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Employee rights: Charity ordered to pay employee vacation pay

The registered charity, Outward Bound, has been bound by a Ministry of Labour decision to pay a former employee $500 vacation pay. The Ontario charity violated the former instructor's employee rights when the company failed to keep records of his work hours and neglected to give him vacation pay owed. The 31-year-old also lodged a complaint with the ministry, alleging the charity does not even pay minimum wage, pay for overtime or scheduled breaks.

The ministry, however, did not investigate those claims since the man accepted a $1,000 cheque from Outward Bound in compliance with Ontario's minimum wage law. The ministry would likely investigate the charity if it received another complaint from an employee. Outward Bound says it is in compliance with ministry employment standards.

Outward Bound apparently pays its employees on a per day basis. The former employee said that usually translated into about $8 per hour for a day's work or for a 100-hour work week if factoring in overnight camping trips. The man said it wasn't uncommon to put in that many hours during trips.

Employers have strict regulations to follow when it comes to the way they treat employees. The Ministry of Labour is very cognizant of employee rights in Ontario. Any workers who believe they have had those rights violated have the right to launch a complaint with the ministry and to seek legal counsel. A lawyer will be able to best instruct a client on how to best pursue compensation and guide him or her in the process involved.


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