You have rights as a young worker in Ontario!
The Employment Standards Act gives you rights as a worker and as a young worker. Your employer has to respect these rights!
Your rights include:
• You must be paid regularly by cash, cheque or direct deposit to your bank account.
• Your employer has to pay you the minimum wage or higher. If you are under 18 and are a student, there is a student minimum wage that is a little bit less that the general minimum wage. To see what the current minimum wage is in Ontario, see this website.
• You must get at least two weeks of paid vacation for every 12 months that you work.
• You must get extra “overtime” pay if you work more than 44 hours in one week.
• Your employer must keep good documents about all of your payments and they must give you a written “pay stub” with every payment. Your pay stub is a document that includes things like: how much you were paid in this pay period, how many hours you worked, how much money was taken off your pay for taxes.
• You must get lunch and coffee breaks. You can’t work 5 hours in a row without a break of 30 minutes!
• You get to take off public holidays, like Canada Day, and still get paid. If you have to work on a public holiday, you should get 1.5X your normal pay rate.
• Your employer cannot schedule you for work shifts during school hours if you are less than 16 years old.
Can I be fired from my job?
Yes, this might happen.
• If you have been at your job for 3-12 months, your employer needs to give you a written letter one week before you should stop working.
• If you have been at your job for 1-3 years, your employer needs to give you a written letter two weeks before you should stop working.
• If you have been at your job for more than 3 years, your employer needs to give you a written letter for between 3-8 weeks, depending on how long you worked there.
If you think that your employer has not respected your rights or that you have been fired for no reason or for a bad reason, you should talk to a lawyer to see if they can help you! You can go to your local community legal clinic. Or you can contact the Centre for Refugee Children or another refugee centre to help you get legal help.