Your Rights as a Worker in BC

By March 1, 2017Rights

Are you or someone you know being exploited by an employer? Have you been fired, suspended, or let go? Are you missing overtime pay or having your tips stolen? In many instances, employers don’t understand or follow the laws that protect workers in BC.

Employers in BC are required (at minimum) to respect a very basic level of rights and to adhere to certain laws. Most of these are set out in the BC Employment Standards Act and the BC Human Rights Code. No employer can ask you to waive or sign away your rights. If you are being treated unfairly, or your employer is breaking the rules, get in touch with us. We are here to fight for what is right, fair, and just for workers. Here are some of your basic rights broken down into 6 categories: wages, scheduling, benefits, health and safety, quitting/fired, and workplace justice.


Wages

  • As of September 15 2017 minimum wage is $11.35/hr., and $10.10/hr for liquor servers.
  • Your employer cannot deduct from your pay for things like broken dishes/glasses, customer theft, or as punishment for poor work performance.
  • You should never have to start work early or stay late beyond your paid hours. For example, it is wage theft to be asked to arrive 15 minutes early without pay to get changed or get ready for your shift.
  • If you must wear a uniform then the employer must give it to you. Your employer must also clean the uniform at no cost to you. If you clean your own uniform then your boss must pay you for the cost of having it cleaned. A dress code (no jeans, no cut-offs, dark clothing, business casual) is not typically considered a uniform.
  • If you work 15/30 days leading up to a statutory holiday, you should get a paid day off OR if you work on the stat holiday you should be paid an “average day’s pay” AND “time-and-a-half” for every hour worked.
  • You must get paid at least twice a month. A pay period cannot be longer than 16 days, and you must receive your pay within 8 days of the end of the pay period.
  • Employers must provide a pay stub each payday that shows the hours you worked, rate(s) of pay (including overtime), total earnings and deductions. If you quit or get fired, your employer must keep all payroll records for at least 2 years.
  • You must be paid in Canadian currency. An employer can pay you in cash, by cheque, bank draft, money order, or by direct deposit to your bank account if you agree to this in writing.

Scheduling and time off work

  • You are entitled to an uninterrupted unpaid 30 minute break after every 5 hours of work. But, if you are expected to work or be available to work during it, then you must be paid.
  • If you go into work for a shift and get sent home early, you must be paid for at least two hours, even if you are sent home without starting work. This is called minimum daily pay. For example: A server is scheduled to work a lunch shift, and after going into work they’re told the restaurant is too “slow” and to go home. The server must be paid for 2 hours of work.  
  • If you’re scheduled for a shift that’s supposed to last more than 8 hours, you must be paid for at least 4 hours, even if you work less than this or are sent home without working at all.
  • There are 2 types of overtime pay: daily overtime and weekly overtime.
    • Daily overtime: After working 8 hours you should be paid time-and-a-half (1.5 x your hourly wage). After working 12 hours you should be paid double-time (2 x your hourly wage).  
    • Weekly overtime: If you work over 40 hours in a week, you should be paid time-and-a-half for all hours worked after 40 hours. For example, if you work 45 hours in a week, you must be paid for 5 hours of overtime. Weekly overtime applies even if you never work more than 8 hours in a day (see example below).
Sun Mon Tues Wed Thurs Fri Sat
Daily hours 8 7 8 8 7 7 Total hours worked in week =45

= 40 regular hours and 5 overtime hours paid at time-and-a-half

  • Split shifts must be completed within 12 hours of when the shift starts. For example: if you’re scheduled to work a breakfast shift at 8am and a dinner shift at 5pm, you must finish work at 8pm.
  • You must get eight hours off between shifts unless required to work because of an emergency. 
  • You should have at least 32 consecutive hours free from work every 7 days. This is called a rest period. If you work during this rest period, you must be paid time-and-a-half.
  • Your employer must give you unpaid leaves for the following reasons: Pregnancy Leave, Parental Leave, Family responsibility Leave, Compassionate Care Leave, and Bereavement Leave.

Benefits

  • After completing one year of employment you’re entitled to two weeks vacation (4% of your total earnings). After five years, an employee is entitled to three weeks vacation (6% of your total earnings).
  • You are entitled to take your vacation in periods of one or more weeks. You need to take your vacation within 12 months of it being earned. If you work less than one year you are not entitled to take a vacation, but you still must be paid 4% vacation pay if you quit or get fired. If you work at a place for 5 calendar days or less, you don’t get vacation pay.

Health & Safety

  • You have the right to refuse unsafe work.
  • If you work alone in a retail position after 11pm, your employer must make sure that you are safe from harm. 
  • You can’t be forced to work excessive hours that put your health or safety at risk.
  • Employers, management, co-workers, and customers are not allowed to discriminate against you based on race, place of origin, ethnicity, religion, gender expression or identity, sex (including sexual harassment or pregnancy), sexual orientation, age (over 19), mental or physical disability, and family or marital status.
  • If you experience discrimination at work you can file a human rights complaint with the BC Human Rights Tribunal. Your complaint must be filed within 6 months from when you are discriminated against. The Vancouver Island Human Rights Coalition can help you file a complaint for free.
  • You have the right to work free from bullying and harassment from employers, co-workers, and customers. Bullying and harassment can include being called names, being yelled at, or having mean-spirited rumours spread about you.  It is your right to file a complaint with WorkSafe BC when someone is bullying or harassing you at work. 

Fired/Quitting

  • If you want to quit, you don’t need to give two-weeks notice. 
  • If you’re fired you must receive all outstanding wages within 48 hours. If you quit, your employer must pay you all outstanding wages within 6 days.
  • In your first 3 months of work your employer can fire you without giving you notice or paying you severance. This is often known as a probationary period.
  • If you’re fired after working for more than 3 months, you may be entitled to compensation (also called severance pay) based on this formula:
    • After three consecutive months of employment – one week’s pay
    • After 12 consecutive months of employment – two weeks’ pay
    • After three consecutive years – three weeks’ pay, plus one week’s pay for each additional year of employment to a maximum of eight weeks.
    • No compensation is required if you’re given written notice equal to the number of weeks for which you’re eligible (see above formula). For example: If you worked at the same place for two years, your boss has to either give you two weeks of notice or two weeks of pay when firing you. They can also give you a combination of the two: one weeks pay and one weeks notice.
  • If there is a week in which 50% of your weekly wages are cut (averaged over the previous 8 weeks) and you did not consent to this, you may be  eligible for severance pay if you’ve worked there longer than three months. To get severance pay however you need to stop working there.
  • If you’re fired without written notice or severance pay it is the employer’s responsibility to provide evidence that they fired you for ‘just cause’. Unsatisfactory performance or instances of minor misconduct such as absenteeism or tardiness do not usually cut it. Just cause is not needed if you are in your 3 month probationary period.
  • If you’re fired for minor misconduct, the employer must show that: (1) you were clearly warned that your performance was below the established standard and that continued failure to meet the standard would result in being fired. (2) You were given a reasonable amount of time and assistance to meet the required standard of performance. And (3) given all this you still failed to meet the standard.

Workplace Justice

  • The Retail Action Network and the Employment Standards Legal Advocacy Project (ESLAP) can help you to file an Employment Standards complaint during or after your time of employment.
  • Complaints must be filed within 6 months of the incident taking place, or within 6 months of you being fired or quitting.
  • If you’re owed wages, an employer can be required to pay you interest. 
  • It is illegal for an employer to fire you or punish you because you file an Employment Standards or human rights complaint.
  • You have a right to associate with the Retail Action Network, labour unions, and to organize your co-workers for the purpose of improving your working conditions. Unionized workers, and workers who are in the process of unionizing have added protections through the BC Labour code.
  • Organizing a union or association amongst your co-workers will give you a stronger voice to make improvements in your workplace. This is an effective way to put the control of your work life into yours and your co-worker’s hands.

