Inspection blitz finds three-quarters of bosses breaking law

January 20, 2016
Article Source
Toronto Star

From a Toronto Star article: From the gym to the bowling alley, it seems bosses are struggling to obey the law.

A Ministry of Labour inspection blitz focusing on precarious employment has found 78 per cent of workplaces in violation of the Employment Standards Act, according to a detailed breakdown requested by the Star. These include household names like Goodlife Fitness, G4S Security, and Bowlerama, who were caught for a variety of infractions including shoddy record keeping, excess hours of work, and failure to shell out overtime pay.

A total of 304 workplaces were inspected in the province-wide blitz, which targeted sectors like cleaning, security services, and recreation facilities. Some 238 were breaking the law. The most common monetary infractions being overtime, public holiday, and vacation pay. The ministry collected $361,000 in unpaid wages for workers following the inspections, according to its website.

George Houshan, the owner of Bowlerama Newtonbrook in North York, said his company, which had seven violations, immediately corrected the issues. A spokesperson for G4S Security, which had five infractions, said her HR department was unaware of the inspection. Goodlife Fitness recorded five violations, and said its legal team was not aware of the inspection. The company said it took all measures to comply with the law.

Bodies by Design, a gym in Woodbridge, had the highest number of violations at 13. Owner Kris Simpson said in an email he was not available for an interview with the Star, but that "any violations reported were rectified."

Overall, 96 per cent of law-breaking employers voluntarily fixed problems that were identified, according to the ministry. But labour activists say the inspection results reveal the widespread nature of rights violations in precarious workplaces.

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