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Hamilton Employment Law

Ed Canning has been practicing exclusively in the areas of employment law and human rights for 23 years in the City of Hamilton, representing both employers and employees. For 20 years, he has been writing a bi-weekly column in The Hamilton Spectator on employment law and human rights issues that are of interest to both employers and employees. In this blog, you can have access to approximately 500 articles on various subject matters ranging from Employment Standards Act issues, wrongful dismissal issues to human rights issues.

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Blog Posts

Employer no longer generous on over time pay.

QUESTION: When I was hired to be a service technician five years ago, my hiring letter indicated that I would get time and a half after the first 40 hours worked in a week. Last week the company sent out a memo indicating that as of next month, time and a half will only be paid after the first 44 hours. Can they do this?
 

It's easy to work overtime with a Blackberry, but do you have to?

QUESTION:  The other day I heard a talk by a CEO who recommended that every office/workplace should have some sort of policy about working outside regular business hours. Specifically, he was referring to this day and age of BlackBerrys and Smart Phones where people find themselves responding to or sending verbal or texted instructions outside normal working hours. What are the employees’ or employers’ obligations in these cases? If I receive a message from somebody at work on Sunday afternoon, I usually think they are an idiot or a loser because they are working on the weekend. On the other hand, if I respond to my boss at 10 p.m. on a Friday night, I think I’m a start and hope he thinks the same. In reality, unless it’s really important, he probably thinks I’m an idiot or loser.
 

Can I get paid for all my overtime?

QUESTION:  Last week I was terminated after nine months of employment in an office position. The demands of the job were extraordinary and for the last four of those nine months I was constantly being warned that if I didn’t keep up with the workload I would be out of a job. As a result, I started showing up an hour early every day and working at least two hours past the time I was meant to go home.  I did this despite the fact that I was only being paid for 40 in an effort to keep my job. Clearly, it didn’t work.
 

As an employer do I have to pay for all that overtime?

QUESTION:  I have an employee who does a very decent job but keeps showing up early and staying late. I constantly remind her that the extra work is not required. She keeps up with her work load quite well but seems to like it too much. I am not sure the extra time is that productive. Do I run the risk of getting caught having to pay her for this extra time?
 

Burt the Elf violates employment law!!

See if you can identify the employment law violations which arise in the following story of Burt, the Elf.
 

What to do when you are overworked

It seems in the last few years that I am increasingly being consulted by overworked employees. No one’s being obviously mean to them. They haven’t been demoted. Their wages have not been cut.

IS OVERTIME MANDATORY UNDER THE EMPLOYMENT STANDARDS ACT?

Employees cannot generally be required to work more than 8 hours a day or 48 hours a week in Ontario.  There are some exceptions to this rule.  One of those exceptions is that if an employee was hired before September 4, 2001, when the new legislation took effect, and has an arrangement with the employer that provides that the employee is willing to work, at the employer=s request, more hours per day than the number of hours in her regular work day, the 8-hour limit does not apply.  The arrangement does not have to be in writing.  If both parties have agreed to revoke the arrangement, of course, it no longer exists. 
 

OVERTIME - ARE YOU ELIGIBLE?

QUESTION: I am a manager at a hotel and a salaried employee.  While my pay cheque always indicates that I work 40 hours per week, it never changes regardless of how many hours I work. At one time, I did not really mind putting in the extra hours but there have been staff cutbacks recently and more and more hours have been demanded of me.  Am I entitled to overtime or paid time off in exchange for these overtime hours?