Work Together. Organize. Win.

Do you feel like these laws don’t go far enough? We do.

Check out our new Grade My Boss survey. A 30 question, true or false anonymous survey on wages, expectations, scheduling, benefits, safety and workplace justice.

Grade your Boss to:

  • Give and get the inside scoop on local workplaces.
  • Educate customers wanting to support businesses who treat their workers well.
  • Pressure bad employers do better.
  • Call public attention to the issues that affect service workers.
  • Your identity is kept confidential so go ahead, grade your workplace! Take the survey here: www.retailaction.ca/grade

______________________________________________________________________________________________________

Together as a community we have the power to decide what is right and wrong in the workplace. While the process can be intimidating, there are options available to you. Through community awareness, social pressure campaigns, direct actions, and the media, we can win back lost wages or change the way employers treat their staff.

Contact us if you would like to support your fellow workers, or if you are in a dispute with your employer:

solidarity@retailaction.ca  || 250.812.3724

 

133 Comments

  • Kate Letnes says:

    I don’t know what to do with my situation. I have been working in cashier position since February…. In end of September/ Beginning October we were given a new management team that would make it difficult to do the same kind of quality of work as we had been doing…. I almost felt harrassed and bullied by the new manager and I tried to get help from other managers and co workers and I finally had no choice but to walk away from the position and yes not proud but I walked off the job and left with a few hours remaining to my shift…. I have not nor am I willing to return to the position. I am trying to get get but with the best of my ability. I marked the date on calendar this took place Nov. 20. Now I have read and been told that I should have already been paid and received a ROE but I have been to the stores office 2 times and phoned to inquire about it 3 times and been told I’m going to have to wait until there next pay it’ll be deposited in to my account and will have to wait for additional paperwork to arrive in the mail. Then pay day came and I didn’t even get 5 cents and again I’m being told that on the next payday I will receive my funds. Next pay isn’t until the 28th of December. I am sorry I just don’t understand and I have already been put into a bite of debt $323.74 to be exact but I’m hoping that someone will read this and be able to give me some advice on how to get my money today not another week in half with nothing ???
    Thank u for the time you have already assisted with I’ll let you move on with your day…
    K.A.Letnes

  • Geneva Solterona says:

    Hello, Do employers in British Columbia have to pay you for training hours if they prove themselves to be terrible bosses and you quit? By terrible I mean allow zero breaks on a 8.5 hr shift, insist I start early (hence the extra .5hrs), berating language / demanding language, rude remarks (If I bothered to take note of the carpets location before i picked it up I wouldn’t have placed it incorrectly)..
    The carpet never stays put 😂 Talking about you in the parking lot to others… to name a few..

    Please tell me I don’t have to accept $0

  • Delphine Mcmechan says:

    I was hired to work Thursday , Friday ,Saturday and Sunday . I have been there for 2.5 years now and I had to call in sick due to my son had the flu , ( called in around 9 am , I was to start work at 2 pm . ) around 12:30 pm I got a text message from on of the mangers saying she had to hire some one new to cover my shift and that I have to because of me calling in sick I would have to give up one of my shifts . So I went from full time to part time and now only get 13 days a month out 30 days so no paid stats loss of pay what can I do about this

  • miredandtired says:

    Hi – I work a maintenance job in a hotel.
    My coworker and I are regularly assigned skilled trades tasks such as plumbing, carpentry, tiling & dry-walling. Neither of us have ‘tickets’ in these trades. We are paid significantly less than tradespeople would charge.

    Is this allowed under employment law and what sort if action can be taken ti be properly compensated?

    Regards,
    A

  • Ashleigh says:

    My daughter has worked at McDonald’s for almost 2 years. She loves working, but has told me that she is pressured to work (and handle food) even if she is sick. Yesterday she called in sick to work and stayed home. She tried to call in sick for today as well, but felt “forced” to go to work this morning, so she went. She called me an hour later from work crying saying that she was cold and had the chills and was being forced to work at the drive thru window alone and without a heater as punishment for calling in sick the day before. I suggested to her that she speak with the store manager immediately and go home. She called me back shortly after that to tell me that she has been suspended for being “unreliable”. She is feeling bullied at work and I feel that she has been wrongfully suspended because she has actually been sick. Furthermore, it is unethical and a threat to public health to knowingly force a worker with a highly infectious illness to prepare food for others. Any advice would be appreciated.

  • l.w. says:

    Can you provide more details about the clause that states if you are required to work during your breaks, you must be paid for your breaks. The company I work for does pay employees to wotk during their breaks but they cannot take a break, even if they wanted to for no pay. Is this legal?

  • Scott Hobbs says:

    I am a UK passport holder, I am currently in BC with my Canadian wife. We have put paperwork forward for her to sponsor me for permanent resident. During the process I will eventually receive an open work permit. This has not arrived.

    We are currently living at her perants, my in-laws.

    They are renovating their other homes and want to put me to work.
    I have no work permit, and they have not said they will pay me.
    Should I ask them to pay me knowing that I have no work permit, and tell them that I am unable to work without pay.

  • Heather says:

    I have been at my job for 7 months. In my original contract I was told there would be a review and $1 raise at 3 months. I saw others having trouble getting their raise so I started asking about it at the 3 month mark. At 6 months I started asking once a day for a week. Then I went to the GM. By the end of the day he had my pay rise form which we both completed and signed. I did not get a copy. Two weeks later my pay hadn’t shown up so I talked to him again. He said it went missing somewhere in the internal courier and we would have to fill out a new one. That was 2 weeks ago and he says he hasn’t been able to get a replacement form. We are at a standoff and my manager just shrugs. I’ve asked the GM if he wants me to leave and he says no. Since the original form was signed and now 4 or 5 new people have been hired so it isn’t as crucial to keep me. Two other people in my department are also late for their raises, and several are coming due shortly. What are our options? I had 3 weeks in the summer when I was to be off with a worksafe covered injury but they couldn’t spare me as there was literally no staff so I was pushed into working while taking huge amounts of painkillers. I don’t mind helping out the team, but management has let me down terribly on this and I feel so helpless and stupid.

  • justyce🖤 says:

    Hi, I was wondering about raises. i work in a warehouse with mostly men, i am a female, everyone in the warehouse has been given a $1 raise at 6 months. i’ve currently been working there 7 months and a week. i’ve emailed HR asking about my 6 month review (in our employee handbook it mentions everyone gets a review after probationary period, at 6 months, 1 year etc.) and it’s common knowledge in the workplace that you get a raise each review except when coming off probabtionary period.. HR responded with basically saying that a raise wasn’t going to happen. I am also pregnant. the woman who is in charge of giving raises isn’t very fond of me and has also tried to take me off light duty as if i’m faking my pregnancy. i was just curious if anyone knows if they are allowed to refuse me a raise (and also refuse me light duty for that matter). any info would help!

  • Jesse Rossi says:

    I have been off work for injury for 6 weeks getting paid my wages by wcb i am now back at work and i was not paid for stat holiday been with the company 10 months is that legal? I had to fight for holidays previously

  • Jody says:

    Can my employer decide to start paying me less for a wage than she has been paying me for the past two years?
    Can my hours be given away to someone who hasn’t worked here in 10 months?

  • Jason Woo says:

    i am curious i have been working for the same place for over 5 years (in a restaurant)…. they are drastically cutting my shifts short … and i cannot afford to live with these hours … am i entailed for any sort of pay because of this to find a different job or am i “screwed” and they have the right to do this ???

