Interpreting act’s wording

Construction worker employed at multiple sites protected by the Employment Standards Act
|Canadian Employment Law Today

John Tyler was employed by Daryl-Evans Mechanical Ltd. (DEM) as a plumber from March 6, 1994, to July 15, 1999, on a number of different and consecutive construction projects on various sites. DEM’s principal business is construction. Mr. Tyler did not belong to a union. When his employment with DEM ceased, Mr. Tyler sought compensation under the terms of the Employment Standards Act. The director of employment standards dismissed the claim.

Section 63 of the Act sets out minimum requirements for notice in lieu of severance pay. However section 65 of the Act provides that section 63 is not applicable to an employee employed at a construction site by an employer whose principal business is construction. The basis for the dismissal of Mr. Taylor’s claim by the Employment Standards Branch was that he was working on construction sites, thereby excluded from the notice provisions of the Act.

Mr. Tyler appealed successfully to the tribunal. The adjudicator ordered DEM to pay Mr. Tyler compensation for length of service. DEM sought a reconsideration of the adjudicator’s decision. The tribunal upheld the adjudicator’s decision stating that Mr. Tyler was entitled to compensation as an employee of some permanence who was not employed to work on a single site.