“It is harsh, but I see it as the court saying that workers’ rights really do matter, and if you persistently and seriously violate the law, there are significant consequences,” Karimjee says in the article.
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.
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.
“I don’t think it’s a bad thing if the legislature has determined that in certain circumstances that it may be appropriate not just to order to pay wages but to impose a jail term," Karimjee says in Law Times. "I don’t think it’s going to happen in every case. This was a particularly egregious one.”