Reproduced below is a back and forth e-mail exchange between me and a young woman (17 years of age) who was being ripped off by her employer. I have edited it slightly to protect her anonymity - at least until she files the complaint with the Labour Standards Branch of the Dept. of Labour.
At the appropriate time, I will be revealing the name of the employer.
It's an embarassment to everyone in Saskatchewan that employers in this province are treating workers this way.
Hey Larry, I got a question for you: I was just wondering if you could tell me if there is any labour standards for being paid "under the table". Like if you are required to get a certain amount, or if you are just taking your chances with the pay that you get, because i think that i am getting ripped off by my employer. Thanks A.
Hi A., Getting paid "under the table" is illegal. It violates the "income tax" act and also labour standards. Who is the employer??? Larry
A: It is an owner of the resturant in (small town). and she said that she is just doing it for the first little bit and then she was to be starting payroll. Would this person be able to take a percentage of my earnings because i wouldnt get it anyways, like on a payroll.
L: That is fraud and theft! She is stealing from you - and she is violating the income tax act, to boot. If Revenue Canada finds out about this they will throw the book at her.
A: What should i do about this?
L: Well, I depends how badly you want (and need) that job. Personally, I think you should report the owner to the Department of Labour. And if you don't want to do it, I sure can.
I would need to know the precise details of what is happening.
- How much are you being paid?
- Is it $5.00 an hour, $6.00 and hour, or what - or is it minimum wage ($7.95)?
- Are you being paid in cash, or by a cheque?
- What is the employer saying about withholding money from you that "you wouldn't get anyway" if you were on the payroll? How much money is the employer not paying? Like, is it a $1.00 an hour, or what?
- How long have you been working there?
- How many hours do you work every week?
- What is the name of the restaurant? And who is the owner?
- If you provide me with these answers, I can file a Third Party complaint with the Department of Labour, and ask them to investigate.
- Is anyone else working there under the same arrangement? If so, Who?
- Any other information you can provide would be very helpful.
p.s. And what happens at the end of the year, when you are supposed to file your income tax. Will the employer be giving you a T4? I doubt it.
A: I dont work there anymore, but i would still like to get the money that they should have to give me.
I got paid 3.65 an hour. Then they told me that they were not paying me for sundays.. no tips. being paid in cash. She said she wasn't paying me 30% of my earnings. i worked there for a month and then she cut my hours back so i didn't get any so i quit. every day except for tuesday thursday... til ten. weekends was alot longer. T. D. a friend you also know .. he is still working there.. .and there is her daughters and one of her daughters friends.
L: Hi A, You should go to the Labour Standard Branch of the Department of Labour at:
3rd Floor, 1870 Albert Street
Tell them that Larry Hubich suggested you should come to them.
You should tell them you want to file a "labour standards complaint for unpaid wages".
Take your calendar with you and any record of the dates you worked and the number of hours you worked. Tell them your whole story.
A: Would the Labour standard branch of the department of labour be able to do something even if it has been like a month since i worked there, or would they stilll investagate it anyways.
L: YES! They will investigate as long as it's not too old. Like a year. GO FOR IT!
If this isn't an iron-clad case for why we need Labour Standards and laws that protect workers rights - then I don't know what is.