3. Consider your options if your employer pays you for less than 3 hours

Does my employer have to give me my schedule or a minimum number of work hours?
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3. Consider your options if your employer pays you for less than 3 hours

If you work a shift that's less than 3 hours, you might still have the right to be paid for 3 hours.

The "3-hour rule" says that your employer has to pay you for 3 hours if they ask you to work less than 3 hours.

When the rule does not apply

The rule does not apply if:

  • you’re a superintendent, janitor, or caretaker for a building where you live,
  • you regularly work shifts that are less than 3 hours, or
  • work stops because of something outside your employer’s control, like a power failure or a fire.

And the rule does not apply to students who:

  • work at a children’s camp, work instructing or supervising children, or work in a recreational program run by a charity, and
  • do not also work as a wilderness guide.

If your employer owes you money

If your employer owes you money because of the "3-hour rule", you might be able to get the money the employer owes you by making a claim with the Ministry of Labour.

You have up to 2 years to make a claim from the date the employer owed you the wages.

Most people don't make claims against an employer that they’re still working for. This is because the laws to protect workers don't stop employers from firing their workers. And if you're fired, it's up to you to take action against the employer to get what they owe you.

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Reviewed: July 29, 2019

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