Almost 80 per cent of bosses breaking the law

Hundreds of Ontario workplaces have been exposed for violating the ESA.

It seems hundreds of Ontario employers struggle to operate within the law as inspection blitz exposed 238 workplaces for violating the Employment Standards Act.

The targeted audit focused on violations of minimum wage, overtime pay, meal breaks and other worker entitlements with specific attention paid to new, young and vulnerable workers engaged in "precarious employment" as well as temporary foreign workers engaged in all types of employment arrangements.

A total of 304 workplaces were inspected in the province-wide sweep with 78 per cent guilty of at least one violation.

While the figures might seem disappointing at first glance, it seems employers were happy to make immediate changes with 96 per cent of law-breaking bosses fixing the problems voluntarily.

Labour activists, however, argue that the results indicate a widespread nature of rights violations that are becoming accepted across multiple industries.

“I think what we’re seeing generally is that violations of employment standards are becoming part of the norm,” Deena Ladd, who heads the Toronto-based Workers’ Action Centre, told the Star.

“They’re just becoming part of people’s daily experience when they go to work,” she added.

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