If you're going to be moving to Toronto, or anywhere in Ontario for that matter, you're going to be doing everything you can to find a high paying job to meet your steep living expenses. Some might end up stuck in a terrible job that they think they can't get let go because they bought a home and they need to make their payments. That's why you should know your rights as a member of Ontario's workforce and where to go for help if your employer or fellow employees are infringing upon them.
Learn about Employment Standards right here
The Employment Standards Act, which was passed in 2000, aims toward achieving fairness in the workplace for everyone in Ontario. It is overseen by the Ontario Ministry of Labor and no economic sector is overlooked, from stocks and bonds to fast food. The Act lays out the minimum standards that both employers and employees (yes, employees have obligations too) are expected to meet. The Ministry of Labor enforces them and conducts investigations when it suspects they're being broken.
The only people who are not covered by the Employment Standards Act are people whose position is overseen by another organization or Act. This includes a student doing photography in Ottawa under a program administered by a high school or college, employees of the federal government or who work for federally regulated industries (like airlines or TV stations), police officers, and people who are in elected positions (such as union leader or judge).
Among other things, the Employment Standards Act sets out the minimum wage levels an employer in Ontario is allowed to pay an employee regardless of that employee's status in the province or country. As of March 2010, the minimum wage will be $14.00 regularly, $13.25 for students, $8.90 for bartenders, and $11.28 for people who work out of their home doing jobs like caring for children or the elderly.
Other parts of the Employment Standards Act dictate under which circumstances employers can fire or refuse to hire employees, the cutbacks they're allowed to make to employee benefits in order to reduce telecom expenses or raise their bottom line, and under what circumstances (such as illness or family emergencies) employees are entitled to paid time off. The Act also states that no employee can choose to give up his or her rights under the act, voluntarily or otherwise.
For more information on the Employment Standards Act or to file a complaint, phone 1-800-531-5551.