B.C. law now protects workers’ tips
By Canadian Pizza
By Canadian Pizza
Victoria – British Columbia Employment Standards Act amendments introduced this week will make it illegal for employers to take any of their workers’ tips, except when they are doing the exact same job as the staff.
The legislation establishes a legal framework for regulating tips and tip pooling and protecting workers’ rights with respect to tips and gratuities, the Ministry of Labour said in a news release.
It prohibits employers from withholding tips or other gratuities from workers, deducting amounts from them or requiring them to be turned over to the employer.
It permits tip pooling but specifies that the employer may not share in the tip pool except when the employer performs the same work as workers who share in the pool.
The legislation also extends the recovery period for which workers can recover owed wages from their employer from six months to 12 months, with the possibility of extending the period to 24 months under some circumstances, such as in cases involving wilful or severe contraventions of the act.
It also makes collective agreement provisions subject to the minimum requirements of the Employment Standards Act.
The amendments also focus on expanded job-protected leaves, modernized Employment Standards Branch services and stronger child employment protections.
Among other changes, the legislation broadly raises the age a child may work from 12 to 16, and puts restrictions on the type of hazardous work 16-year-olds to 18-year-olds can be asked to perform. It provides exemptions that allow 14-year-olds and 15-year-olds to perform light work that is safe for their health and development (such as stocking shelves at a grocery store).