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Posted on 27 February, 2016 at 21:05

By Daniel Greanya:



The Ontario Employment Standards Act exists to protect the most basic rights and entitlements of employees in the province. The ESA is definitely not the only legal protection for employees, but it is a significant source of basic rights that all employees should be aware of. I will periodically produce articles about specific rights and obligations in the ESA, attempting to provide a basic introduction to the protections that they provide. As always, these are not intended to be legal advice, but you should still consult GLS for your specific situation.


Recent changes to the Employment Standards Act have extended the amount of time for a complaint. A complaint under the ESA may be brought up to two years after the incident (or the last of a series of incidents) which is the subject of the complaint. Previously, a complainant had as little as six months to make a complaint under the act. This change is a good one, as it brings the ESA appeal standard in line with the civil standard of two years, and because it allows more time for employees to bring complaints that they may not know they need to bring. Ignorance by employees about their most basic rights is an important problem. Particularly given the extensive violation of the Act noted in recent blitzes by the Government of Ontario, it is important that employees can bring employment standards violations to light.


Complaints about employment standards are made to the Director of Employment Standards by the employee or the employee’s representative. The director then assigns an Employment Standards Officer to investigate and resolve the complaint. The employee or employee’s representative must provide the ESO the information that they need to make a decision on the issues complained about. If a party is unhappy with the ruling, it can then be appealed to the Ontario Labour Relations Board in some circumstances.


Greanya Legal Services will assist you with enforcement of your rights under the ESA, and can assist you before an ESO, or before the OLRB.


 DISCLAIMER: This article is intended as general information, and does not replace the advice of a Licenced Paralegal or Lawyer. For advice on your specific case, contact Greanya Legal Services directly.


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