Working Wise | DrumhellerMail - Page #18
09282022Wed
Last updateWed, 28 Sep 2022 2pm

Dear Working Wise: My daughter started working as a cashier at our local garden centre in May. She was not paid holiday pay for Victoria Day. She was also not paid overtime for working the holiday. Is she entitled to holiday pay and overtime? She also wor

 

Dear Working Wise:
My daughter started working as a cashier at our local garden centre in May. She was not paid holiday pay for Victoria Day. She was also not paid overtime for working the holiday. Is she entitled to holiday pay and overtime? She also worked more than 100 hours over the past two weeks. Is she entitled to overtime for those hours?  Signed, Disappointed Dad

Dear Disappointed Dad:

I am glad to hear that your daughter found a summer job. I’ll address your holiday-pay question first.

Under Alberta's Employment Standards, your daughter’s employer is most likely not required to pay her for Victoria Day (May 21), because employees must have worked a minimum of 30 days prior to the holiday within the past year to be eligible.

Of course, it is important to remember that these are the minimum standards. Your daughter may be entitled to holiday pay if she has an employment contract or belongs to a union with an agreement that doesn't require the 30-day minimum.

Otherwise, to be eligible for general holiday pay under Alberta's Employment Standards, employees must:

  • have worked 30 days for their employer in the preceding 12 months;
  • work their scheduled shift before and after the holiday (unless employer consent is given);
  • work on the general holiday if requested; and
  • normally work that day of the week, e.g., if you don't normally work on Mondays, you are not entitled to be paid holiday pay for a holiday that falls on a Monday.


You were also wondering if she is entitled to overtime for working on the holiday. Again, because she is short of the minimum 30 days of work, she is considered to be ineligible for the general holiday. The good news is that she will be eligible for the remainder of the summer general holidays, including Canada Day.

Finally, you were wondering if she is eligible for overtime for working more than 100 hours during a two-week period. The short answer is yes.

For most employees, overtime is all hours worked in excess of eight hours a day or 44 hours a week. Overtime is calculated both on a daily and weekly basis. The higher of the two numbers is overtime hours worked in the week.

Overtime must be paid at the rate of at least 1.5 times her regular wage rate unless she has signed an overtime agreement with her employer. For more information on overtime agreements, visit the Employment Standards web site.

If you have any more detailed questions about her holiday pay or overtime, call the Alberta Employment Standards Contact Centre toll-free at 1-877-427-3731 or visit www.employment.alberta.ca/es.

Do you have a work-related question? Send your questions to Working Wise, at charles.strachey@gov.ab.ca. Charles Strachey is a manager with Alberta Human Services. This column is provided for general information.  


I noticed some roofers on my neigbour’s house the other day were not wearing safety harnesses. It looked like a long fall from the roof of that two-storey home. Aren’t those workers supposed to have protection?

Dear Working Wise:

I noticed some roofers on my neigbour’s house the other day were not wearing safety harnesses. It looked like a long fall from the roof of that two-storey home. Aren’t those workers supposed to have protection? Signed Nervous Neighbour   

 

Dear Nervous:

 

Yes, anyone working at a height of three metres or more is required to use fall protection.

 

Falls, from any height, are a common cause of serious injury and even death in the workplace. Around 20 per cent of the workplace incidents reported to Alberta Occupational Health and Safety since January 1, 2012, involve falls.

 

And, fall-protection equipment saved the lives of two workers in Calgary recently who were working 30 metres in the air when the platform they were standing on collapsed.

 

Workers can wear a full body harness attached to an anchor point. They can also be protected with guardrails or some other restraint system that would prevent them from getting too close to the edge.

 

Section 139 of Alberta's Occupational Health and Safety Code states that fall protection is necessary when "the worker may fall three metres or more," or when "there is an unusual possibility of injury if a worker falls less than three metres."

 

For example, fall protection is necessary if the worker could land on something other than a solid, flat surface, like uncapped rebar or other construction materials.

 

The three-metre fall distance is measured from the point from which a worker may fall, from their feet to the lower level. The vertical height that a worker may roll or slide down the sloped roof before they lose contact with the roof is not considered to be part of the "fall distance." If the worker is working close to the gable end of a roof (in residential construction) then that height is included.

 

It is the employer's responsibility to ensure that their workers are protected as much as possible. That includes having the proper equipment on site and ensuring that all employees are trained in its use. Employers should ensure that only competent trained workers are up on the roof or other structure.

 

Unfortunately, complacency happens. Workers forget, get too busy or in some cases, don't bother using their safety equipment. For the unlucky ones, their complacency catches up with them and that's when injuries happen.

 

If you come across a worksite where workers are up high and clearly not protected, you can call Occupational Health and Safety at 1-866-415-8690. They will send an officer to check out the scene.

 

For more information on fall protection or any other workplace health and safety issues, go to www.employment.alberta.ca/ohs.

 

Do you have a work-related question? Send your questions to Working Wise, at charles.strachey@gov.ab.ca. Charles Strachey is a manager with Alberta Human Services. This column is provided for general information.

 

I hear that minimum wage is going up, but I am wondering if both minimum wages are increasing? I am a server in a lounge and sure would like a raise.

 

Dear Working Wise:

I hear that minimum wage is going up, but I am wondering if both minimum wages are increasing? I am a server in a lounge and sure would like a raise. Signed, Wondering Waitress

 

Dear Wondering:

 

Alberta’s minimum wage is rising 3.5 per cent, from $9.40 to $9.75 per hour, beginning September 1. The liquor-server minimum wage of $9.05 per hour will remain unchanged.

 

The differential wage for alcohol servers will remain at $9.05 per hour until the general minimum wage reaches $10.05 per hour. From then on, both wage rates will increase and a $1 differential between the two wages will be maintained.

 

The separate minimum wage rate for alcohol servers recognizes that these employees earn tips.

 

Minimum wage increases take effect on September 1 of each year and are based on increases in average weekly earnings and the Consumer Price Index in Alberta.

 

Setting an annual date and indexing the minimum wage helps make the increases more predictable for both employers and employees.

 

It’s important to remember that these are minimum wage rates—many employers choose to pay their employees more to attract and retain good people.

 

In fact, less than two per cent of Alberta employees make minimum wage right now—the least in the country. Nearly half of minimum-wage earners are under 25 years old and many work in the accommodation and food-services industries.

 

Minimum wage is meant to give students and others new to the workforce a foothold in the world of work. It is about getting job experience, work skills, extra income and savings for further education and training.

 

Minimum wage is the minimum amount employers must pay workers in Alberta, but there are a few exceptions, including:

·         farm or ranch workers;

·         securities salespersons;

·         real estate brokers;

·         insurance salespeople;

·         students in approved work-experience programs or training courses;

·         counsellors/instructors at non-profit camps; and

·         extras in film or video production.

 

The exemptions I have listed here are fairly general. Alberta’s Employment Standards also includes a minimum weekly wage of $376 for some salespersons and professionals and a minimum monthly minimum wage of $1,791 for domestic employees.

 

For a more information on Alberta’s minimum wage rates and exemptions, visit www.employment.alberta.ca/es.

 

Anyone interested in increasing their earning power can visit their nearest Alberta Works Centre and talk to a Career & Employment Consultant about upgrading their skills and finding a better-paying career.

 

To find the Alberta Works Centre near you, click http://employment.alberta.ca/offices.

 

Do you have a work-related question? Send your questions to Working Wise, at charles.strachey@gov.ab.ca. Charles Strachey is a manager with Alberta Human Services. This article is provided for general information only.

 

 

 

 


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