Excerpt from the government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’
Two numbered companies, 2330653 Ontario Inc. and 2062730 Ontario Inc., both operating as Paws & Claws, and company director Corey Samuel have been fined a total of $65,000 for failing to comply with orders to pay workers and failing to produce records as required by an employment standards officer.
All defendants pleaded guilty to failing to comply with orders to pay wages totaling approximately $19,000. The amounts to pay varied from $163.96 to $2,789.12.
The defendant 2330653 Ontario Inc. also pleaded guilty to charges of failing to comply with demands to produce records and was fined $15,000 for these offences.
The companies provided pet food and pet services such as grooming. The orders to pay related to 18 claimants. Before pleading guilty, the defendants made payments in the approximate amount of the orders.
The defendants were convicted under the Employment Standards Act, 2000 for failing to comply with orders to pay. The defendant 2330653 Ontario Inc. was also convicted of failing to comply with demands to produce records.
2330653 Ontario Inc. was fined a total of $30,000, 2062730 Ontario Inc. was fined a total of $20,000, and director Corey Samuel was fined a total of $15,000.
The fines were imposed by Justice of the Peace Karen Drescher in Toronto court on May 31, 2016.
In 2007, a Toronto-based company operating as Paws & Claws Pet Nutrition Center in Windsor, and company director Corey Samuel were fined $8,000 and $4,000 respectively in provincial court for failing to pay wages, public holiday and vacation pay.
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:
The two numbers companies were convicted of 26 contraventions of the Ontario ‘Employment Standards Act’, (ESA) section 132 which states,
“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.”
The director for the company, Paws and Claws, was found guilty of a violation of the same act, section 136, (3 counts) which states,
“A director of a corporation is guilty of an offence if the director,
(a) fails to comply with an order of an employment standards officer under section 106 or 107 and has not applied for a review of that order; or
(b) fails to comply with an order issued under section 106 or 107 that has been amended or affirmed by the Board on a review of the order under section 116 or with a new order issued by the Board on such a review.”
Section 106, subsection (1) of the ESA was in contravention and it states,
“If an employment standards officer makes an order against an employer that wages be paid, he or she may make an order to pay wages for which directors are liable under Part XX against some or all of the directors of the employer and may serve a copy of the order in accordance with section 95 on them together with a copy of the order to pay against the employer.”
And, finally, section 103, subsection (8) of the ESA states,
“Every employer against whom an order is issued under this section shall comply with it according to its terms.”
The old saying, “Pay me now or pay me later” is very accurate in the message to ‘Paws and Claws’ and certainly to director Corey Samuel.
Ignore the Ministry if you must but, remember, the fines continue to go up and are usually much more than the original charges. That has to weigh heavily in your decision.
Be careful or you will find your company in receivership and the ministry can still go after you.
Please pay your employees. Do the right thing!
I know I will not take my pets to Paws and Claws or shop there if this is how they treat their people.
Ensure your workplace is a safe place.
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.