The changes to the minimum wage rate in Ontario are not just about compensation increases.
In January of this year (2018), legislation came into effect that amended numerous working conditions for employees in Ontario, including a stepped increase to the minimum wage for workers. Prior to the implementation of this particular piece of legislation, there were numerous headlines outlining the potential benefits and negative consequences impacting every employer in Ontario.
It should be no surprise, then, to read and hear about controversial employment practices as a result of these changes. Leading the negative storyline were the corporate heirs and franchise owners of the Tim Horton’s restaurant chain. The owners not only removed existing paid breaks and other paid benefits from employees, they also required existing employees to sign a document acknowledging (and accepting) these losses.
Click here to read the CBC report on this issue.
The premier of Ontario, Kathleen Wynne, has called out the actions of the owners as ‘bullying’.
In her statements, the premier accuses the owners of taking out their frustrations with the legislative requirements on their employees and identifies this a bullying behaviour. This is an example of employer conduct, which identifies the actions and behaviours of the employer as setting the tone for the entire organization. If the employer acts in a way that is disrespectful of the law by de-valuing and de-grading their employees, what types of strategic messages or corporate values does this particular employer promote?
If the strategic, corporate objective is to earn profits, then the employer should be clear and direct that this is the first priority. However, when the employer promotes Canadian, family-based, feel-good values as part of its marketing campaigns, the implementation of bullying practices in order to achieve the strategic objective of profits at all costs, leaves a very bitter taste.
- What types of values does the Tim Horton’s brand promote in its media campaigns?
- From an HR perspective, how should these values present themselves within a Tim Horton’s franchise?
- How does bullying ‘from the top’ influence organizational behaviour?
- From a values perspective, identify specific changes you would make, as an owner of a Tim Horton’s franchise, in order to
- comply with the new legislation.
- benefit both the employees and the organization.