Ontario Helps Vulnerable Workers to Collect Unpaid Wages

Written by on November 24, 2015 in Employment Law Blog
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In order to better protect precarious and foreign workers, new changes have been made to Ontario’s employment laws.

Effective November 20, 2015, the Employment Standards Act, 2000 has been amended to allow workers who are hired through temporary help agencies to recover unpaid wages from both the agency and the agency’s business clients when the agency has not paid the wages.

Amendments have also been made to the Employment Protection for Foreign Nationals Act, 2009 to assist foreign workers. Coverage will now extend to foreign nationals who are employed or are seeking employment in Ontario through an immigration or foreign temporary employee program. This adjustment will mean:

  • Employment recruiters are prohibited from directly or indirectly charging fees for goods, benefits or services such as recruitment and placement costs
  • Employers and employment recruiters are prohibited from confiscating property belonging to foreign nationals such as passports or work permits

These changes are part of The Stronger Workplaces for a Stronger Economy Act, 2014, which is now already in effect. Amendments to this legislation include the removal of a cap on the amount Ontario workers can recover for wages owed to them by employers as well as an extension to two years for employees to legally recover wages owed to them.

For more information, visit the Ontario Ministry of Labour.

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