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Seriously getting angry with my work.. I think they're breaking the Labor Law?

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#31 Stefan


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Posted 08 April 2013 - 12:11 PM

I've never worked for a company that provides paid breaks.
That isn't a thing.


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#32 silverpig


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Posted 08 April 2013 - 12:15 PM

It looks like you are at work for 8.5 hours. In this time you will likely get 30 minutes of paid break time, and 30 minutes of unpaid time. If he requires you to punch out for only 30 minutes, then everything is likely okay.

#33 taxi


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Posted 08 April 2013 - 12:17 PM

Let me guess, you work in the kitchen of a chain restaurant like Earl's, Milestones, Cactus, etc...

The problem with these restaurants is they hire managers who are not that bright to begin with and have no idea what he labour laws are and then give them incentives for keeping labour costs down. When I worked at Earl's in the kitchen they did the exact same thing. My advice to you:

1) Find a new job. If you want to continue working in the kitchen, your education will be very limited at places like Earl's. It's a great place to lean some basic techniques and work ethic, but beyond that you're basically heating up pre-made food. You aren't learning anything about the creation of flavor, etc... If you aren't set on working in the kitchen long-term, find another job. Retail, etc.. will all pay similar amounts with far less work.

2) After leaving this job, report them. They shouldn't get away with this.

#34 RonMexico


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Posted 08 April 2013 - 12:54 PM

Just to chime in on the punch-out for breaks thing, you really have no choice but to follow suit. I work for a major corporation and I only have to punch-in in the morning and punch-out at the end of the day. However, some branches make their employees punch in and out for breaks. You get used to it and it becomes no big deal. Likely what happened was that some clowns you work with spoiled it for everyone else by abusing breaks. These type of 'measures' got introduced by managers trying to get noticed. In the end, they just created more resentment and lack of trust. While you seem to have a leg to stand on with your other problems, you are in a lose-lose situation. I suggest moving on if its financially feasible.

#35 Wetcoaster


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Posted 08 April 2013 - 02:14 PM

I'm going to leave the name of my work anonymous but... I just found out today that we have to "punch out" for our breaks now.

I work in a kitchen, and today for example, I worked from 8am to 430pm. 8 and a half hours. I went on my break at 3 to 3:30. While I was walking to the break table, my General Manager ask's me,

"Did you punch out?"
"No, was I supposed too?"
"Yes for your break you have to punch out."

I thought if you work 8 hours you get at least a 30minute paid break?

And also, we have a washer and dryer to clean our uniforms at the end of our shift as I'm sure ALL kitchens do. Our owner says we can't wash our uniforms there anymore because we don't have "Insurance" for our Washer / Dryer. So we have to wash our uniforms at home now or suffer the horrible food smell / dirty uniforms. Aren't kitchens supposed to ENFORCE cleanliness? Not take away a washer/dryer we've had for 6+ years?

Also for stat holidays (I.E Christmas) I thought if you DON'T work the day, you still get paid for an average shift. (if you work on average 7 hour shifts, you should get paid for a 7 hour shift that day even if you don't work it) and also get paid double time if you DO work it?

Are any of my arguments valid?

All this information is easily available.

Basic rule - you cannot agree to not contract out of the requirements of the BC Employment Standards Act - many employers (and employees) misunderstand averaging agreements - they are binding contracts that must be entered into in advance not used to try to clean up a violation of the ESA.

4. The requirements of this Act and the regulations are minimum requirements and an agreement to waive any of those requirements, not being an agreement referred to in section 3 (2) or (4), has no effect.

For details see:

See the "Interpretation Guidelines Manual: British Columbia Employment Standards Act and Regulations":

For reference here is the online "Guide to the Employment Standards Act" which examines these issues in detail. As I have noted in the past this is the sort of stuff that every secondary student should be taught alongh with their rights as consumers.

Here is the full .pdf version:

The company is not required to pay you for half hour meal break BUT if you start at 8am you should have your meal at 1pm at the latest. If you do not get it by then you can claim for 8 hours work and 30 minutes at time and one-half as your unpaid meal break did not take place withing the first 5 hours of your shift.

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.

Employers are not required to provide coffee breaks.

The uniform requirement can be a little tricky - if it is a true uniform then the employer is responsible to pay for purchase, providing and cleaning. This is under Section 25 of the ESA section explains that the cost of any special clothing employees are required to wear, including costs for purchase, cleaning, and maintenance of that clothing is a cost that must be paid by the employer.