  • Aarron Hutchinson says:

    can u take someone off probation at work then be put back on it

  • Cath Cariboo Cauche-marre says:

    My boss has been paying me less than other employees for months and I just heard of it. Long story short I have been hired for a certain position and ended up being put to another position that was paid more last minute when I got there my first day. So it seems I am paid 2$ less an hour since at least 4 and a half months. Now I told my boss about it he still have not come back to me on it but I was wondering what are my legal rights about that? Can I claim the money he should have paid me retro-actively?

  • jeffrey llamas says:

    Hi I’m new here sorry for my bad english. I have a question my assistant sent me back home today because I went to work at late because I miss to charge my phone to hear my alarm. I start at work 7am when I wake up it was it’s already 7:01 I know it was my fault my responsibility to set my alarm or chargey phone. Also I know I emailed them too late since my work start at 7am and i email them late around 7:05am saying i’ll be late I’m coming at 8am. I don’t have any idea if it ok to them to come at late or not because I don’t get any messages back from them. So I went to work once I get there our assistant new manager talk to me and he sent me home… If he have plan like that sending me not only me 2 of us went to late and he sent us today to get home… It’s not hard to email us back saying we don’t need to come at work today since we’re already late, rather than waiting us to come to work and talking to us that we need to go home. As far ask I know our manage never did that to us if we’re late she will talk to us something like that after sending us to our position to get start of work but this guy our new assistant manager. There now 1st offense or warning just like that u get in to the work and sent us back home… Is this right whatever he did to us. Is it better to show up late than nothing to show up right? But not all the time is better to be late we know that.. but sending us back home wasting fare or gas it’s not fair to us treating like that what’s the point emailing him to let him know that we’re getting late and no respond at all to our email.

  • Trinity says:

    Just wondering. If I go into work and I eventually need to leave because I’m not feeling well. Do I need permission to go home? Is the manager aloud to refuse me to go home because I’m sick?

  • Sarah says:

    My workplace has a tip pool, and how much money everyone gets out of it is dependent on things like performance, customer complaints, employee complaints, and late punch-ins. Is this legal?

    • Hey Sarah,

      When it comes to tipping, the law is, sadly, in a bit of a grey area. There is some proposed legislation that could provide clarity on this issue in the future.

      In the past, we have fought for employees’ rights to their tips, and it is also an ongoing element of our advocacy.

      At the moment we can only offer advice on a case by case basis. Would you be willing to write us an email at solidarity@retailaction.ca and give us more details about your situation? We’ll do what we can to help, and discuss possible next steps.

      Thanks for reaching out!

  • Angela Maureen Jackson says:

    I’m looking for standards regarding quitting a job. Full-time employee has given 2 week notice of quitting and has found their hours greatly reduced. Does the employer have a duty to keep employee working full-time hours?

    • Hey Angela,

      Here’s some information from the BC Employment Standards website that sounds relevant to your search:

      “If an employee’s hours are reduced, a week of layoff is a week in which an employee earns less than 50 percent of his or her weekly wages at the regular rate, averaged over the previous eight weeks.

      A temporary layoff becomes a termination when:

      – it exceeds 13 weeks in any period of 20 consecutive weeks, or
      – the recall period for an employee covered by a collective agreement is exceeded.

      When a temporary layoff becomes a termination, the beginning of the layoff is the termination date and the employee’s entitlement to compensation for length of service is based on that date.”
      https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/employment-business/employment-standards-advice/employment-standards/factsheets/termination-of-employment

      This states that depending on the amount of reduced hours, the employee may actually be considered to have been “terminated” by their employer, and may be covered by the Employment Standards Act.

      There is a lot of nuance in situations like this, and we’d be happy to help in whatever way we can. Feel free to send us an email at solidarity@retailaction.ca and to give us more information about this situation.

      Thanks for getting in touch!

  • Bri162728 says:

    I recently stopped showing up to work because if severe anxiety and just went in to receive my last paycheck (my anxiety is too high to continue working) and my boss is refusing to give it to me because i no showed and says he legally doesnt have to pay me, is this true??? Because i worked for that money

    • Hi there,

      It sounds like your former employer is violating your rights, have they still not paid you for your final owed wages? Here is relevant information to your situation from the BC Employment Standards site, with regards to quitting:

      “Final wages, including any outstanding wages such as annual vacation pay, statutory holiday pay and overtime either worked or in a time bank, must be paid to the employee within six days after the employee’s last day of work. The Act does not require the employee to give notice to the employer.” https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/employment-business/employment-standards-advice/employment-standards/factsheets/termination-of-employment

      Two important things to note about that section is that you are not required by law to give any notice to your employer of your intention to quit, and that your employer is legally obligated to pay you any outstanding wages within six days of your last shift.

      Would you be willing to send us an email at solidarity@retailaction.ca with further details about your situation? We can then arrange to sit down with you and discuss your situation and next steps.

      Thank you for reaching out!

  • Loretta Ottie says:

    i have worked for the same person for 10yrs, a small co. i have been the only employee for the last 2 yrs. one day my boss had a fit, and fired me on the spot for no reason,i was half way through my day which was May 4 2018, then on mon May 7 sent me a text to say she was giving me a 2 wk notice of termination dated back to fri may4th. And if i didnt want to work it to give her a letter say i quit.i told her i didnt quit you fired me on the may 4th, then same day gave me another notice saying she was giving me a 12 week notice dated may 7th, again saying if i refused that would be quitting. She fired me on the spot on May4 th i was half through my day. I asked for a reason, and she said insubordination. And that over the yrs i had been late or no show and i was dishonest and i couldnt preform the job and had to be shown again. I have done the same job for 10 + yrs . I also found out that i was only getting 4% vaca. instead of 6% for the last 5 yrs, and no o/t. I consulted a probono lawyer and he said i on a scale of wrong it was 9 out of 10. i cant afford a lawyer, so will go E.S.. How do i prove i did not quit? no wittnesses I was screamed at and was terrified.

    • Hey Loretta,

      Sorry for the delayed response, we’re getting all caught up on these now.

      There’s a lot here, and it sounds like your rights may have been violated, and you may be owed wages by your employer. While we can’t provide professional legal counsel here, you can email us to fill us in on your story, and then we can direct you to free legal resources who can help, and we can support you as you work to get wages you might be owed.

      Send us an email as soon as you are able to at: rights@retailaction.ca

  • Jeremy James says:

    just a question about meal breaks??? what happens if your shift is exactly 5hrs. do i get a 30 min break??? or just a 15 min break through the whole day. ???

    • Hey Jeremy,

      Sorry for the delay in responding to these questions. We’re getting all caught up on these now.

      Here is what the Employment Standards Act has to say with regards to your question about Meal Breaks:

      “An employee must not work more than five hours in a row without a 30-minute unpaid meal break. An employee who is required to work or be available for work during a meal break must be paid for the meal break.”
      https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/employment-business/employment-standards-advice/employment-standards/guide-to-the-employment-standards-act#meal_breaks

      This means that the maximum length you can go without a break on shift is 5 hours. Unfortunately, the law does not side with employees in your case, as your shift ends right at five hours. If you were scheduled for 5.5, or even 6 hours of work, the law would then say you’re entitled to a 30 minute unpaid break.

      The law wasn’t always this way. A long time ago employees used to also be entitled to smaller 15 minute breaks as well.

      We’re fighting to bring back better protections for employees. If you have other workplace concerns, send us an email at: rights@retailaction.ca

  • Mary Musselman says:

    If a new employee of 3 three weeks workes on a tuesday 10 pm to 6am , then works the some hours the next day . Tgen has a shift for 6am to 10am on the Friday . The employee has tried to hand in a change of availability sheet but that was not acceptance. What can the employee do.

  • Jane says:

    Hi, i worked in a popular fastfood for over 3 months. And i decided to quit but i don’t know how to tell them so i didn’t call them for one week and didn’t tell them that i don’t wanna work anymore. I didn’t quit properly so now they hold my wage or they didn’t want to give my wage for not quitting properly. Now i need help if i can still get my wage, how can i get my wage and what should i tell them if they dont want to give my wage. I really need my wage right now. 🙁

    • Hey Jane,

      We’re really sorry for the delayed response. We’re working to get caught up these questions asap.

