In a recent decision of the Ontario Court of Justice, the Justice of the Peace sentenced a director to heavy fines and 90 days behind bars for failure to pay wages.
The decision deals with one Mr. Steven Blondin, a director of six Ontario companies. In 2010, Mr. Blondin received 113 orders of the Ministry of Labour issued by an employment standards officer. These orders demanded that Mr. Blondin and the companies pay over $125,000 in unpaid wages to 61 employees. Over the course of approximately two years, Mr. Blondin and the companies refused to comply with all of the orders. Mr. Blondin’s dismissive conduct resulted in prosecution, ultimately causing the director and each company to enter a plea of guilty wherein admissions were made with respect to violating the Employment Standards Act, 2000, and failing to comply with the employment standards officer’s orders. The plea resulted in a fine of $280,000, an order to pay the outstanding wages with a 25 per cent victim fine surcharge under the Provincial Offences Act and, most importantly, an imposition of a 90-day imprisonment term for Mr. Blondin.