Working in Retail? Ontario is Trying to Protect Your Employment Rights.

 In Employment Law

The Ontario Ministry of Labour posted a bulletin on October 16, 2013 about how Ontario is trying to protect the rights of retail workers by promoting safety and fairness at the workplace.


Ontario is taking action to protect retail workers’ rights and promote fairness in the workplace by launching a province-wide employment standards retail inspection blitz this fall.

Ministry of Labour inspectors are visiting retailers — such as grocery stores, gas stations and shopping malls — between October and December to make sure workplace rights are being protected in areas including public holiday pay, overtime pay, hours of work, and vacation pay.

The Ontario government has also invested an additional $3 million this year to double the number of inspectors and double the number of businesses inspected to make sure workers safe and are treated fairly.

Protecting workers on the job and ensuring all workers are treated fairly through the Employment Standards Program and Safe At Work Ontario strategy is part of the government’s economic plan to invest in people. The province’s economic plan also includes investing in infrastructure and supporting a dynamic and innovative business climate.


“The retail sector is a vital engine of Ontario’s economy that creates jobs, and promotes investment and economic growth. To ensure that growth, we are standing up for workers to make sure their rights are protected – no matter where they work, no matter their line of work.”
— Yasir Naqvi, Minister of Labour


  • The inspections are part of a risk-based strategy that focus on sectors that employ vulnerable workers, have a prior history of employment standards violations and represent a significant part of the workforce in Ontario.
  • Since 2004, Ontario’s Employment Standards Program has recovered more than $100 million in wages and other monies owed to employees through inspections, claims and collections.
  • Since 2008, Ministry of Labour inspectors have conducted more than 345,000 field visits, and 58 health and safety and employment standards inspection blitzes.


Learn more about the ministry’s proactive inspections.

Find out more about the resources available to employers and employees to help them understand the ESA.

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