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Employment Standards Appeals

When Employment Standards receives a complaint about unpaid wages, an officer is assigned to investigate. If the officer determines wages are owed, the director of Employment Standards can issue a wage assessment.

Either the employer or the employee can appeal if they disagree with the amount of unpaid wages in the wage assessment.


1. Overview

An appeal is a challenge to a wage assessment decision by an investigating officer who administers and enforces The Saskatchewan Employment Act. Employment Standards appeals can be filed by employers or employees.


2. Eligibility

Employees and employers are both eligible to file appeals if they do not agree with the amount of wages determined to be owing in a wage assessment.

Either party has 15 business days after the wage assessment has been served to file an appeal.


3. Appeal Process

employment standards appeal process

Appealing the Director's Decision to an Adjudicator

Once the director receives the notice of appeal and the deposit (if applicable), the registrar of the Labour Relations Board (the Board) is informed that an appeal has been filed. The registrar is responsible for:

  • selecting an adjudicator; and
  • consulting with the adjudicator and the parties involved to set:
    • a time;
    • a date; and
    • a place for the hearing.

Once notified that an adjudicator has been selected, the director will forward copies of the wage assessment and the written notice of the appeal to the adjudicator.

Adjudicators are independent of Employment Standards and are responsible for hearing all evidence and arguments from each party. They determine how a hearing will be conducted. They are not bound by the normal rules of evidence, meaning that they may accept any evidence they consider to be appropriate.

Appellants may represent themselves or have a lawyer or another person act on their behalf at a hearing. The parties to the appeal are not required to be physically present at a hearing, and can attend by phone or video if the Adjudicator permits it. Appellants may be required to present additional relevant documents, provide testimony or testify during a hearing.

Following the hearing, the adjudicator can choose to accept, dismiss the appeal or vary the amount of the wage assessment.

The adjudicator must provide a written decision to the Board, the director, and any other party to the appeal within 60 days of the end of the hearing. If a decision is not received after 60 days, Employment Standards will contact the adjudicator by letter to request their decision. If the 60-day timeline is passed and a decision has not been made, the Board can compel the adjudicator to produce a decision. If for any reason the adjudicator does not provide a decision, the Board can appoint a new adjudicator.

Appealing the Adjudicator's Decision to the Labour Relations Board

If the employee, employer or corporate director does not agree with the adjudicator's decision, a notice of appeal on a question of law may be filed with the Board within 15 business days of receiving the decision.

If the director of Employment Standards does not agree with the adjudicator's decision, they can file a notice of appeal with the Board within 30 business days of the date the decision was served. An appeal to the Board by the director of Employment Standards can be based on a question of law or a question of mixed law and fact.

The appellant is required to provide copies of the notice of appeal to the same parties involved in the appeal to the adjudicator. The appellant is also responsible for providing case documents (known as a record of appeal) which consists of:

  • the wage assessment or notice of hearing;
  • the notice of appeal filed with the director;
  • any documents filed with the adjudicator during the hearing;
  • the written decision of the adjudicator;
  • the notice of appeal to the Board; and
  • any other documents required by the Board.

Once the Board reviews the notice of appeal and record of appeal, it has the authority to affirm, amend or cancel the adjudicator's decision. They can also send the decision back to the adjudicator for amendment. Once an appeal is submitted to the Board, the adjudicator's decision is still in effect, unless the Board orders otherwise.

Appealing the Board's Decision to the Court of Appeal

A request for leave to appeal of the Board's decision on a question of law can be made to the Court of Appeal by the employee, employer, corporate director or director of Employment Standards within 15 business days of receiving the Board's decision. The rules of the Court of Appeal apply.


4. How to Submit

A wage assessment appeal must be submitted in writing to the director of Employment Standards. Regardless of who is filing an appeal, the notice of appeal must state:

  • the reason for the appeal; and 
  • how the situation should be corrected.

An employer's appeal must also include a deposit that is the amount of the wage assessment up to a maximum of $500. If the assessment is upheld, the deposit will be used toward payment of the wage claim. If the assessment is overturned, the money will be refunded to the employer.


5. Submit

Appeal notices can be mailed to:

Director, Employment Standards
Ministry of Labour Relations and Workplace Safety
300-1870 Albert Street
Regina, SK  S4P 4W1

Appeals can also be faxed to 306-787-4780. Deposits for faxed appeals must be mailed separately.

If mailing an appeal, it is recommended the person filing the appeal use certified or registered mail. This will help ensure the appeal is delivered within the 15 business day limit.


6. Further Information

Refer to Part IV of The Saskatchewan Employment Act to learn more about the legislation regulating appeals under the Act.

The Labour Relations Board is an independent, quasi-judicial tribunal, responsible for hearing appeals of Adjudicator decisions involving employment standards matters (Part II) of The Saskatchewan Employment Act.

The court of appeal reviews trials conducted in the Court of King's Bench, Provincial Court and certain tribunals to determine if the judge, tribunal or adjudicator made material errors. The court of appeal may dismiss the appeal, allow the appeal and order a new trial or hearing, or allow the appeal and change the order of the lower court or tribunal.

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