Teen employee worked too late, alone at Edmonton fair

Employer faces up to $300,000 in fines for letting teen serve refreshments alone after 9 p.m., contrary to employment standards legislation

An Alberta company and its director have been charged with violating the province’s Employment Standards Code in connection with the employment of a 15-year-old worker.

Shelby Amusement Services, an Alberta midway company that operates at public events such as the Capital EX in Edmonton and the Calgary Stampede, employed a 15-year-old as a refreshment server at the 2008 Capital EX. However, the teen worked alone until after midnight, which contravened the Employment Standards Code and Employment Standards Regulation.

Alberta Employment and Immigration found the teen working late into the evening and charged Shelby and its director, Ab Storey of Calgary, each with employing a young person at a business selling food or beverages at a prohibited time — after 9 p.m., according to the legislation — and employing a young person at a business selling food or beverages without the continuous presence of another individual 18 years or older.

The fines for each charge could be as much as $100,000 for Shelby and $50,000 for its director, Storey.

Alberta employment standards officers have monitored midway grounds at the Capital EX and the Calgary Stampede since more than a dozen South African workers were found enduring poor working and living conditions during a 2005 fair. Their employer was found in violation of several employment standards provisions.

“These rules are in place for a reason,” Barrie Harrison, spokesperson for Alberta Employment and Immigration, told Edmonton’s CHED News. “We would much rather be enforcing these rules today than have something drastic happen to a young worker and then Albertans asking us why we weren’t enforcing the law.”

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