Unpaid wages prompt $72,000 fine

TORONTO, Ont. — Quality Brand Products Corporation was fined $72,000 on March 7 after it was convicted on 24 counts of failing to obey orders to pay wages. The orders, issued by an employment-standards officer between April 2014 and Feb. 2016, amounted to about $32,000. The wages owed varied between about $100 to $4,500, according to a court bulletin from the Ontario Ministry of Labour. Under Ontario’s Employment Standards Act (ESA), if an employment-standards officer finds that an employer owes wages to an employee, the officer may order the employer to pay the amount owed. A person who contravenes the ESA or its regulations, or fails to comply with an order under the Act, is guilty of an offence. An individual convicted under the ESA may be fined up to $50,000 or imprisonment of up to 12 months, or both. A corporation can be fined up to $100,000 for a first conviction, $250,000 for a second conviction and $500,000 for a third or more convictions, the bulletin noted.

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