Increases to the Minimum Wage always come with questions on how this sudden raise will impact persons who earn at or just above this wage level prior to the increase. Employment law is complex and in many cases is “situation dependent”, but here are some tips to help clarify things.
Anyone who currently earns less than $15 per hour will automatically begin earning the new rate as of January 1; and this time around, persons who serve liquor will be included (finally!) This increase is covered under Employment Standards Legislation, so it is mandatory.
For those who currently earn the new rate of $15 per hour, or are above it, there is no legislated requirement for your employer to increase your wage.
Employers cannot remove or lower other benefits to “compensate” for this increase. They cannot take away your health and dental benefits or service tips, as an example.
If the employer is forced to lower the total number of staff due to the economic impact, they must follow the notice of termination rules and provide reasonable notice to staff who will be dismissed.
For those who earn less than $15 and have a clause in an employment contract that provides for annual raises, those raises would be in addition to the minimum wage increase. For example, if you currently earn $14.75 per hour and have a clause in your contract that results in an increase to your wage that would take you over the $15 per hour level this year, the employer must do BOTH: give you the ESA-mandated raise to $15 per hour, and then add on your contract-provided raise.
Where the change in rates of pay comes in the middle of a pay period, Employers must show one line on the paystub with the hours paid at the “old” rate and another line showing the hours paid at the “new” rate.
Do you need help navigating the ESA? Call us today!