even in such circumstances, an adjudicator has a duty to turn his or her mind to whether the dismissal was just, which entails a consideration of the mitigating factors, including progressive discipline. Even when confronted with conduct that seems egregious enough to obviate the need for a consideration of the mitigating factors, the adjudicator still has the obligation to explain his/her reasoning in finding the termination “just”.

In other words, Justice Diner found that in light of the SCC decision in Wilson, an adjudicator must now demonstrate that he or she has seriously considered whether the employer used progressive discipline with the employee. If the employer did not, the adjudicator must explain why such a decision was justified. If progressive discipline and the proportionality of the disciplinary measure are not considered by the adjudicator, there is high risk that the decision will be found unreasonable, and as was done in this case, re-adjudication will be ordered.

Written with the assistance of Charles-Émile Morin, summer student.

Ontario Bill 148, Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act proposes a 32% increase in the minimum wage

The Ontario government has proposed to increase the general minimum wage to $14.00 per hour on January 1, 2018, and to $15.00 per hour on January 1, 2019. Additionally, the special minimum wage rate for students under 18, liquor servers, hunting/fishing guides and homeworkers will remain in effect, with increases by the same percentage as the general minimum wage. These changes to the minimum wage will be followed by annual increases at the rate of inflation. This proposal represents the largest increase to the minimum wage in the province’s history.

If the legislation is passed in its current form, it will represent an almost one-third increase in pay to employees at the minimum wage level over a period of slightly more than 18 months.  There will be no possible way for an employer to escape the increase or extend the timeframe for providing it.  Employers may want to be proactive in developing a strategy for dealing with other employees who may be adversely affected by the minimum wage increase. For instance, those employees who, before the minimum wage increase, were making $15.00 per hour may feel undervalued if their rate is not also complemented by an increase.

Bill 148 passed First Reading on June 1, 2017 and, in an expedited process, was referred to the Special Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs the same day.

The Special Committee has since posted a Notice of Public Hearings on Bill 148 to be held:

  • The week of July 10, 2017 in Thunder Bay, North Bay, Ottawa, Kingston, and Windsor-Essex. Those planning to make an oral presentation in any of these locations must provide their name and contact information to Committee Clerk by 10:00am on July 4, 2017.
  • The week of July 17, 2017 in London, Kitchener-Waterloo, Niagara, Hamilton, and Toronto. Those planning to make an oral presentation in any of these locations must provide their name and contact information to Committee Clerk by 10:00am on July 10, 2017.

Alternatively, written submissions may be sent to the Special Committee by 5:30 pm on July 21, 2017.

This gives employers and other stakeholders a first and likely final chance to have their voices heard on the proposed  minimum  wage increase and other  Bill 148 amendments.   There have been no prior public consultations on raising the minimum wage.  In fact, consideration of the minimum wage was expressly outside the mandate of the Changing Workplaces Review.

If you have questions or concerns about the proposed minimum wage  increases or any of the Bill 148 amendments to Ontario’s labour and employment laws, do not hesitate to contact the Norton Rose Fulbright Canada Labour and Employment Team.

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