Agripina worked 12 hours a day and many weekends looking after 2 young kids in a busy household only to face unpaid wages. But she fought back. Agripina not only got her unpaid wages, but the court case resulted in a legal decision that may help caregivers in the future.
Agripina filed a claim against her former employer at the Ministry of Labour for unpaid wages. Her employer was ordered to pay her over $7,000 in unpaid wages, overtime, public holiday pay and vacation pay.
But the employer didn’t like it and applied to Ontario Labour Relations Board to review the order to pay. Parkdale Community Legal Services represented Agripina in her case. The employer tried to argue that Agripina wasn’t really working all the hours during the day and was only ‘volunteering’ on the weekends to help clean up and look after the dog.
Agripina won her case. The Vice-Chair (decision maker at the OLRB) decided she was owed more in unpaid wages — a total of $13,092. The Vice-Chair made it clear that when caregivers can’t leave work, can’t do their own personal things without considering their boss, then a caregiver is working and must be paid. Also, looking after a dog is not volunteer work. When a caregiver can’t pursue their own personal things outside the workplace (the employer’s home) on the weekends, then it is work and must be paid.
Congratulations to Agripinia for fighting back and winning, not just for herself but for all caregivers.
Click here to read a summary of the OLRB case results.