Ontario to ban unpaid restaurant trial shifts; part of new labour law coming today


TORONTO - Ontario is planning to explicitly ban unpaid trial shifts for restaurant and hospitality workers, while also strengthening rules against deducting employee wages in the event of customer theft.

The latest proposed changes are set to be announced today by Labour Minister David Piccini ahead of legislation expected to be tabled this afternoon that contains a host of new labour laws.

Piccini says that while it is already the law that employees must be paid for all hours worked, unpaid trial shifts are still happening as part of the interview process in some restaurants, so the practice will be specifically prohibited.

Similarly, Piccini says labour laws already prohibit employers from deducting wages due to lost or stolen property, but new language will specifically ban it in instances of dine and dash or gas and dash.

As well, while current laws permit employers to share in pooled tips if they are performing the same work as their staff, the legislation to be introduced today would require the employers to tell employees if they are doing that.

Piccini says due to the rise of digital payment apps, including some that charge workers a fee to access their tips, the bill will also specify that employees who get paid their tips via direct deposit can choose where that money gets deposited.