LAW 529 Lecture Notes - Lecture 4: The Employer, Forego
DepartmentLaw and Business
Course CodeLAW 529
ProfessorPnina Alon- Shenker
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Chapter 21-22 — Regulating Wages and Hours of Work
• The primary statutory instrument regarding employment in Ontario is the Employment
Standards Act, 2000 (ESA) and its regulations.
• They are minimum requirements only.
o The employer is contractually bound to any greater right or benefit that the ESA
provides to the employee;
o The enforcement of rights is complaint-based.
Scope of Wage Regulation
• The ESA excludes certain categories of workers from minimum wage and entitlement to
• Certain categories of workers have a different minimum wage.
• Ref. [O. Reg. 285/01, S. 5]
• Equal Pay for Equal Work Laws
o Require equal pay for “substantially similar work.”
o Ref. Box 21.4
• Equal Pay for Work of Equal Value Laws (Pay Equity)
o Address wage discrimination in female-dominated jobs. (Ref. applicable steps on
Regulating Working Time
• Ontario Employment Standards Act 2000
o The maximum hours that an employer can require an employee to work is eight
hours in a day (or the employer-established regular workday, if longer), and 48
hours in a week; [Ss. 17-21]
o Overtime must be paid at 1.5 times the employee’s regular hourly rate of pay for
each hour worked in excess of 44 hours in a week; [S. 22. (1)]
o Regulations to the ESA outline a number of employment activities exempt from
the overtime provisions (e.g., firefighters, IT professionals, managers, etc.).
• Permission to Work Overtime
o To avoid liability for overtime pay, employers must ensure that overtime-eligible
employees do not work overtime;
o The regulations to the ESA provide that overtime work shall have been performed
where the employer has permitted it to be done. [O. Reg. 285/01, S. 6]
o By an agreement to vary, an employee may receive time off in lieu of overtime
pay (it must equate to at least 1.5 hours of paid time off for each hour of
o Employees who perform work that is in part exempt from overtime pay are
entitled to overtime pay for all work performed in a work week if the exempted
work is less than one-half of their work time.
• Exemption for Supervisory or Managerial Employees
o Exemption from overtime pay remains in effect if they engage in non-managerial
work, provided they do so on an irregular or exceptional basis.
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