      Here’s what the Employment Standards Act says with regards to quitting, and being owed wages:

      “An employee who voluntarily quits his or her employment is not entitled to written notice of termination or compensation for length of service. Final wages, including any outstanding wages such as annual vacation pay, statutory holiday pay and overtime either worked or in a time bank, must be paid to the employee within six days after the employee’s last day of work. The Act does not require the employee to give notice to the employer.”
      https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/employment-business/employment-standards-advice/employment-standards/factsheets/termination-of-employment

      The important thing to note here, is that regardless of whether or not you gave them proper notice, you are entitled to your final wages. The law says they have six days to pay you what you are owed.

      If they still haven’t paid you, or you have other concerns about your former employer, please email us as soon as you can at: rights@retailaction.ca

      While we can’t offer you professional legal advice through this forum, we can work with you to help get back these lost wages.

  • Maylenejoseph says:

    Just wondering what the laws are for scheduling in a Hotel. I came back to work from maternity leave and they put up the new schedule a couple days before it starts that week? I find this difficult to plan things outside of work and I thought there was suppose to be two weeks in advance scheduling uofor employees? I need to find this info before I talk to my employer about it

    • Hey Maylene,

      Sorry for the very late response. We’re working to get caught up on responding to these comments.

      Unfortunately, the Employment Standards Act doesn’t enforce any regulations with regards to scheduling. However, better scheduling for employees’ rights are something the Retail Action Network is advocating for.

      If you want more information, have other concerns about your workplace, or want to join us in the push for stronger worker protections, please email us at: rights@retailaction.ca

  • Amar Hare says:

    i just got fired today. employer said that they dont have any special pay options.
    I need my money and hes saying i have to wait till next pay period for my pay.
    please help and what can i really do if they take there time to pay?

    • Hey Amar,

      We’re so sorry for the terribly late response. We’re going to work to get caught up on these comments asap.

      Here’s what the Employment Standards Act says with regards to termination and “Payment of Final Wages”:

      “Final wages, including any outstanding wages such as annual vacation pay, statutory holiday pay and overtime either worked or in a time bank, must be paid within 48 hours after the last day a terminated employee works.”
      https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/employment-business/employment-standards-advice/employment-standards/factsheets/termination-of-employment

      Your boss can not withhold those wages from you, and they must be paid within 48 hours of your firing.

      If they still haven’t paid you your final wages, or you’d like more information about this or other possible violations of your rights as an employee, please send us an email: rights@retailaction.ca

      While we can’t provide professional legal counsel, we can work with you to help get back these lost wages.

  • lossforwords says:

    Hi, I was given a $1 raise ( I make $13 an hour now) back on November 10th of 2017, this was also around the same time my boss’ husband ( whom was collecting EI ) started working in the shop. It is a small business perfect for two ppl. My hours went down to 20 hours every two weeks ( low side of 29 hours every two weeks high of 45 every two weeks ) When she hired me it did state 10 -25 hours a week, I’d be cool with that if her husband hadn’t taken over the extra hours in the shop. I’m pretty much working on their days off now. I asked them if they can’t afford me to work there to lay me off, I don’t want to quit. I asked several times. I’m looking for more work.. What are my rights as an employee who’s had their hours cut after a raise and the boss’ husband has started working there? What are my obligations to them if I get hired at another job? I told them out of respect that I was looking for work, originally I was wanting to work another job into my 3 hour day and 7 hour day there… Im not feeling so generous anymore.

  • sushi says:

    employer has not paid stat holidays to me for 3 years and i am eligible for them. How far back can I claim for payment.

  • janelle says:

    I work hourly for a retail store that requires two employees to drop off a deposit to the bank each night after clocking out of the systems. The walk (which is out of the way) to drop off the money is 15 minutes in total. My employer gets upset if we do the deposit while clocked in and considers it “time fraud”. is this legal? i feel that i am still working when doing the deposit and should be paid for it.

  • Melissa A Smith says:

    I was suspended due to calling in 30 minutes before my start time due to a family medical emergency. I was suspended via email with them stating I was unreachable when no contact attempts were made by them. I was also suspended in the middle of the night… I will be providing a Drs note excusing me due to the family medical emergency, but what are my rights with this? I was in the process of transferring to our sister company that is unionized, but I dont have access to the union information as paperwork was supposed to be signed and finalized later this week… Help!

    • David Huxtable says:

      Unfortunately, you don’t have a whole lot of rights under the Employment Standards Act. You should be able to get help from the union regardless of the paperwork. If you are having a hard time finding out who to talk to at the union, I would just call their office and they should be able to help you.

  • Cory Brown says:

    I signed a confidentiality agreement when I was fired with out cause. Does that mean my boss can’t discuss why I was terminated when someone calls for a reference.

    • David Huxtable says:

      Without having read the agreement, I couldn’t say. However, you might be able to have a lawyer at Access Pro-bono look over the letter for you – 1-877-762-6664

  • Deryn Bors says:

    Help. Is it legal for a boss to cancel your shift which is the next day as punishment? (Please not there was no reason given, just “I’ll let u know when u work next, as of right now you’re not working tomorrow”)

    • David Huxtable says:

      Yes, unfortunately. Unless you have a union contract that outlines the disciplinary process, bosses can do what they like, in terms of discipline.

  • Josh Green says:

    My workplace pays me via direct deposit, they lost my information somehow and failed to inform me of it. I work multiple jobs so id din’t notice that I hadn’t been paid in a month. They end up paying me by cheque, one of the cheques got accidentally damaged and I cannot cash it anymore.

    Now my work wants me to pay them $25, to cover them doing a stop payment on the first cheque. Can they do this?

  • Paul Jungclaus says:

    One of my jobs is bookeeper and I give pay cheques. The pay is monthly. Is it required to pay twice a month for salary positions?

  • JennyJenkins says:

    I have an awkward question. I started a job yesterday. When I was hired, I was told I would sometimes “stay late” (I assumed, twenty minutes – which is a lot). I’ve discovered there are people who work regularly scheduled shifts at my employer that are 10 hours – but they are paid a salary for forty hours. I did a calculation, if I end up doing that, I’ll work three months of full time weeks for nothing (two hours a day, five days a week is 10 hours. Multiplied by four is 40 – a full week of work every month. Multiplied by 12, that’s three months of full time work. I’m still kind of staggered by it.)
    I’m not in a position to speak up. I’ve been there two days, I’m on probation. I feel sick over agreeing to stay over for what I thought might be half an hour a day. I want to keep a time sheet, but don’t know who to approach with it. Can I do anything?

    • Eric Nordal says:

      Thank you for the question.

      You’re right, that is a lot of unpaid time!

      You have rights, and you are legally entitled to be paid for the time you’ve worked. You should keep note of all hours that you are working (it doesn’t have to be official); track the date, and hours that you worked.

      Retail Action Network can continue this conversation with you through email at Solidarity@RetailAction.ca and can provide more thorough advice.

    • JennyJenkins says:

      Thank you so much for this response! I did insist on 8 hours (I have no idea how I found the courage or why it worked – but I have not had to skip a lunch, come early, or stay too late so far, though I stayed twenty minutes late twice).

      If anything goes wrong, I will contact you by email. I did somehow speak up about the 8 hours (during a discussion about a slightly changed start time I made it politely clear that I couldn’t start at a certain time, as that place me past the 8 hour mark if I left at closing and it seems to have done the trick. They simply didn’t insist and I was shocked I found the courage and it worked somehow). I found a time-sheet template online, and I will be filling it out every day and marking the date and times if I do end up staying slightly late.

