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Ontario investigates businesses allegedly breaking new labour laws

Last Updated Jan 8, 2018 at 6:27 pm EDT

Ontario’s labour minister says the government is investigating businesses that are alleged to be acting illegally to cope with a minimum wage hike.

The minimum wage increased on Jan. 1 from $11.60 an hour to $14 and some businesses have implemented new rules to offset the added costs.

Labour Minister Kevin Flynn says the vast majority are complying with the legislation, but there have been stories of some business owners taking the increased pressure out on their workers, which both he and Premier Kathleen Wynne call “bullying.”

A pair of eastern Ontario Tim Hortons franchisees — who happen to be the children of the company’s billionaire co-founders — have made headlines for cutting paid breaks and forcing their workers to cover a bigger share of their benefits.

Flynn says that goes against the spirit, though not the letter, of the law, but another story about a Toronto Tim Hortons franchise allegedly banning workers from keeping tips clearly contravenes the legislation.

Flynn wouldn’t confirm any specific ministry investigations, but says inspectors are being sent anywhere contraventions are reported, and that the government is “very willing” to publish the names of employers who break the rules.

Related stories:

Franchisees’ cuts to paid breaks, benefits ‘reckless’: Tim Hortons

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Ontario businesses hike prices, consider cutting staff as minimum wage increases