Employer no longer generous on over time pay.
ANSWER: Pretty much.
The Employment Standards Act only requires overtime pay after the first 44 hours worked in a work week. By offering you time and a half after 40 hours in your hiring letter, your employer was, at that time, doing better than the Employment Standards Act. They have now decided not to be as generous. After five years of service, they probably should have given you three or four months’ notice of this change to be fair given your seniority and level of responsibility. Theoretically there is a claim for the two or three months’ notice they did not give you of this change to the terms of your employment.
Realistically, if you like your job and don’t have a better one to go to it’s a theoretical remedy that you are never going to pursue. Most employees in this situation, when told they have a right to two or three months’ notice of the change, would not choose to have an employment lawyer do a letter to their boss demanding money. Most employees understand that the tension that would be created by such a demand would cause a deterioration in the relationship.
Employers often make changes like the one yours has and, because they are in the stronger bargaining position, can usually get away with it. Nobody may quit over this particular change but this kind of unfair treatment can have a cumulative effect. Over the years it can significantly affect morale when the employer is constantly throwing their weight around and breaking promises.
The ironic thing is that when the bonus packages for the executives who make these kind of decisions are threatened they are usually on the phone to someone like me screaming bloody murder in no time.
Ed Canning practices labour and employment law with Ross & McBride LLP, in Hamilton, representing both employers and employees. You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org