      Thank you for the kindness of responding.

    • Eric Nordal says:

      That’s great news! Feel free to contact us anytime.

  • Jock Campbell says:

    My employer has recently signed up to an online pay-stub provider. Which I had no immediate objections to. However, when I read the terms and conditions of service and discovered that the provider wasn’t in my Province and had a VERY blunt refusal to accept responsibility or liability for ANY possible eventuality resulting from use of their services, coupled with a rather insecure log-in method to access my pay-stubs, I felt I couldn’t accept their terms and conditions, so left the website.

    The result is that, despite having notified my employer of my inability to accept this anonymous third parties’ terms and conditions, I have not received a paper stub nor any alternative pay notification since then!

    • David Huxtable says:

      I would contact the Employment Standards Branch about this one. It is the law that they need to provide you with paystubs, but I’m not sure how that rule would be interpreted in this situation.

    • Jock Campbell says:

      Thanks David, I’ll conact tthe ESB soon.

  • kimberlykab says:

    Hello there,
    at my job there was a memo stating that if you forget to clock in and out it will result in “hours being missed on payroll thus resulting shortage of pay”
    I work same shifts every week with zero variance unless I have to miss work for some reason (rare that this happens), with this being said I am usually pretty good at clocking in and out the only frustrating this is that sometimes the time clock does not work. It says “time clock busy try again in 15 minutes” I always leave notes when this happens but they have forgotten pay in the past and have acted as if they’re doing me a favor by making up for it on my next paycheck.
    Is it legal to not pay someone for time worked because of time clock issues?

    • Kaitlyn Matulewicz says:

      No, it isn’t legal to not pay someone for time worked because of a “clock issue”. You must be paid for all of the time you’ve worked. If there’s an issue with the clock in system your employer should fix it. If you want to chat more, please get in touch: solidarity@retailaction.ca

  • Julia says:

    Hi, my partner is employed as a full-time electrician, but has just been put on stand-by with less than 24hours notice. Is his employer legally allowed to do this and not pay him for the coming week? Or do they have to pay him some sort of compensation?

    • Wes Carroll says:

      Hi,
      If there is a week in which 50% of his weekly wages are cut (averaged over the previous 8 weeks) and he did not consent to this, he may be be eligible for severance pay if he’s worked there longer than three months. To get severance pay however he will need to stop working there. Severance pay is only given when employment is terminated.

      I wish I had better news for you. These laws need to change! – Wes

    • RAN Outreach says:

      Hey there, here’s the lowdown.
      If there is a week in which 50% of your weekly wages are cut (averaged over the previous 8 weeks) and you did not consent to this, you maybe be eligible for severance pay if you’ve worked there longer than three months. To get severance pay however you need to stop working there.

      There needs to be more protection regarding this! – Wes

  • Trina Lockhart says:

    I work in a pub and one of the other waitresses served a minor. Now we have to close for 10 day or take the fine. The owner is wanting to do the closer with in days without a weeks notice. Is she liable to have to compensate us workers wages that we will be missing.

    • Wes Carroll says:

      I dont think that the owner is liable in this situation unfortunately. I think that the laws are pretty bad in this case. Here’s some info:

      If there is a week in which 50% of your weekly wages are cut (averaged over the previous 8 weeks) and you did not consent to this, you maybe be eligible for severance pay if you’ve worked there longer than three months. The catch is that in order to get severance pay of have to terminate your employment there.

      We just launched Grade My Boss which is an anonymous 30 question true or false survey designed to pressure bosses to do better. Here is a link just in case you are interested. http://www.retailaction.ca/grade
      in solidarity,
      Wes
      250-857-3169

    • RAN Outreach says:

      Hey there,

      Sorry to hear this. Unfortunately they do not have to compensate. They should try to help you out but are not required to.

      Here is one way to get compensation but you will have to stop working there:
      If there is a week in which 50% of your weekly wages are cut (averaged over the previous 8 weeks) and you did not consent to this, you maybe be eligible for severance pay if you’ve worked there longer than three months. To get severance pay however you need to stop working there.

      There needs to be more protection regarding this! – Wes

  • Cris Villanueva says:

    i was sent home by my boss for disagreeing with him and came up to me really agressively that he was gonna fight me and told me he was my boss and he wants to send me home.

  • Rebbecca Perkins says:

    I have a friend who is owed at least $8,000 over a 6 month period for over-time and I dont think she kept track of her hours. She was a non-salary supervisor. She received hourly pay but was paid for 8 hours with absolutely no over-time pay. She worked 10 hour days 7 days a week. I want to help her get justice but she has no family that has been in unions or known what to do or have seeked out reparations; so she is not one to go after her employer even though he has grously exploited her and perhaps other of his/her employees.. She also got no breaks. I would like to know what I can do to help and if she can get anything she is owed or if we can make a complaint or take some sort of action against her employer. She has left that job and has not been working there for at least 2 months.

  • Su Tam says:

    I am working as part time and becuase the company claims employment is based on work-life balance, I called for four days avilability. After six months of working, my hours gradually are cut and since last week I don’t have any shift anymore. I called for next week work schedule and they told me I don’t have any hours for next week too. I asked the reason(s) and they said because it is January and retails working slow! That means two weeks in the row I don’t work!! I want to know if they have right to act like this. Thank you.

    • Wes Carroll says:

      Sorry to hear this. The laws are pretty bad in this case. Here’s some info:

      If there is a week in which 50% of your weekly wages are cut (averaged over the previous 8 weeks) and you did not consent to this, you maybe be eligible for severance pay if you’ve worked there longer than three months. The catch is that in order to get severance pay of have to terminate your employment there.

      We think that the laws should be much more worker friendly. We just launched Grade My Boss which is an anonymous 30 question true or false survey designed to pressure bosses to do better. Here is a link just in case you are interested. http://www.retailaction.ca/grade
      in solidarity,
      Wes
      250-857-3169

    • RAN Outreach says:

      Sorry to hear this. The laws are pretty bad in this case. Here’s some info:

      If there is a week in which 50% of your weekly wages are cut (averaged over the previous 8 weeks) and you did not consent to this, you maybe be eligible for severance pay if you’ve worked there longer than three months. The catch is that in order to get severance pay of have to terminate your employment there.

      We think that the laws should be much more worker friendly. We just launched Grade My Boss which is an anonymous 30 question true or false survey designed to pressure bosses to do better. Here is a link just in case you are interested. http://www.retailaction.ca/grade
      in solidarity,
      Wes
      250-857-3169

    • Su Tam says:

      Hello, Thank you so much for your response. The employer keeps cutting my hours almost to zero! They call me an hour before my work starts and ask me not to go to work becuase business is slow. I have searched and read many articles, papers,… and I found this behavior as one of the warning signs that employer wants to fire the employee. I am searching for another job and keep scrutinizing the reason (s). 🙁

  • Kathy Hart says:

    Can an employee cut your hours without written notice and only 4 days verbal warning.

    • Wes Carroll says:

      Hey,
      Sorry to hear that this is happening. I think that the laws are pretty bad in this case. Here’s some info:

      If there is a week in which 50% of your weekly wages are cut (averaged over the previous 8 weeks) and you did not consent to this, you maybe be eligible for severance pay if you’ve worked there longer than three months. The catch is that in order to get severance pay of have to terminate your employment there.

      We just launched Grade My Boss which is an anonymous 30 question true or false survey designed to pressure bosses to do better. Here is a link just in case you are interested. http://www.retailaction.ca/grade
      Wes
      250-857-3169

    • RAN Outreach says:

      Hey there,
      unfortunately they can. These laws need to change.
      Here’s the scoop:
      If there is a week in which 50% of your weekly wages are cut (averaged over the previous 8 weeks) and you did not consent to this, you maybe be eligible for severance pay if you’ve worked there longer than three months. The catch is that in order to get severance pay of have to terminate your employment there.

