T.O. restaurant scraps plan to increase employee deductions

Downtown eatery wanted to charge waiters $2 per shift for supplies and laundry, effectively wiping out minimum wage increase
|employmentlawtoday.com

Many low-income workers across Ontario can look forward to a little more cash coming their way with the Feb. 1, 2007, increase in the province’s minimum wage from $7.75 to $8 for most workers and $6.75 to $6.95 for waiters who serve alcohol. For a short while, however, this was not the case for waiters at a popular restaurant, according to the

Toronto Star

.

Servers at Joe Badali’s in downtown Toronto have long paid a fee of 50 cents per shift, deducted from their paycheques, to cover the restaurant’s cost in washing their aprons and providing them with supplies such as notepads and cash envelopes. They were recently told, as of Jan. 29, this fee would increase to $2 per shift.

One server told the

Star

that it was “fairly obvious” the restaurant was trying to make up for the increased costs from the minimum-wage increase.

When contacted by the

Star

, the vice-president of Badali’s insisted the increase wasn’t related to the minimum-wage hike and it was permitted under the deduction agreement each employee signs when hired by the restaurant. But a spokesperson for the province’s Ministry of Labour told the newspaper that, when there is a change in the amount of a non-statutory deduction, employees must sign a new agreement to permit the new deduction.

Badali’s quickly reversed its decision, restoring the fee to 50 cents per shift.

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