Excerpt from the government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’
Quality Brand Products Corporation has been convicted on 24 counts of failing to obey orders to pay wages. The orders amounted to about $32,000 and the wages owed varied between about $100 to $4,500.
The company, which operated at 82 Akron Road, Unit 1 in Toronto, failed to comply with orders to pay wages issued between April 2014 and February 2016. The orders were issued by an employment standards officer under Ontario’s Employment Standards Act.
Under the ESA, if an employment standards officer finds that an employer owes wages to an employee, the officer may order the employer to pay the amount owed. A person who contravenes the ESA or its regulations, or fails to comply with an order under the act, is guilty of an offence.
After a trial in Toronto court, Justice of the Peace Mohammed Brihmi found the company guilty on March 7, 2017 and imposed a fine totaling $72,000. All wages were outstanding.
The court also imposed a 25-per-cent victim fine surcharge as required by the Provincial Offences Act. The surcharge is credited to a special provincial government fund to assist victims of crime.
An individual convicted under the ESA may be fined up to $50,000 or imprisonment of up to 12 months, or both. A corporation can be fined up to $100,000 for a first conviction, $250,000 for a second conviction and $500,000 for a third or more convictions.
The law(s) in contravention,
Quality Brand Products Corporation was found guilty of the contravention, 24 counts failing to obey orders to pay back wages owed. (totalled about $32,000) and was further fined $72,000.
The law is explicit,
Section 103, subsection (8) of the Employment Standard’s Act (ESA) states,
103 (8) “Every employer against whom an order is issued under this section shall comply with it according to its terms.”
Section 132 of the ESA states,
132 “A person who contravenes this Act or the regulations or fails to comply with an order, direction or other requirement under this Act or the regulations is guilty of an offence and on conviction is liable,
(a) if the person is an individual, to a fine of not more than $50,000 or to imprisonment for a term of not more than 12 months or to both;
(b) subject to clause (c), if the person is a corporation, to a fine of not more than $100,000; and
(c) if the person is a corporation that has previously been convicted of an offence under this Act or a predecessor to it,
(i) if the person has one previous conviction, to a fine of not more than $250,000, and
(ii) if the person has more than one previous conviction, to a fine of not more than $500,000.”
In this day and age, it still throws me to see employers failing to pay their employees. I understand that there may be mitigating circumstances BUT the employee is still to be paid.
It makes me remember the old saying, “Pay me now or pay me later.”
I wonder if the employer has changed his tune now that he/she owes over $120,000. When will it finally be over for the employees?
Ensure your workplace is a safe place.
Remember – In Ontario, “ALL Accidents are Preventable”
‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.
Daniel L. Beal
CHSEP – Advanced Level
VP & Senior Trainer
HRS Group Inc.