      We think that the laws should be much more worker friendly. We just launched Grade My Boss which is an anonymous 30 question true or false survey designed to pressure bosses to do better. Here is a link just in case you are interested. http://www.retailaction.ca/
      in solidarity,
      Wes
      250-857-3169

  • lma68 says:

    I have an inquiry about an employer taking money off employee’s paycheque and withholding gratuities for a “dine and dash”. I see by this article that:

    “Your employer cannot withhold your wages for breakage, dine and dash, or as punishment for poor work performance.”

    Our employer has been taking money off employee’s paycheques for a few years now. There are a few employees who still are employed with our company and some have left and did the “dine and dash” and were surprised to see that their vacation pay was deducted because of it or their entire paycheque was taken from them.

    I feel that they should have paid for their food, but according to this statement, it looks like the employer is not allowed to withhold their money. Am I correct? What can employees do to stop our employer from taking money away from us?

  • lma68 says:

    I have an inquiry about an employer taking money off employee’s paycheque and withholding gratuities for a “dine and dash”. I see by this article that:

    “Your employer cannot withhold your wages for breakage, dine and dash, or as punishment for poor work performance.”
    Our employer has been taking money off employee’s paycheques for a few years now. There are a few employees who still are employed with our company and some have left and did the “dine and dash” and were surprised to see that their vacation pay was deducted because of it or their entire paycheque was taken from them.
    I feel that they should have paid for their food, but according to this statement, it looks like the employer is not allowed to withhold their money. Am I correct? What can employees do to stop our employer from taking money away from us?

  • Shock Wave says:

    I have an inquiry regarding work refusal.
    I work in security, I recently moved to a different part of town, further than walking distance for most jobs my company asks me to attend.
    I used to live downtown, and I was close to work, now I am not.

    I want to refuse buying bus tickets and other expenses to give a ONE hour break for an employee.
    I can walk to work from where I am, (different site) and there’s no other problems.
    Can the employer make me work for ONE hour, at expense to myself?

    • David Huxtable says:

      Unfortunately, yes. Under the BC Employment Standards Act, employers can call people in for as little as one hour, and it would be your responsibility to get yourself to the job site.

  • Mikyung says:

    Part-time to On-Call
    I’ve been working at a restaurant for more than 3 months, and have been working part-time. My employer has changed me from actually being scheduled to on-call, without giving me a reason. Are they allowed to, 1) change my hours from part-time to on-call, and 2) can they do this without giving me a reason?

    • RAN Outreach says:

      Hey there, unfortunately they can do that. However…
      If there is a week in which 50% of your weekly wages are cut (averaged over the previous 8 weeks) and you did not consent to this, you maybe be eligible for severance pay if you’ve worked there longer than three months. To get severance pay however you need to stop working there.

      There needs to be more protection regarding this! – Wes

  • Wade says:

    Vacation Pay Question:

    Ive worked at a company for 5 months and decided to give my 2 weeks and my resignation of employment. Over the 5 months 4% of my salary was put into Vacation Pay. I have been messaging my employer to try to pick up the money thats owed to me but they’re being very difficult and replying very infrequently.

    What are my rights as an employee in this situation? Do they have a time limit by which they must pay me my money owed? How should I go about this legally if they cut off communication/refuse to pay me my owing vacation pay.

    Any help is appreciated. Thank you.

    • Howard Au says:

      I’m in the same boat as you. How should I go about it?

    • David Huxtable says:

      Employers are required to pay all outstanding wages within 6 days, if an employee quits, and 48 if they are fired/ laid off.

    • Howard Au says:

      I got my vacation pay once I sent an email that I will file a complaint to the BC Labour board or something like that. There next day I got an email saying I have a pay stub to be pickup. Once I got it, the person said she email about picking it up earlier. I never received that email. If the company has dealings with the city, they don’t want to jeopardise their relationships. Just tell them you will file a complaint then they will give you the pay cheque within two days at most

  • don pigone says:

    I have a coworker who really had some issues with me from the beginning and he was a close friend to my ex boss who is retired now. I have been discriminated with my previous boss and I won “the case” in my company against him. I think that he started hating me even more even since then. He became team lead (his friend put him there) and since he sits beside me and almost never got up from his chair, he is spying on me all the time. But he is not the manager. He is reporting now things about me that I am late all the time, that I take long breaks etc..and now in my performance review, after eighteen years in this company, I have first time something noted like that.They now cut my “work from home” as well. He is just reporting bad things about me, and no one can prove different. He is a team lead. That manager know that I had some problems with him before and he was warned to behave better towards me. But now, I am in delicate position, even if everything is perfect, I am afraid that he will talk bad about me, and no one can prove that he is laying. I am afraid that I will lose my job, and I am just going trough some difficult time, separation etc, when I need this job the most. It is a Union job, but company is big, government corporation, and there are some cuts recently going on. In my department I am one with the most seniority in my department. Is there anything that Union can help me with this issue or anyone else. I’m not sure how to prove that I work those 7.5 hours and that’s it, if he continues to lye against me. Many of the employees are taking really long breaks for gym, lunch, coffee, and no one ever reported them, I was always singled out.

    • RAN Outreach says:

      Hi Don,
      I’m sorry to hear about this. If you are a member of a union, I might recommend that you talk with your shop steward about this. Did you win the case within your company or with the Human Rights Tribunal? If it was handled within the tribunal, there is an obligation that there is not ‘retaliation’ for filing a complaint. Even if you did not take this to the tribunal, I think it is a good point to make that retaliation is unacceptable following any case of discrimination. I will attach a couple of links with more information about this.
      http://www.bchrt.bc.ca/human-rights-duties/index.htm
      http://www.bchrc.net/overview_of_human_rights_law
      Pls feel free to follow up or email the Vancouver Island Human Rights Coalition: contactvihrc@gmail.com .
      – Wes

  • naser20004 says:

    My company wants to close Boxing Day, but won’t pay us for that day, can they do that?

    • RAN Outreach says:

      Hi Naser,
      Unfortunately, it looks like they can close without being obligated to pay employees. Boxing Day is not considered a stat holiday in BC.
      https://www.statutoryholidays.com/boxing-day.php

      Do you work in retail? I think that there should be a profit sharing aspect to follow the booming profits that come in the holiday season in all retail and service stores. People work too hard at this time of year without enough compensation.

    • Patricia 'Trisha' Köster says:

      hi there,
      I am spending the day reading through laws and my rights as an employee since i am very unhappy with work and dont feel like i get treated right. So victoria day is coming up and it is a stat holiday in BC. I work as a server/waitress and the place I work at will be closed that day. I was wondering if they have to pay me if they decide to close for that day? of course if am eligible and worked 15 out of 30 days prior to the stat, which I already did so far?!
      “cause they never ever payed me my average day salary on any stat holiday, nor did they pay me times and a half on a stat (when eligible)! This needs to stop. especially when you work your *** off and that for minimum wage.
      thank you, appreciate the clarification

  • Private says:

    Hello,

    My husbands job as a site super has him constantly working overtime which they do not pay to him OT. They say his position is managerial so he’s not entitled to overtime. How does this work? Also he often gets called in weekend so we barely ever have two days together and he never has had a lunch break without being on call.

    Do all these rights get waived because he is in a “managerial” position.
    He does gets paid hourly.

    Thanks.

    • David Huxtable says:

      Hi,
      It is true that managers are excluded from overtime under the Employment Standards Act. However, many people called “manager” at work are not managers under the Act. If your husband wants to chat this through, have him contact me at the Employment Standards Legal Advocacy Project – eslap@tapsbc.ca

  • Bobby says:

    Just an inquiry on how far an employee that hasn’t been paid overtime in BC, can go back in the past to claim their OT owed from their employer?

