Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Do job seekers have rights?





All over the world people have rights. Men have rights, women have rights and children certainly have rights. African Americans have rights, gays have rights, the disabled have rights and a whole lot of other people have rights too. The only people who do not seem to have rights are job seekers.

Potential employers can engage in false advertising, toy with their emotions, offer them less than minimum wage salaries, and when they complain they don’t have a leg to stand on.
Anna (not her real name) who complained about false advertising received the following message from the Ministry of Labour.

This issue is not covered under the Employment Standards Act. The Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA) sets out minimum rights for most employees in Ontario workplaces by setting standards for such things as payment of wages, public holidays, hours of work, overtime pay, vacation time and pay, pregnancy, parental and personal emergency leave, and entitlements to notice of termination (or pay instead of notice) and severance pay. Hiring is not covered under the ESA.

In another instance Anna applied for a job where the employers offered her less than minimum wage. Again she complained to the Ministry of Labour. To the best of her knowledge, paying less than minimum wage is against the law. 

Apparently it isn’t. The law on minimum wage might as well not have been written, because employers can pay whatever they want. It’s up to the employee to take it or leave it.
This time Anna got this message.

This issue is not covered under the Employment Standards Act.The Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA) sets out minimum rights for most employees in Ontario workplaces by setting standards for such things as payment of wages, public holidays, hours of work, overtime pay, vacation time and pay, pregnancy, parental and personal emergency leave, and entitlements to notice of termination (or pay instead of notice) and severance pay. Minimum wage is not covered under the ESA.

This is not very encouraging. Companies can advertise jobs that don’t exists, can pay whatever they want, and according to the Ministry of Labour it’s none of their concern. When will the law give job seekers some rights?

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