Almost 80 per cent of bosses breaking the law

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It seems hundreds of Ontario employers struggle to operate within the law as inspection blitz exposed 238 workplaces for violating the Employment Standards Act.

The targeted audit focused on violations of minimum wage, overtime pay, meal breaks and other worker entitlements with specific attention paid to new, young and vulnerable workers engaged in "precarious employment" as well as temporary foreign workers engaged in all types of employment arrangements.

A total of 304 workplaces were inspected in the province-wide sweep with 78 per cent guilty of at least one violation.

While the figures might seem disappointing at first glance, it seems employers were happy to make immediate changes with 96 per cent of law-breaking bosses fixing the problems voluntarily.

Labour activists, however, argue that the results indicate a widespread nature of rights violations that are becoming accepted across multiple industries.

“I think what we’re seeing generally is that violations of employment standards are becoming part of the norm,” Deena Ladd, who heads the Toronto-based Workers’ Action Centre, told the Star.

“They’re just becoming part of people’s daily experience when they go to work,” she added.

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  • Jeannie McQuaid on 2016-01-21 10:08:46 AM

    I think in many cases, employers are voluntarily ignorant of employment law. They make no effort to find out about anything that might inconvenience their method of operation. And since labour law compliance is largely complaints driven (and who's going to compromise their employment and complicate their life by going to the labour board?), they rarely get taken to task.
    The other consequence is that employers who are diligent about compliance face unfair competition from those who cut corners in ESA.

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