    • naser20004 says:

      As far as he or she can prove it

    • Wes Carroll says:

      Hi Bobby,
      For most complaints an employee has 6 month to make a complaint after an incident has occurred. If they are fired then the complaint needs to be made to employment standards within 6 months of their termination. I hope this helps! pls feel free to email or call if you want to discuss this further.
      wes@retailaction.ca
      250-857-3169
      ps – we want the window to be increased back to 2 years like it was in the 90’s.

  • Melissa Cosens says:

    Hi there I have a question for a friend he is working as a cook is past his probabtion period and has had no complaints. They just hired a new guy it is the slow time so they are cutting all of his hours till the new year so he is left with no hours for a whole month as they have given this new guy all the hours. I dont think they can legally do this can they or maybe they can but he can definitly file a complaint right?

    • Kaitlyn Matulewicz says:

      Hi Melissa, thanks for reaching out on behalf of your friend. Unfortunately the problem of having shifts cut like this is something we hear all too often. Under the BC Employment Standards Act, if there is a work week in which your weekly wages are cut by 50% or more (averaged over the previous 8 weeks) and you didn’t consent to this change, you may be eligible for severance pay if you’ve worked there for longer than 3 months. Unfortunately though, collecting severance pay means your employment there would end. Feel free to put your friend in touch with us. 250 418 5082 or solidarity@retailaction.ca

  • Boguslaw Wojtyra says:

    Hi there,
    I had a night time job that I worked by myself without any supervision. My employer got worried that I was stealing time, by going home early (but clocking full hours) and sleeping and watching movies on company time. He did not really notice until he installed security cameras. He says I should not get paid to sleep and watch movies. I quit and now he is withholding my pay. Should I still get paid in full?

  • Lynn Anderson says:

    Recently my employer left a very detailed time sheet on my desk with instructions that said – “fill this out every day”. There was no verbal communication regarding this. The form is very detailed asking for date, description of duty, start time, end time total hours/minutes and then total hours per item. As this is an office job, answering the phone would be one item, going to the washroom another, checking emails another, invoicing another, filing another. I am expected to fill out this sheet of paper that exactly accounts for every minute of my shift. Is this acceptable? thanks

    • Kaitlyn Matulewicz says:

      Hi Lynn, thanks for sharing. That sounds awful and very intrusive. Especially having to right down your personal use of the bathroom. That could possibly be a human rights issue. I’m not sure where you’re based, but the Vancouver Island Human Rights Coalition might be of help 250- 382-3012. You can also email us to chat more about it. solidarity@retailaction.ca

  • Zeller Forest Products Ltd says:

    My company recently has these situations where we have to send half of the crew home early due to either shortage of work or machinery broke down. Our regular hours are 8am to 4:30pm=8 hours work. Say, at 2:30 the machinery broke down, which wont be mixed till next day. Most workers were sent home at 3:00, and a couple are left to clean up the warehouse till closing time. The people who got sent home early said that as per Employment Standard, they should get paid 8 hours the same as those who stayed till 4:30 because it’s not their fault.
    I could find this type of situation any where on BC Employment Standard, they only give the 2 and 4 hours rules, but not this one where the employees already worked 6.5 hours. Can anyone here help me please. Thanks in advance

    • Kaitlyn Matulewicz says:

      Hi there, You’re right. Unfortunately, the Employment Standards Act only sets minimum daily pay at 2 hours, or 4 hours if you’re scheduled for a shift that is supposed to last longer than 8 hours. If you want to chat about other ways to potentially address this situation, like forming a union so you can create working conditions that are better than what the Employment Standards Act gives workers, reach out to us at solidarity@retailaction.ca

  • Ashley Hedstrom says:

    Is there any information about outstanding invoices? When does an employer have to pay a contractor?

  • Amy says:

    I’m a cashier and have been at my job for over two years (and another year previously) at a small town grocery store. They typically schedule 8 hr shifts but will do variances when they want; since January I’ve been during four hr shifts by choice (due to anxiety) and now after their August new hires they’ve stopped scheduling me and schedule all the newbies “because it’s difficult to schedule shorter shifts”. This occurred the first week of September and I haven’t been to work since. I never agreed to this, but I got a warning (or light threat) that if I didn’t change my mind and opt for 8 hr shifts that I likely wouldn’t get shifts). (For context: any past fall that I worked there is when they did schedule the shorter shifts across the board for non-senior cashiers so this is out of left field.)

    Is there anything I can do? With the long absence and my anxiety I don’t think I would be comfortable going back to work there, but I don’t think it’s right that they did this. I’ve started to look into BC Labour Laws and the self-help kit doesn’t look too desirable.

    • Kaitlyn Matulewicz says:

      Hi Amy, thanks for your post and sharing your personal experience. I’m sorry to hear you haven’t been given any shifts. If you requested 4-hour shifts due to anxiety and your employer is not accommodating that it sounds like a human rights violation. Employers have a duty to accommodate physical and mental disabilities. And although that duty isn’t absolute, accommodating a 4 hours shift doesn’t seem too difficult. Here’s some more info on that from the BC Human Rights Clinic: http://www.bchrc.net/duty_to_accommodate

      Also, if your employer just took you off the schedule you might be entitled to severance pay. Did you get that? We can chat over the phone or more by email and see how we might be able to help you out in other ways too. solidarity@retailaction.ca or 250 418 5082

  • Adam Labonte says:

    As a regular employee, do we have the right to take our stat days off

    • Kaitlyn Matulewicz says:

      Hi there Adam, unfortunately the Employment Standards Act doesn’t include anything about an employee’s right to take off stat days. It’s shitty. But we believe workers should have more control over their schedules. Our campaign for “$15 % Change” if fighting for fair scheduling practices. To hear more or get involved contact us at solidarity@retailaction.ca

  • Patricia Tan Lowe says:

    Hi, my teenage daughter has been working at this grocery store for about a month now. She told them that her availability is Thursdays and EITHER Saturday or Sunday (not both). This past week they didn’t schedule her to work on Thursday and just gave her Saturday, which was fine for her. At the last minute, since they do the scheduling from Sunday to Saturday, she noticed that they scheduled her on Sunday. The manager said that since they didn’t schedule her on Thursday that she can work the Saturday and Sunday. She specifically told them from the beginning that she can only work either sat or sun. When she told them she can’t work they told her she has to find someone to cover it. Is this allowed given that it’s not the availability she told them??

  • Annie May Resoso says:

    Dear Retail Action,

    I am annie may resoso, i was working in a gasoline station for almost 3 years and i resigned last November 29, 2015, after i resigned that’s the time that i know that she didn’t pay me stat holidays and overtime, im working 10 hours and 6 days in a row, she only paid me regular pay. The reason i resigned because she wants me to stay 12 hours everyday, i can explain everything if you can give me a chance, i have still all may pay stub since i started to work until i resigned.

    Sincerely,
    Annie May Resoso

    • Kaitlyn Matulewicz says:

      Hi Annie, thanks for your message. I’m so sorry to hear that you’ve experienced wage theft like this. Not getting paid overtime or stat holiday pay is illegal. To file a complaint with the Employment Standards Branch you must do so within 6 months of quitting. But the Retail Action Network might be able to help you get back your stolen wages in other ways. Please, please give us a call at 250 418 5082 or email solidarity@retailaction.ca

  • George Tang says:

    Hello,
    I’ve been looking up if I qualify for Stat Pay. So it says I have to be working 15 days out of the 30 calender days which I do, but I am part time. So every 2 weeks I only clock about 40 hours. I’ve been working in the restaurant industry for a long time and feel like when it comes to stat holiday, most of the employers are very shady about it. My employer presently says his quickbooks do it automatically and if I dont log 35 hrs in a work week I dont qualify for stat. I’m from BC. Any help would be appreciated.

    thanks!

