ON blitz finds 42% of businesses violating internship regulations

October 1, 2014

An inspection blitz conducted this spring by the Ontario Ministry of Labour found 42% of businesses were breaking the law regarding the use of interns, reports theToronto Star. The ministry inspected 56 businesses in the GTA, and of the 31 that had interns, 13 were breaking the Employment Standards Act. Common violations included not paying minimum wage or not providing vacation or public-holiday pay. The ministry issued 37 compliance orders to offending businesses, and demanded $48,543 in back wages be paid out. Companies involved in the blitz included advertising, public relations, computer design, and consulting firms. Internships are currently regulated under provincial legislation, which differs greatly from province to province. Increased attention to the plight of unpaid interns has led to the cancellation of several high profile unpaid internships, including Bell Canada’s. 2 federal NDP MPs recently introduced a private member’s bill calling for regulations designed to protect interns from unsafe or exploitative working conditions. Toronto Star