Employers are prohibited from penalizing or threatening to penalize employees in any way for:

  • asking the employer to comply with the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA) and the regulations;
  • asking questions about rights under the ESA;
  • filing a complaint under the ESA;
  • exercising or trying to exercise a right under the ESA;
  • giving information to an employment standards officer;
  • taking, planning on taking, being eligible or becoming eligible for a pregnancy, parental, personal emergency, family caregiver, family medical, critically ill child care, organ donor, reservist or crime-related child death or disappearance leave;
  • being subject to a garnishment order (i.e., a court order to have a certain amount deducted from wages to satisfy a debt);
  • participating in a proceeding under the ESA;
  • participating in a proceeding under section 4 of the Retail Business Holidays Act (regarding tourism exemptions that allow retail businesses to open on holidays).

An employer that does penalize an employee for any of these reasons can be ordered by an employment standards officer to:

  • reinstate an employee to his or her job
  • compensate an employee for any loss incurred because of a violation of the ESA.