Blog Post #307 – Directors Fined $5,000 Total for Interfering with Employment Standards Officer

Blog Post #307 – Directors Fined $5,000 Total for Interfering with Employment Standards Officer

Excerpt from the Government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’

Restaurant directors Edward Chiu Ling Soo-Hoo and Edward Chi Chung Chan were fined $2,500 each for violating the Employment Standards Act by interfering with an Employment Standards officer who was inspecting records.

On August 14, 2008, an Employment Standards officer attended the Bamboo Terrace Tavern, in Collingwood, to conduct an audit of the restaurant’s payroll and employment records. The restaurant was required to provide a list of employees, time sheets and payroll records. On August 20, 2008, an employee advised the officer that the records provided by the company’s directors, Mr. Soo-Hoo and Mr. Chan, were false.

A Ministry of Labour investigation found another set of records in the restaurant and concluded that the first set of records provided to the officer was false. Specifically, the list of employees did not account for all workers, payroll records reported false wage rates and time sheets did not show actual hours worked or account for all employees.

Mr. Soo-Hoo and Mr. Chan both pleaded guilty to attempting to hinder, obstruct or interfere with an employment standards officer conducting an inspection of records.

The fines were imposed by Justice of the Peace Asad Malik. In addition to the fines, the court 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.

My opinion

The law(s) in contravention:

The two directors were found guilty of a contravention of section 91(11) of the Ontario Employments Standards Act which states,

“No person shall hinder, obstruct or interfere with or attempt to hinder, obstruct or interfere with an employment standards officer conducting an investigation or inspection.”

People feel that can get away with almost anything. Here we have two owners/directors of a restaurant who thought that a second set of books would change everything. Well, it didn’t! Many workers today know their rights under the law and will squeal rather than give in. To think this goes on in Canada. I must be naive.

Two sets of books, huh? I guess that is the way they would do it before and I cannot imagine the effort needed by our government to weed out ruthless company owners like these two.

Remember — In Ontario, “ALL Accidents are Preventable”

‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.

Daniel L. Beal
CHSEP – Foundation Level
VP & Senior Trainer
HRSGroup Inc.

Dan
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