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Ontario introducing new proposed measures to protect restaurant workers


DAN CEARNS The Standard


DURHAM/KAWARTHA LAKES: The Ontario government announced some new proposed protections for restaurant and service industry workers, on Tuesday, November 14th.

As part of the ‘Working for Workers Four Act’, if passed, the new legislation will see a ban on unpaid trial shifts and will “make clear employers can never deduct an employee’s wages, in the event of a dine and dash, gas and dash, or any other stolen property,” according to a government press release.

“The restaurant industry is synonymous with fast pace. Long hours, physical demands, and, I think we all know, the occasional bad customer,” David Piccini, Ontario’s Minister of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development said, at a press conference.

He stated, the government is focusing on protecting these workers because “they are falling behind, through no fault of their own.”

Minister Piccini noted, currently in Ontario, “unpaid trial shifts and punitive deductions for stolen property are still common in the restaurant and service industries.”

“No worker should have to cough up part of their paycheque when a table dines and dashes. No worker should be asked to offer their services for free in an unpaid trial,” Minister Piccini added.

The Ontario press release noted, “studies have shown, as many as one in 20 diners has left a restaurant without paying, while gas thefts cost Ontario businesses over $3 million in 2022.”

One of the other changes proposed in the legislation is requiring “employers to post, in the workplace, if they have a policy of sharing in pooled tips,” according to the press release.

Minister Piccini explained [two things]: these changes are meant to “give [the] hard working people of Ontario a hand up,” and the government is “putting workers in the province of Ontario first.”

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