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Employer wants to modify my work contract - what can I do?

  • Last Updated:
  • Feb 19th, 2020 3:37 pm
[OP]
Jr. Member
Dec 10, 2011
150 posts
146 upvotes
514

Employer wants to modify my work contract - what can I do?

Hello,

I have a small issue with my current employer. My work contract is based on 35 hrs/week (OT is paid after 35 hrs), sometimes I have OT, sometimes I work less than 35 hrs depending on the volume we have, but last year I had over 100 OT hours. My manager announced us last week that we are going to receive an increase in yearly salary, but no more OT to be paid. I calculated and basically I will get paid less for the same amount of work which might actually increase. Is there anything I can do against having my contract changed ? Is it even legal? I cannot find anything clear online regarding this.

Thank you for clarification.
5 replies
Deal Addict
Oct 6, 2015
2463 posts
1356 upvotes
If they meaningfully change your contract without negotiation and consent, you may have a case for constructive dismissal if they ultimately decide to walk away from the employment relationship. However, you'd have to enforce such in the courts. And you'd still have a duty to 'mitigate damages' in such case.

So if you don't think you can come to an agreement with them on compensation that reflects the work you've performed, then you need to start looking for another job.

Basically what you can "do" is somewhat a function of whether you could replace your job with ease or not. If you can find a replacement job, then you probably should. But otherwise...
Deal Addict
May 26, 2002
1822 posts
361 upvotes
First off we need to clarify that you are not a contract worker right? If you're full time it's not up to your boss to decide if they have to pay you overtime or not it's up to the law. There's only certain job roles that are not entitled to overtime. Managers, supervisors, public accountant, professional engineer, IT professional, lawyer, etc can be exempt from overtime.

I use the word can be because people think if you work in IT you can't get overtime which is not true it only applies to IT professionals who are specialized skills and not your everyday help desk or analysts.

Assuming you are in Ontario and you work 35 hrs a week, any hours worked more they need to pay you. Up til 44 hrs they can pay you straight time, after 44 hours they must pay you time and a half (or equivalent). The important thing is any hours worked more then you are required by your employment contract must be paid. That is not for your employer to decide. Employers can also over time in lieu instead of pay but the time and half still applies.

What the employer can do is change the terms of your contract (if you agree to it). In your case you mentioned some weeks you don't work the 35 hours, the employer may draw up a contract that says your work hours will be calculated bi-weekly or more rare monthly. If it's bi-weekly and your hours don't change then you must work 70 hrs every two weeks. If you work 40 hrs one week and 30 hrs next week you will not be entitled to extra pay even if you worked 40 hrs the first week. Just remember this does not help the employee at all and should not be signed unless there's a big enough wage compensation to make up for potential lost overtime.

Like the previous poster mentioned if they try to change your work terms you have a good case for constructive dismissal if you don't agree to sign. Just be ready to look for another job.

-LeeBear

P.S. 100 hrs of overtime in a year isn't really that much if there's actual work to be done.
Deal Guru
User avatar
Jul 12, 2003
10923 posts
3209 upvotes
Toronto
What I really concern for OP is......will the employer increasing his job volume and which he will have to work more OT hours than before to finish his tasks.

The employer knows that they don't have to pay OT hours anymore, they will probably putting more work and tasks for OP to complete, In order to get it done, OP have to work more OT hours without OT pay like he used to be.

I'm not sure rather OP can negotiate about this or he just have to suk it up and looking for a new job and plan his exit move.
Retired Forum Moderator February 2009 - June 2015
Deal Expert
User avatar
Oct 26, 2003
33557 posts
3654 upvotes
Winnipeg
OT doesn't need to be paid in money, but rather take it as time in lieu later, can that be done? Or just bank it continuously until you quit and get paid out?
Deal Fanatic
Oct 7, 2010
9033 posts
1289 upvotes
Sounds like OP is full time permanent non union getting paid hourly. Which is most of the time unheard of. 100OT. Just as well hire salary based instead of hourly based.

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