CHANGES TO EMPLOYMENT STANDARDS UNDER BILL 68 = MORE BARRIERS FOR WORKERS
Proposed changes to Employment Standards under Bill 68, Open for Business Act will create huge barriers for workers who face unpaid wages. The Workers’ Action Centre and Parkdale Community Legal Services are calling on the provincial government to stop proposed changes that would bring in mandatory self-enforcement and could force workers to settle for less than what they are owed.
Proposed changes under Bill 68 include:
Mandatory self-enforcement of ESA rights
Bill 68 would require most workers to try and enforce their ESA rights with their boss before filing a claim.
Facilitated settlements
Bill 68 would give the power to the Ministry to settle claims for less than what workers are owed under the law.
Required information before a claim will be accepted
Bill 68 would require workers to provide information about their employer and arguments about their case before a claim will be accepted, without a commitment to provide support to workers filing claims.


Our Demands
Workers in precarious jobs have little power to negotiate with their bosses. We need zero tolerance for employers that break the law, not changes that force workers to settle for less. Workers already face many barriers standing up for their rights. When we do go to the Ministry of Labour, we should not face more barriers.

DEMAND: Don’t make workers enforce their own rights. Ministry of Labour, do your job! Scrap mandatory self-enforcement

DEMAND: Don’t force workers to settle for less. The government should not be allowing employers to pay below minimum standards. No facilitated settlements! We need our basic rights at work protected!

DEMAND: Don’t put more barriers in place for workers standing up for their basic rights. Ensure workers have support to make complaints about bad bosses.

Take Action!

Tell Minister of Labour, Peter Fonseca, that you disagree with the changes to workers rights under Bill 68.

Email him at: pfonseca.mpp.co@liberal.ola.org  Check out our sample email.

Dear Minister Fonseca,

I am very concerned to hear about changes to Employment Standards introduced under Bill 68 “Open for Business. These changes will put more barriers in place for workers filing claims and will force workers to settle for less.
I am writing to ask that you amend Bill 68 to scrap provisions on mandatory self-enforcement and facilitated settlements. We need zero tolerance for employers that break the law, not changes that force workers to settle for less.
Don’t put more barriers in place for workers standing up for their basic rights. Ensure workers have support to make complaints about bad bosses. Please watch this video at http://www.workersactioncentre.org to find out more about why I am opposed to these changes to workers rights under Bill 68.
Sincerely,

In your email please include the link for the No to Bill 68 video

Say No To Bill 68
Get involved in WAC’s campaigns for fairness for workers. Contact us to find out how to join our campaign!
MORE ENFORCEMENT IS STILL NEEDED
WAC and its members have met many times with MPP’s and Ministry of Labour officials to push for much needed funds to hire more employment standards officers. As part of its poverty reduction strategy, the Ontario government promised in December 2008 to invest $10 million annually to hire about 100 new employment standards officers. With the 2010 budget announcement March 28, 2010, we have now seen a total investment of $7.5 million. We are pleased to see that the government is following through.
However, the full commitment of $10 million is critically needed. Working conditions continue to deteriorate for many Ontario workers facing the impact of the recession. With the pressures of an economic downturn, many workers in precarious employment are thinking twice about quitting a bad job, leaving them at the mercy of employers who may be inclined to break the rules to weather the storm. More employment standards officers are needed to ensure that these workers are protected.

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