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Ontario workers are steps away from fair workplaces

Graphic from a tweet [1] by Minster of Labour Kevin Flynn.

By Joseph Carin [2]

BELLEVILLE – Legislation that raises minimum wage to $15.00 per hour by 2019 across Ontario passed Wednesday.

MPP and Minster of Labour Kevin Flynn announced in a tweet that the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act [3], otherwise known as Bill 148, is steadily moving forward after passing its third reading.

The legislation provides a blanket of protection for workers through various changes to Ontario labour laws and standards.

Scheduling for workers, paid emergency leave, and an increase in fines to employers who fail to meet employment standards are examples of items which are being revised to meet Ontario’s growing precarious workforce.

Scheduling
Employees would have the right to request schedule or location changes after having been employed for three months, without fear of reprisal.

Alongside this, when employees who are “on-call” for their employer and not called in to work, they must be paid three hours at their regular rate of pay. This is required for each 24 hour period that employees are on-call.

Personal Emergency Leave
Personal emergency leave currently applies only in workplaces with 50 or more employees. Under the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, all Ontario employees will be entitled ten days of personal emergency leave per year with two days of paid emergency leave.

Penalties for Non-Compliance of the Employment Standards Act [8]
The revision in legislation would increase maximum fines against employers who do not comply with the Employment Standards Act. The fine for individuals will increase from $2,000 to $5,000 and from $25,000 to $100,000 for organizations.

The proposed changes as well would allow the director of Employment Standards to publish the names of individuals who have been issued a penalty, a description of the case, and the amount of the penalty.

A full list of changes that will come with the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act can be found here [9].

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