Here is how Stat holiday pay works:

44. An employer must comply with section 45 or 46 in respect of an employee who has been employed by the employer for at least 30 calendar days before the statutory holiday and has

(a) worked or earned wages for 15 of the 30 calendar days preceding the statutory holiday, or

(b) worked under an averaging agreement under section 37 at any time within that 30 calendar day period.



45. (1) An employee who is given a day off on a statutory holiday, or is given a day off instead of the statutory holiday under section 48, must be paid an amount equal to at least an average day's pay determined by the formula

amount paid ÷ days worked

amount paid

is the amount paid or payable to the employee for work that is done during and wages that are earned within the 30 calendar day period preceding the statutory holiday, including vacation pay that is paid or payable for any days of vacation taken within that period, less any amounts paid or payable for overtime, and

days worked

is the number of days the employee worked or earned wages within that 30 calendar day period.

(2) The average day's pay provided under subsection (1) applies whether or not the statutory holiday falls on the employee's regularly scheduled day off.

For examples of detailed calculations see:

And if you do work you get paid foir the hours actually worked at time and half for the first 12 hours and double time over twelve hours AND an average day's pay as well.

46 An employee who works on a statutory holiday must be paid for that day

(a) 1 1/2 times the employee's regular wage for the time worked up to 12 hours,

(b) double the employee's regular wage for any time worked over 12 hours, and

© an average day's pay, as determined using the formula in section 45 (1).

For details see:

A lot of the stuff on that doesn't get done at my work...

I know I had to work for Good Friday, New year's day, and Canada day and I never got paid the "Average day's worth pay" I only got paid Time and a half.

Also I have worked longer then 12 hours before and didn't do a "Written agreement" that was signed by me or my employer or anything and never got any benefits. And I've worked longer then 5 hours without getting a break and I am required to come back to work (if it gets busy and tons of customers come in and I need to go to the kitchen to help) I don't know if that would be considered being available for work while on meal break.

As noted it is time and one-half and an average day's pay when working on a Stat holiday subject to a few caveats as noted above.

As I said averaging agreements must be in place before the 12 hours are worked. The usual rule is for daily overtime (anything over 8 hours per day) and weekly overtime (anything over 40 hours per week). Note you cannot double up on this as if you work 8 hours a day for four days and on one day work 12 hours, you do not get paid daily and weekly OT.

35. (1) An employer must pay an employee overtime wages in accordance with section 40 if the employer requires, or directly or indirectly allows, the employee to work more than 8 hours a day or 40 hours a week.

(2) Subsection (1) does not apply for the purposes of an employee who is working under an averaging agreement under section 37.

For details see:

An averaging agreement does not seem applicable to your case. BTW there are very few averaging agreements in place and many that are dine are incorrect so they are void. The requirements are very technical. See:

If I did go to the lawsuit path, would it be even worth it? If they fired me and I fought it they'd be forced to rehire me correct? But then I would get treated like garbage by them. Any mistake I do would be shown as insubordination or some other random act of "treason" against this company. Besides getting my job back, what other benefits would I get?

I know it sound's horrible, but I really want the owner to get fired / lose ownership. I know theres parents on this board who have daughters/sons who work in a restaurant and when minimum wage went up, they took away the tip pool from the Host(ess) and dishwashers to compensate for minimum wage going up and gave it to the cooks instead. They had been getting tip pool for YEARS.

Then my General Manager tells me our "Tip pool" has increased $1 per hour to compensate minimum wage going up and nobody getting raises. How does tip pool go up $1 per hour? Where was that $1 per hour before? Were they pocketing it?

It appears you GM is transferring the cost of doing business to employees and that is clearly illegal. Employees are not responsible for paying an employer's business costs. Employers are prohibited from requiring employees, directly or indirectly, to contribute towards the costs of the employer's business.

Tip pooling may be acceptable if an employer requires all employees who receive tips to put 15% of tips received into a pool. The pool is disbursed to all employees who do not receive tips at the end of each shift according to a formula agreed to by the employees. This activity does not contravene the Act.

21. (1) Except as permitted or required by this Act or any other enactment of British Columbia or Canada, an employer must not, directly or indirectly, withhold, deduct or require payment of all or part of an employee's wages for any purpose.

(2) An employer must not require an employee to pay any of the employer's business costs except as permitted by the regulations.

(3) Money required to be paid contrary to subsection (2) is deemed to be wages, whether or not the money is paid out of an employee's gratuities, and this Act applies to the recovery of those wages.

