Worker entitled to pay during training period: Arbitrator

Worker became fed up after months of unpaid training but employer kept saying he wasn't ready to work on his own
|Canadian Employment Law Today|Last Updated: 10/03/2012

An Ontario company must pay a worker for work he did while training because the employer benefitted from the work, an arbitrator has ruled.

Lifetime Security Tech installed and maintained security alarms and surveillance systems for residential and commercial buildings in Toronto. The company also contracted with a developer to install preliminary “rough-ins” for cable access and central vacuum systems in houses under construction.

In March 2011, Lifetime hired Li Yu to install and service surveillance systems. Yu lacked any experience, but the owner agreed to provide one month of free technical training. Yu studied a manual and equipment for two weeks, then began practising in the office. Soon, the owner began taking Yu on service calls so Yu could observe how it was done. Yu also was asked to pick up materials on a few occasions. At this point, there were no discussions on the terms and conditions of Yu’s employment once the training was completed.