Steve Blondin, who ran six Ontario based companies, will spend 90 days in jail after being found guilty of failing to pay 61 employees.
Blondin, who represented himself, breached the Employment Standards Act and was issued 113 orders between February 2008 and April 2010 to pay $125,000 in back wages, however none of the orders were obeyed. He is now required to pay the outstanding amounts to his employees, plus a 25% victim surcharge and a fine of $280,000.
“This sentence serves as a warning to those who believe they are above the law. Our government is committed to ensuring that all Ontarians are treated fairly at work, and we will continue to help ensure that Ontarians know their rights and responsibilities," Minister of Labour Linda Jeffrey said.
Blondin's companies were involved in property management, warehousing, transportation and other business services.
Rotman School of Management professor Rick Powers told the Toronto Star the verdict sends two messages: “First, that the system works and secondly, that the courts, certainly in this instance, are not going to accept this type of behaviour.”
Since 2004, the Ministry’s Employment Standards Program has recovered more than $90 million in wages and other monies owed to employees through inspections, claims and collections, according to the ministry release.