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Can an employer cut hours of a pregnant employee...

By Ron Guest |

Jeremy asked:

I am a manager at a local detailing shop in Ontario.


My assistant manager is 18 weeks pregnant and without any notice the owner of the shop hired a personal assistant who is also supost to be a full time employee at our shop and would like me to cut back the hours of the of the assistant manager because she is pregnant.


Just wondering if he can legaly do this? I cant find anything through the Labor Board on this.

Ron Guest answered:

If the manager is cutting back the hours because the employee is pregnant, this is taken very seriously by the Employment Standards Branch.

Essentially employers are not allowed to do this just because an employee is pregnant. It is discrimination.

The employee can file a Reprisal with the Employment Standards Branch, an Officer would come out and investigate and has the power to immediately re-instate the employee to full time hours, with back pay missed. The employer could also be fined for doing this.

The employee can also file a claim with the Ontario Human Rights Commission and the employer would have to pay a fine there too if found liable. The employee could also quit and file a claim for Constructive Dismissal and if found liable the company would be ordered to pay the legal amounts for notice and termination pay. On top of that could also be common law amounts, based on similar cases awarded by the courts.

Of course any employer can cut back hours if for example the business is slow or seasonal as an example, and in that case the recommended notice period is recommended to be the same as if the employee was being terminated.

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