Overtime pay Ontario laws are critical to protecting your rights. Unpaid overtime is an exploitative practice, it is a form of wage theft that, unfortunately, is all too common for workers in the US and Canada:
North American workers average nine unpaid hours of overtime every week, or about $17,000 (USD) each year, according to one survey.
An unpaid overtime lawyer is here to help you recoup those costs and contribute to curbing (and hopefully eliminating) this dishonest practice.
Unpaid Overtime Pay Ontario FAQs
Last fiscal year, there were nearly 9,000 claims filed against employers in Ontario. While these were not all relating to unpaid overtime pay in Ontario, this simply goes to show that employers are at least being accused of many infractions – and you have to factor in that a number of improprieties go unreported.
It’s important that you know your rights so you can challenge these employers and potentially recoup the money owed to you and your fellow workers.
To that end, we’ve provided a guide to unpaid overtime, delivered by an unpaid overtime lawyer. This should help you determine if you have a potential unpaid overtime lawsuit that you can pursue in order to hold your employer accountable while getting paid what you are owed.
What Is Unpaid Overtime Pay in Ontario?
What is unpaid overtime? It’s when a worker puts in hours in excess of the amount allotted in the relevant legal statutes protecting workers’ rights (in this case, the Ontario Employment Standards Act (ESA)). In Ontario, if you work more than 44 hours per week, you are likely owed overtime pay.
Is Unpaid Overtime Illegal or Is Unpaid Overtime Legal?
Let’s start with square one: is unpaid overtime legal or is unpaid overtime illegal? Or, more accurately, when is unpaid overtime illegal?
If you are a non-unionized hourly or salaried employee and work more than 44 hours per week, then you may be entitled to overtime pay. There are some industry-specific exceptions, but generally, if this describes you, get in touch with us for a free employment lawyer consultation – we’d be happy to hear about your situation and walk you through your options.
Remember, when you calculate overtime, the threshold is 44 hours. In sum: 44 working hours of paid time is the threshold; work more than 44 hours, and you are entitled to overtime pay at a premium rate.
Is Salary Unpaid Overtime Legal?
No. We hear it a lot – “I don’t get overtime pay because I am on salary”. How you are paid often does not matter. Even as a salaried employee, you still may be entitled to overtime pay. Salary unpaid overtime is covered by the Ontario ESA, granting you a variety of protections that can help you pursue compensation from your employer.
What to Do if You’re Forced to Work Unpaid Overtime?
If you feel pressured or forced to work unpaid overtime, then you may have a claim against your employer. Working unpaid overtime can be a cause for a claim for compensation from your employer, and you should consult an experienced unpaid overtime lawyer to determine if this applies to you.
How to Report Unpaid Overtime Pay in Ontario?
If you’re working unpaid overtime, you have a couple of options for reporting this. You can always file a complaint with the Ontario provincial government without an unpaid overtime attorney supporting you. However, you have to be careful as filing a complaint with the Ministry of Labour will limit your entitlements to only 2 years in the past even though you may be owed much more. Also, employment law is complex and depending on the size of your employer, they may have a large team of defence lawyers ready to counter your claim. The best way to ensure that your case has the highest possible chance of success is by retaining the help of a trusted employer lawyer in Toronto.
How Much Unpaid Overtime Is Legal? How Much Unpaid Overtime Is Too Much?
Overtime pay Ontario laws are clear: workers who put in an excess of 44 hours a week are entitled to overtime pay. That said, overtime pay Ontario laws also outline that some managers and supervisors may not qualify for overtime. If a worker is putting in more than 44 hours a week, they are entitled to ‘time-and-a-half’ or 1.5 times their base salary. So even if you were being paid for those hours, if your employer was not adding the additional 50% pay bump, you may be entitled to compensation.
How to Calculate Unpaid Overtime Pay
Calculating overtime pay in Ontario can be accomplished by taking your hourly rate of pay (which can be determined by dividing your weekly salary by 44). With that figure in hand, you can then multiply by 1.5 to determine your hourly overtime pay rate. How much an employee works in a work week, in other words, in conjunction with their hourly rate will determine if they are to receive overtime pay. Also keep in mind that you may be owed vacation pay on your overtime pay as well.
Should I Sue for Working Unpaid Overtime?
Only you can decide if you’d like to take legal action against your employer in an effort to recoup stolen wages. That said, know that your unpaid overtime lawyer will walk you through your options so you can determine if this is the right course of action – and they’ll do so for free. Better yet, many unpaid overtime attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, meaning that they won’t cost you anything up front, but will instead deduct their cost from the overall settlement. This translates into a ‘you don’t pay unless you win’ deal, so you can’t be financially hurt by the legal proceedings.
How to Deal with Unpaid Overtime? Fight Back with Unified LLP
If you’re in need of a leading employment lawyer Toronto to challenge your employer and recover the overtime pay owed to you, then you’re in need of the team at Unified.
We can serve as your:
- Employment Lawyer Toronto
- Employment Lawyer Mississauga
- Wrongful Dismissal Lawyer Toronto
- Constructive Dismissal Lawyer
We are dedicated to serving our clients and ensuring they reach the best outcome possible in their employment law claims. We have extensive overtime pay Ontario legal knowledge that we leverage to forcefully make your case. Get a free consultation with a Toronto employment lawyer so we can better assess your case and begin building your claim. Get in touch with us today to determine how to best pursue your overtime pay in Ontario claims.