Excerpt from the government of Ontario’s ‘Newsweek’
Catulli Holdings Inc., operating as Mr. Dryclean & Alteration, has been fined $3,152 for failure to pay money owed to a terminated employee after having been ordered to do so by a Ministry of Labour employment standards officer. The fine is equal to the amount paid to the former employee, who was owed wages, accrued vacation pay and termination pay in lieu of notice.
Acting on an employment standards claim submitted to the Ministry of Labour, an employment standards officer issued an order to pay wages (OTP) in May 2011 to the employer. The company failed to do so.
The company pleaded guilty on March 31, 2014, to failing to comply with the employment standards officer’s order. The matter was put over for the defendant to pay the OTP before sentencing.
The fine was imposed by Justice of the Peace Michael A. Cuthbertson in London court today.
In addition to the fine, 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.
The law(s) in contravention:
Catulli Holdings Inc. was found guilty of a contravention of section 103 of the Ontario Employment Standards Act which states,
“(1) If an employment standards officer finds that an employer owes wages to an employee, the officer may,
(a) Arrange with the employer that the employer pay the wages directly to the employee; or
(b) Order the employer to pay the amount of wages to the Director in trust.
(2) An order issued under clause (1) (b) shall also require the employer to pay to the Director in trust an amount for administrative costs equal to the greater of $100 and 10 % of the wages owing.
(3) A single order may be issued with respect to wages owing to more than one employee.
(4) An employment standards officer shall not issue an order under this section for more than $10,000 in wages with respect to any one employee for wages that become due to the employee before the day.”
Someone has to protect the worker when lost wages can make or break a household. The Employment Standards Act of Ontario was created for such issues as the one listed above.
Can you picture an employer saying, “I’m not paying that employee and I don’t have to and I feel justified.” A little bit of power goes to their head and they feel that there are above the law hence we see issues just like this in need of the protection.
Ensure your HR department is fully aware of the responsibilities under the Employment Standards Act of Ontario.
Pay a little now or pay a lot later. Do you really want your company to be on the Ministry of Labour’s ‘Newsroom’? Treat your employees with the respect they are due. $3,152 (plus costs) does not seem to be too much but think of the cost of the negative publicity. Hey, I have never heard of Mr. Dryclean & Alteration.
Remember – In Ontario, “ALL Accidents are Preventable”
HRS Group Inc. has a great team that can help you with all your health and safety needs including ‘Due Diligence’ and ‘Standard Operating Procedures’. Contact Deborah toll free at 1-877-907-7744 or locally at 705-749-1259.
‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.
Daniel L. Beal
CHSEP – Advanced Level
VP & Senior Trainer
HRS Group Inc.