If an employee believes an employer is failing to meet employment standards requirements, they can file a formal or anonymous complaint with the Employment Standards Division.
Once a complaint is received, the Employment Standards Division will:
- Review the allegations contained in the complaint;
- Ask the employee for any additional information that may be required;
- Contact the employer and review any related documents (i.e., payroll records, etc.);
- Talk with other employees; and
- Gather any other evidence to help resolve the complaint.
Legislation gives Employment Standards Officers the authority to:
- Enter a workplace;
- Request an employer to produce payroll records for inspection; and
- Talk to anyone who might have information about the case.
A complaint is an allegation and the starting point of an investigation. It does not mean that an employer has done something wrong. The Employment Standards Division investigates all complaints, and its Officers conduct thorough, accurate and fair investigations. Officers do not act as the complainant’s advocate.
Employment Standards Officers may ask complainants to provide supporting evidence to their claim (i.e., pay stubs, copies of work schedule, etc.). An Officer will also contact the employer for any related records and documentation.
As an employer, you are required to keep and provide records for inspection. This includes:
- Wage calculation sheets;
- Proof of wage payments (i.e., bank records, cancelled cheques); and
- Work schedules.
Failing to keep or provide these records reduces an employer’s ability to show Officers that wages were correctly calculated and paid. In addition, employers that fail to keep or refuse to provide records may be prosecuted under The Saskatchewan Employment Act.
Formal complaints are typically filed by individual employees alleging unpaid wages. If an investigation determines wages owed, the Employment Standards Officer will request the employer pay them. If the employer refuses to resolve a wage owing complaint, the Employment Standards Division may issue a Wage Assessment against the employer.
If it is found that no wages are owed, a letter will be sent to the complainant and the employer summarizing the results of the investigation.
If the evidence supporting an exact unpaid wage amount is unclear or inconsistent, the Officer may attempt to negotiate a settlement.
Anonymous complaints are typically used to address employer payroll issues such as incorrect wage calculation and payment, unposted work schedules, no pay stubs, etc. If the complaint is from an employee alleging a specific case of unpaid wages, a formal complaint must be submitted.
After receiving an anonymous complaint, the Employment Standards Division will contact the employer and work with them to correct payroll issues on a ‘go-forward’ basis.
Only written anonymous complaints will be investigated. Any supporting evidence should be included to support the complaint.
When it is determined wages are owed, a report will be provided to the employer outlining payment instructions. If the employer does not comply with the report, Employment Standards may issue a Wage Assessment. A Wage Assessment is a legal document stating the amount of unpaid wages that an employer and/or corporate director(s) owe(s).
Once the Wage Assessment has been served, the employer has 15 business days to pay the amount claimed or to file an appeal. All Wage Assessments that are not appealed, or where appeals have been exhausted, become a Director’s Certificate. The Director’s Certificate is the final outcome on any wage complaint. The Certificate is filed with the Court of Queen’s Bench, where it has the force and effect of a monetary judgment issued by the Court