PROV­INCE STEPS UP WAGE EN­FORCE­MENT

Tim Hor­tons scan­dal spurs crack­down

Metro Canada (Toronto) - - Front Page -

The On­tario govern­ment is step­ping up en­force­ment to en­sure em­ploy­ers are pay­ing work­ers the new $14-an-hour min­i­mum wage.

Labour Min­is­ter Kevin Flynn said Mon­day that up to 175 new em­ploy­ment stan­dards of­fi­cers are be­ing hired to in­spect work­places that may not be abid­ing with the hourly in­crease from $11.60 that took ef­fect Jan. 1.

“You can’t break the law in the prov­ince of On­tario — you have to pay the min­i­mum wage,” Flynn told re­porters at Queen’s Park. “Un­for­tu­nately, it ap­pears some em­ploy­ers are aban­don­ing the spirit of this leg­is­la­tion and some may even be do­ing more than that,” the min­is­ter said.

“The sto­ries we’ve all heard over the past week have not only been dis­ap­point­ing, but quite frankly they’ve made the premier, my­self, and oth­ers in this prov­ince an­gry,” he said.

That was a ref­er­ence to the chil­dren of Tim Hor­tons’ co­founders re­duc­ing ben­e­fits to em­ploy­ees in re­sponse to the wage hike at their two fran­chises in Cobourg, and a Scar­bor­ough out­let ban­ning em­ploy­ees from ac­cept­ing tips and strip­ping them of paid breaks.

Tim Hor­tons’ cor­po­rate par­ent has dubbed them a “rogue group,” the ac­tions of which “do not re­flect the val­ues of our brand.”

Echo­ing Premier Kath­leen Wynne, Flynn warned such “bul­ly­ing be­hav­iour will not be tol­er­ated.”

“For the first time, the min­is­ter of labour can, by law, pub­lish the names of em­ploy­ers who break the rules. This is some­thing we are very will­ing to do,” he said.

“We’re also step­ping up en­force­ment to make sure that all of the new rules are fol­lowed.”

The hope is that all com­plaints by work­ers can be re­solved within 90 days. Flynn noted that calls to the min­istry’s tip line, 416-3267160 in Toronto and 1-800-5315551, are up 30 per cent. “We’ve got your backs,” Flynn said.

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