Tim Horton’s, one of the most beloved Canadian corporations, has ignited controversy as many chains have moved to cut employee breaks and hours following the passage of Bill 148. Employees at various locations across Ontario have made statements to media revealing how owners of franchises have begun punishing employees at the restaurants following the implementation of the now $14 minimum wage and other labour reforms.
One of the stores that has drawn the most media attention has been the Tim Hortons in Coburg, Ontario, which is owned by Jeri Lynn Horton-Joyce, daughter of the late Tim Horton.
At the Coburg location, workers were given a letter they were mandated to sign which stated due to the passage of Bill 148, employees would have to have their paid breaks eliminated and pay costs for their benefits. The move has elicited calls for a boycott on social media, sparking the hashtag #ByeTimHortons, and has drawn sharp criticism from Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne.
Tim Hortons locations in Scarborough have also banned employees from accepting tips from customers, instead mandating all tips must go to the restaurant.
But Tim Hortons is not the only corporation to have responded to the wage increase by punishing workers. Servers at Sunset Grill locations across Ontario have released internal documents to the media showing the corporate has increased tip-out percentages from serving staff, meaning less take home pay for workers.
As of January 1, the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act has come into effect under provincial law. The most noteworthy change included in the new law is the increase of the minimum wage for workers in the province. The minimum wage now stands at $14 an hour, and will increase to $15 in 2019, followed by increases every October to match inflation.