For details see:

As far as complaints and retaliation by an employer - it is illegal.

83. (1) An employer must not

(a) refuse to employ or refuse to continue to employ a person,

(b) threaten to dismiss or otherwise threaten a person,

© discriminate against or threaten to discriminate against a person with respect to employment or a condition of employment, or

(d) intimidate or coerce or impose a monetary or other penalty on a person, because a complaint or investigation may be or has been made under this Act or because an appeal or other action may be or has been taken or information may be or has been supplied under this Act.

This section prohibits an employer from mistreating an employee once a complaint has been filed or an investigation undertaken. For details see:

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#36 Dazzle


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Posted 08 April 2013 - 03:29 PM

Unfortunalty this is yet another thing that has been taken from workers by the BC Liberals. Before 2001 if you had a complaint you could file it with the labor standards branch so there was a clear record of the complaint and it made it difficult for creative terminations based on reporting employers. The code was changed so employees MUST first attempt to resolve the issue directly with the employer that wronged them


So basically if you complain - your creativly written off the schedule with little recourse. The standard is extremly high to prove it was done as retaliation so your left with little choice. It's your word against theres and they get to decide if *cough* your causing other problems before your complaint can even be filed.

Seriously - how many teens or young workers are going to face their boss? If it is a saftey issue remember you only have one back - and no job is worth dying for ... stand up for your rights. If its not a saftey issue ..... sadly it may be better to simply seek new employement and move on. If you quit they can blacklist you for refrences - all the power has been shifted to employers so sadly unless you can involve WCB - unless its a human rights violation - there is little protection now for non union workers in BC

Of course, it had to get to party bashing.

I was in a situation where there was a dispute over pay and I had to go through the 'diplomatic' route (working it out internally) versus 'complaining to a labour code branch' route.

I was initially skeptical but it ended up working for me.

The diplomatic method might seem useless but it actually did what I wanted it to do - get my pay and it didn't waste taxpayer dollars.

I wasn't worth the trouble, honestly. :P

Edited by Dazzle, 08 April 2013 - 03:29 PM.

Posted Image --> THANKS EGATTI.

I have to say Dazzle's was the coolest. ROTFLOL

#37 debluvscanucks


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Posted 13 April 2013 - 10:22 AM

time and a half is all your employer is requited to pay you for holiday pay. After working eight hours in a day an employee must be paid time-and-a-half for the next four hours worked, and double time for all hours worked in excess of 12 hours in a day. This applies even if the employee works less than 40 hours in a week.

i will be brutally honest we have a family company and do this to many employees, a couple have actually taken us to labor relations and even though we were in the wrong we won. we also made life hell for those employess and even tho we could not technically fire them after the hearing we made their lives hell, to the point they quit on thier own accord.

and by the way you cant sue a company unless its something grotesque like discrimination, otherwise you must go through labor relations and employment standards.

Why would you not try to provide a positive/supportive environment for your employees? In the end, you encourage much better work performance, attendance, etc. if you do so.

"Made life hell" would actually indicate that you're at least breaching WCB standards with regard to workplace bullying and intimidation. So tread carefully there. Brutally honest does not let you off the hook for being piss poor employers.

Here's the thing - you can do just what is required (legally), drive employees away who challenge that vs listening to feedback and generally, just be oblivious to their needs but, in the end, you'll lose in that. In the short term - sure, you might save a few bucks but you won't promote a good working environment or get the most out of those under your employment. You'll have a high turnover and won't get people who feel a sense of loyalty or dedication to their work. Reap what you sow basically.

If you do pay your employees OT as per the guidelines, I highly suspect that there's something more to this. Most would be satisfied if you're fulfilling your obligations and your attitude on the matter makes me think there may be other, unresolved issues?


You can be livin the dream at home. Dont even need to put yer pants on.

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#38 мцт вяздк чф

мцт вяздк чф

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Posted 13 April 2013 - 11:20 AM

i hope you get your situation sorted out. i always think to myself "work to live, not live to work". remember your body health & mental health is more important than a job you dislike so leave if it'll make you feel better. there's other opportunities.



#39 ThaBestPlaceOnEarth


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Posted 13 April 2013 - 11:53 AM

What kind of restaurant has an actual punch-clock AND on-site laundry? Sounds pretty high-end to me! I always just worked in my dirty uniform for weeks on end :) I was not the most foodsafe of employees.

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