Ministry of Labour Claims
Who should make a Ministry of Labour complaint?
Employees with little seniority who have very limited employment standards claims against their employer should consider filing a claim with an Employment Standards Officer at the Ontario Ministry of Labour. It is free and individuals do not need a lawyer.
The Ministry of Labour investigates employment standards complaints of unpaid wages, overtime and vacation pay, pay equity, leaves of absence (i.e. maternity leave), and rights upon termination, among others. After the Ministry has completed a complaint, it can order the employer to pay the employee.
The Ministry of Labour, however, is extremely limited in the remedies it can award an employee. Unlike the courts, the Ministry cannot hear a wrongful dismissal case and it cannot order common law damages.
For example, the Ministry can only order an employer to provide an employee up to $10,000 in wages. Conversely, the courts can order an employer to provide an employee 24 months or more of full compensation.
However, if an employee simply has a complaint for overtime or unpaid hours, and no issue with termination pay, then they should probably forgo an employment lawyer and complain directly to the Ministry of Labour.
Employees should be very cautious before filing a complaint with the Ministry of Labour. Once an individual has filed a complaint, and two weeks have passed, they cannot change their mind and sue through the courts. At the same time, once an individual has sued in court, they cannot file a complaint at the Ministry of Labour.
An employee with concerns regarding whether it is better to file a claim through the Ministry of Labour or to sue the employer in court should contact an employment lawyer before filing a claim.
Please visit the Ministry of Labour if you would like to file an employment standards claim.
How can Dutton Employment Law help?
Our employment lawyers can advise whether you should make a complaint to the Ministry of Labour or proceed with a claim against your employer with the help of a lawyer. We can also assist in appeals at the Ontario Labour Relations Board if your complaint to the Ministry of Labour is rejected.
Dutton Employment Law is a Ministry of Labour law firm.
If you have questions concerning whether it is better to complain directly to the Ministry of Labour or hire an employment lawyer, contact a Toronto Ministry of Labour lawyer today.
In addition, our firm represents clients at Ministry of Labour appeals at the Ontario Labour Relations Board. If you or your employer has appealed Ministry of Labour charges (or lack of charges), please call us for assistance. Our counsel is a former Ministry of Labour and Ontario Labour Relations Board lawyer.