Summer School


VANCOUVER — For many students, the foodservice industry is the first stop as classrooms empty every summer and the number of candidates looking for shift work swells. Not surprisingly, the demand for work creates a new shift in power, and some student workers are starting to push back against what many, including the courts, see as unfair employment practices.

One such student, featured recently in an article by Tiffany Crawford of the Vancouver Sun, has taken issue with unpaid trial shifts, a practice whereby a potential employee is tested in a real service environment and ostensibly does the job of a paid worker without being remunerated. The paper reported that the restaurant owner in question, while declining to be identified, acknowledged the illegality of unpaid training shifts, while noting the practice is widespread in the industry.

The rampant nature of the violation was also confirmed to the paper by Rod Bianchini, regional manager of the Lower Mainland employment standards branch, who told the Sun, “Does trying people out and not paying them happen? Yes. Often? Yes. It is a regular source of complaint.”

For the full Vancouver Sun article, click here.


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