Michael Ford
Employment & Labour

Jail time for ESA breaches shows accountability

Being jailed over Employment Standards Act violations is a harsh outcome, but it may be necessary in some cases, Toronto employment lawyer Hermie Abraham says in Law Times.  Read Law Times


A court recently jailed company director Steven Blondin for 90 days for failing to pay employees, the report says. Blondin also received $280,000 in fines plus a 25-per-cent victim surcharge, the article says, noting the six companies he operated must also pay employees more than $125,000 in owed wages, taking his total exposure to almost $500,000.

“Jail is very tough, but it is a good message to employers that if you are contravening the law, there is accountability whether they like it or not,” Abraham says in Law Times.

After the sentencing by Toronto justice of the peace Vladimir Bubrin in November, Ontario’s then-labour minister, Linda Jeffrey, hailed the decision, the article says.

“We constantly hear about employees being injured or harmed at work and they seem to be really cracking down as of late with some heavier fines,” Abraham says in the article, noting she has seen an increased emphasis on enforcement from the Ministry of Labour.

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