Making a Complaint
How do I make a complaint?If you think your boss has violated your employment rights, you can file a written complaint with the Employment Standards Office.
Are there time limits for filing a complaint?You can make a complaint at any time while you're employed by your employer. (Note: An order to the employer to pay you money owing must be made within one year of the date you should have been paid.)
If you're no longer working for your employer (for example, if you didn't get termination pay or were fired), you have to file within six months of the day your employment ended. This six-month period can be extended if it's determined that there are extenuating circumstances.
What happens after I file the complaint?If your complaint is accepted for investigation, your boss will be notified and will get a copy of the complaint. Employment Standards can refuse your complaint if:
- it considered frivolous or a nuisance complaint
- there is not enough evidence to substantiate the claim
- there are other ways you should try to deal with it before the complaint is filed
- you are taking your employer to court over the issue
If your complaint is accepted, your employer will be asked to look at it and pay any monies owed. If you receive compensation, the matter will be considered resolved. If there's no resolution at this point, an Employment Standards Officer will determine whether there's money owing.
If you were suspended, fired or laid off, and the officer can't resolve the situation, your complaint will be referred to the Director of Employment Standards, who will make a determination and issue an order.
What if I'm owed money?If the officer says you're owed money, your boss will be asked to pay. If your boss doesn't agree, the officer will investigate and try mediation or other ways to solve the problem. If these efforts fail, the officer will issue a formal order to pay. The employer can appeal this order.
What if the decision goes against me?If the officer says you're not owed any compensation, you'll get a formal "Decision of Officer." You can appeal this decision to the Director of Employment Standards within 21 days from the date the decision was served.
Your file will be then be reviewed. If your appeal is denied, you and your boss will be notified in writing and your case will be closed. If your appeal succeeds, an Employment Standards Officer will follow the same process outlined above for cases where it's determined that money is owed.
What if my boss doesn't pay up after being ordered to do so?
The order will be filed in Court and will then be enforceable as a judgement of the Court. It can be given to a collection agency for collection.
For more information on the complaints process, please see How the Employment Standards Enforcement Process Works
Where can I find out more?Contact your nearest Employment Standards Office.