Alex Heaslip, an employment law lawyer at Miller Thomson’s Toronto office, comments on the suitability of prison for Employment Standards Act violations after the court jailed a company director for 90 days for failing to pay employees.
Alex Heaslip says the ministry’s trumpeting of the decision could signal an intention to push for jail in more cases.
“It’s a pretty outrageous set of circumstances. I don’t think you’re going to see a rash of directors going to jail for failing to pay salaries here and there. More often than not, they end up getting paid. But in a situation like this where companies are obviously in severe financial difficulty, we could see something like this happening again. It’s a fundamental tenet of the employment relationship that an employee receives wages for hours worked. When that breaks down, someone should be held responsible and this case shows that the law has teeth and, as a director, you could face that accountability.”
Read the full article: Focus: Lawyers divided on jail time for ESA breaches