T.O. restaurant scraps plan to increase employee deductions

Downtown eatery wanted to charge waiters $2 per shift for supplies and laundry, effectively wiping out minimum wage increase

Many low-income workers across Ontario can look forward to a little more cash coming their way with the Feb. 1, 2007, increase in the province’s minimum wage from $7.75 to $8 for most workers and $6.75 to $6.95 for waiters who serve alcohol. For a short while, however, this was not the case for waiters at a popular restaurant, according to the Toronto Star.

Servers at Joe Badali’s in downtown Toronto have long paid a fee of 50 cents per shift, deducted from their paycheques, to cover the restaurant’s cost in washing their aprons and providing them with supplies such as notepads and cash envelopes. They were recently told, as of Jan. 29, this fee would increase to $2 per shift.

One server told the Star that it was “fairly obvious” the restaurant was trying to make up for the increased costs from the minimum-wage increase.

When contacted by the Star, the vice-president of Badali’s insisted the increase wasn’t related to the minimum-wage hike and it was permitted under the deduction agreement each employee signs when hired by the restaurant. But a spokesperson for the province’s Ministry of Labour told the newspaper that, when there is a change in the amount of a non-statutory deduction, employees must sign a new agreement to permit the new deduction.

Badali’s quickly reversed its decision, restoring the fee to 50 cents per shift.

Related articles

Can New Brunswick employer withhold wages of fired worker to pay for damage?
Tire worker involved in hit-and-run accident with security guard

Docking an employee’s pay not usually legal
Even a written agreement allowing it might not be enough

New Brunswick Labour and Employment Board wants province to change legislation
Employer can’t deduct wages to pay for damages to van caused by an employee who used it after hours, a decision the board said was ‘inequitable’

Latest stories