When Employer Policies Cross the Line: Legal Insights from a Labor Lawyer

For every employee protection in Ontario, there is an unscrupulous employer willing to bend the rules. In this blog, we’ll explore some common unlawful employer policies and what you can do if you encounter them.

5 Unlawful Employer Policies Our Labour Lawyer Encounter Regularly

1. Unpaid Overtime

Under Ontario’s Employment Standards Act, employees are entitled to receive overtime pay for any hours worked over 44 hours in a work week. However, some employers may try to avoid paying overtime by either not recording the hours worked or asking employees to work off the clock. If you’re working extra hours that aren’t being compensated, you’re entitled to file a complaint with the Ministry of Labour.

2. Discrimination

Discrimination in the workplace can take many forms, including harassment, exclusion, or differential treatment.

Source: OHRC

Ontario’s Human Rights Code prohibits discrimination based on race, gender, age, religion, and other grounds. If you feel you’re being discriminated against, you should address the issue with your employer first. If that doesn’t work, you can file a complaint with the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario.

3. Misclassification of Workers

Some employers may misclassify workers as independent contractors instead of employees to avoid paying benefits or complying with employment standards. If you’re unsure about your employment status, you can ask your employer for clarification. If you believe you’ve been misclassified, you can file a complaint with the Ministry of Labour.

4. Non-Compete Agreements

Non-compete agreements are contracts that prevent employees from working for a competitor or starting their own business in the same industry for a certain period of time after leaving their current job. In Ontario, non-compete agreements are only enforceable if they’re reasonable in terms of scope, duration, and geographic area. If you’re facing threats from your employer based on a non-compete, speak to employment lawyers in St. Catharines immediately.

5. Withholding Pay

Employers must pay their employees on time and in full for all hours worked. If your employer is withholding your pay or making unauthorized deductions from your paycheque, you can file a complaint with the Ministry of Labour. Keep in mind that you can’t be fired or punished for filing a complaint.

Why You Need to Speak to an Employment Attorney Without Delay

If you encounter any of these unlawful employer policies or practices, it’s vital to take action. Here are some steps you can take:

  1. Know your rights: Familiarize yourself with your employment rights under Ontario’s Employment Standards Act and Human Rights Code.
  2. Talk to your employer: If you feel your rights are being violated, try to address the issue with your employer first. They may not be aware that their policies or practices are unlawful.
  3. Keep records: Document any incidents or conversations related to unlawful policies or practices.
  4. Speak to an employment attorney: Receive practical, actionable advice from an experienced labour lawyer on what your next steps should be.

Speak to Labour Lawyers Immediately

Keeping quiet about unlawful employment practices is harming you and harming others across Ontario. Don’t suffer injustice at the hands of your employer; speak to employment lawyers in St. Catharines without delay. We provide sensitive advice that protects your prospects and can bring formidable advocacy to bear on your behalf. Book a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss your needs with experienced lawyers today.