  • Devon Brideau says:

    Hey i have a question. I was working 28.5 hours a week at a tim hortons last week and then the schedule came out and i had no hours. I contacted my boss and she said that our hours were running to high and she needed to cut them down. Afterwards she messaged me and was able to get ne 20 hours but i was later messaged on my normal day off that i did not have to come in for 2 of the shifts. Is that legal because i should be working 32 plus hours as was agreed apon when i started there last december.

    • Kaitlyn Matulewicz says:

      Hi Devon, Thanks for your question. Under the BC Employment Standards Act (ESA), if there is a work week in which your weekly wages are cut by 50% or more (averaged over the previous 8 weeks) and you didn’t consent to this change, you may be eligible for severance pay if you’ve worked there for longer than 3 months. Unfortunately though, collecting severance pay means your employment there would end. If you want to chat more email solidarity@retailaction.ca

      The ESA is a law that is failing workers in this province. That’s why the Retail Action Network is fighting for major improvements. We are calling for schedules to be posted 2 weeks in advance, an end to on call shifts, and a return to a 4 hour minimum daily pay. You can join the campaign and add your voice here: https://www.retailaction.ca/15change/

  • Jasmine says:

    Hi I was working for a coffee shop for 8 months and never received any stat pay even though I worked 4-6 shifts a week. I just recently quit because of the managers unfair ways. My coworker asked him why she didn’t receive stat pay and he told her it was because she is part time ( even though she works 5 days and 32.5 hours a week) is there anything that we can do about these lost wages? Is it really our right to receive this money? His way of business has made me kind of feel like stat pay is essentially stealing from my employer

    • Jasmine says:

      The owner*** not the manager

    • Hi there Jasmine,
      Thank you for reaching out. We are sorry to hear that you and your coworkers are being denied the wages you are owed.

      Here is some information about statutory holiday pay under BC Employment Standards:

      To be eligible for stat pay you must:
      -have been working at your workplace for 30 calendar days before the stat holiday
      -have worked or earned 15 of the 30 days immediately before the stat holiday

      If you are eligible -and it looks like both you and your co-worker are- you must receive time and a half if you work on the day of the stat holiday.
      Even if you don’t work on the day of the stat holiday, you must also get paid an average day’s pay.

      Stat pay is a workers’ legal right and you shouldn’t have to ask for it, let alone be made to feel like you’re stealing from your employer. Going forward, I suggest first filling out our complaint form found here: https://www.retailaction.ca/not-by-yourself/ . The form will just help us figure out details of your former work situation and will be important in finding the best avenue to gain your missing wages back. While your form gets filed , you can email eric@retailaction.ca with more info about your situation or call 250 812 3724 and we can chat more about what we can do.

    • Kaitlyn Matulewicz says:

      Hi Jasmine, If you are entitled to receive stat pay and an employer isn’t giving it to you then the employer is stealing from YOU, and not the other way around. Under the BC Employment Standards Act if you’ve been employed for at least one month, and you work 15 out of the 30 days before the stat holiday then you’re entitled to stat pay. If you aren’t working the stat you should still get an average days pay. And, if you are working the stat, then you should get paid time and a half. If you and your co-workers qualify for stat pay, then it is your right to receive this pay.

      You can call or email the Retail Action Network and we can chat more about how we can help you recover stolen wages. 250 418 5082 or solidarity@retailaction.ca

      You can also file an employment standards complaint, but you have to do so within 6 months of the incident happening. If you are in the Victoria area, the Employment Standards Legal Advocacy Project (through TAPS) helps people with the process of filing a legal complaint: http://www.tapsbc.ca/services/workers

  • Dona says:

    I work a 4 day shift from 4pm to 12am. I go back to work 48 hours later at 12am and work to 8am for 4 days. This rotation has caused “shift worker sleep disorder” and I have started developing secondary health issues. Can my employer fire me if I cannot continue this shift rotation?

    • Kaitlyn Matulewicz says:

      Hi Dona, thanks for sharing your question. If you are having work-related health issues that are not being accommodated, it sounds like this might be a human rights issue. Employers have the duty to accommodate mental and physical disabilities, short of undue hardship. If you are in Victoria you can contact the Vancouver Island Human Rights Coalition for more help. Email them at contactvihrc@gmail.com or phone (250) 382-3012. There’s also the BC Human Rights Clinic which is in Vancouver.

  • Jacob Johnston says:

    Hello,
    So, i work at this diner and the job just sucks, but through all of the sucky situations ive just kept working, well our weekly schedule was posted (posted on saturday work week starts monday) and well i was not on it. So i messaged the manager asking whats up and she sent me a screenshot of a message she recieved from the guy who helps do the schedule saying that he was taking me off due to complaints and to give me some rest to focus on school. Well up to that message neither I or management were aware he took me off. No prior conversation took place between any of us about the schedule change or these complaints. So what can i do? Im missing out on a weeks pay (she said she’d get me back on for the next week) and as a student who can only work so much with a job that pays poorly, it really sucks

    • 4 - RAN Solidarity says:

      HI Jacob,
      Thanks for your message and question. The Retail Action Network believes posting schedules last minute is unjust and needs to change. As part of our $15&Change campaign we are calling for schedules to be posted at least 2 weeks in advance: https://retailaction.ca/15change/

      I am sorry to hear you were taken off the schedule for a week without notice. If you were suspended for a week there is unfortunately nothing in the Employment Standards Act that prevents this. Have you been put back on the schedule yet? If you could email solidarity@retailaction.ca with more information about your situation or call 250-418-5082 we can talk more about what you can do.

    • Jacob Johnston says:

      Yeah I’m back on it but gonna be out 300-450$ now which is gonna really gonna hurt me this month

  • Deepwater says:

    Hi!

    I worked for a construction company for a while and I used to work more than 200 hours a month. Later I found out that the employer tweaked with my pay and showed higher pay rate to bring down my hours to 160. What can I do about it? He didn’t pay me overtime for those hours.
    Can anyone please help?

    • 4 - RAN Solidarity says:

      Thanks for your questions. Sorry for the slow reply, we’re working on adjusting our comment notifications.

      If you aren’t being paid for overtime and have not signed an overtime averaging agreement, your employer may be engaging in wage theft. To get back stolen wages you can file an employment standards complaint, but you have to do so within 6 months of the incident happening. If you are in the Victoria area, the Employment Standards Legal Advocacy Project (through TAPS) helps people with the process of filing a legal complaint: http://www.tapsbc.ca/services/workers

      As for your second question (below) about the lack of control you have over your schedule and lack of fairness or consideration on your employer’s part, unfortunately non-unionized workers have little rights when it comes to requesting days off work. One way to change this and bring about long-lasting improvements to your workplace, and give yourself and your co-workers more control over the conditions of their work (including their schedules) is to unionize and create a collective agreement. We can talk to you more about this process if you’re interested! Feel free to reach us at solidarity@retailaction.ca or 250-418-5082.

  • Deepwater says:

    Hey!
    So my current employer is refusing to give me two unpaid days off even though my coworker has agreed to cover for me. I gave him one month’s notice for 2 days and he is asking me I should’ve requested him two months prior. And I have yet to see such rule in the company literature.
    What should I do?

    • David Huxtable says:

      There’s nothing in the Employment Standards Act to cover this. The only way to have any control over your schedule is to form a union and negotiate an agreement with your boss that includes a section on requesting days off.

  • Shefnad S says:

    Hi there,

    I’m having a question about vacation pay.

    I’m a partime worker (student) worked in subway in B.C over 5 months.

    I quit the job after that now, the employer is refusing to pay my vacation pay .

    I called him, texted him still no reply and he didnt even pay for the training and still doing it over the new hired partime workers.

    Waiting for your reply.
    Thankyou.

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