I’m a temporary foreign worker. What are my rights?
Question & AnswerI’m a temporary foreign worker. What are my rights?
3. Learn what to do if your employer breaks the law
If your employer is not following Ontario's employment rules, you can:
- quit your job. Read Step 4 for more information.
- complain to the Ministry of Labour. You must do this within 2 years of when the problem happened. You cannot complain after that time has passed.
The Ministry can order an employer to pay you what they owe you, give you back your property, or start respecting your rights.
The Ministry has an Employment Standards Information Centre. You can call them at 1-800-531-5551 to get information about making a complaint.
Get help if you want to complain
Filing a complaint with the Ministry of Labour is complicated. And most people don't complain against an employer that they're still working for. This is because the law does not always do a good job of stopping employers from firing their workers.
Here are some organizations that can give you more information or help you make a complaint for free:
- the Workers’ Action Centre. There are many ways to contact them, including by phone at 416-531-0778.
- your local community legal clinic. You can find your local clinic by calling Legal Aid Ontario at 1-800-668-8258 or looking on their website.
The Ministry of Labour is often very slow dealing with complaints. So try to complain as soon as you can.
How to make a complaint
To make a complaint, you can fill out this online form.
You may be complaining because your employer:
- took your property, such as your passport
- took money from you to pay for the costs of hiring you, including the cost of air travel
If either of these happened to you, select “yes” when the complaint form asks if you're filing a claim under the Employment Protection for Foreign Nationals Act. This is question 7 on the Ministry’s form.
There's more information in How do I make an employment claim with the Ministry of Labour?