I came to Canada to pick and harvest crops. What are my rights?

3. Learn about hours of work

There are different rules about hours of work for harvesters than other workers in Ontario.

There are no limits on how many hours you can work in a day and in a week. This means that your employer can schedule you for longer workdays than most people are allowed to work.

And you do not get:

  • meal breaks
  • rest periods during the day or week
  • time off between your shifts
  • overtime pay

Overtime

Most workers in Ontario get extra money for working more than 44 hours in a week. This is called overtime pay.

This does not apply to harvesters. This means that your employer can make you work very long hours and they only have to pay you your normal hourly rate. This can include working on weekends.

Public holidays

Ontario has 9 public holidays, including Canada Day, Labour Day, and Thanksgiving. Your employer does not have to pay you for these days until you've worked for them for 13 weeks.

After that, if you work on a public holiday, your employer must pay you 1.5 times what you normally earn in an hour. Or, they can give you a different working day off and pay you your normal wage for that day.

Vacation pay

You have a right to get vacation pay, but only after you've worked for your employer for 13 weeks. Vacation pay is 4% of your yearly income, if you've worked for your employer for less than 5 years. If you've worked on fixed-term contracts for over 5 years, get legal help.

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