Are farm employees entitled to vacation pay? The employees are paid hourly, working between 50 to 60 hours a week.

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Customer: Are farm employees entitled to vacation pay?
JA: Are the employees hourly or salaried? How many hours do the employees work each week?
Customer: The employees are paid hourly, working between 50 to 60 hours a week.
JA: Where are the employees located? Wage-and-hour laws vary by state.
Customer: Ontario
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: What about equal pay for equal work between the workers
Answered by JJL11 in 1 hour 2 years ago
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JJL11, Expert

Good morning - My name is ***** ***** I'm happy to assist you today. I am a licensed Ontario lawyer who is able to answer questions about employment law.

I am reviewing your question and will reply shortly.

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JJL11, Expert

No , farm workers are not entitled to vacation pay under the Ontario Employment Standards Act. They are entitled to equal pay for equal work though. Here is a link from Ontario's Employment Standard office which outlines the rights agricultural workers have :

https://www.ontario.ca/document/your-guide-employment-standards-act-0/agricultural-employees

Here is a link from the same site about what they are not entitled to :

https://www.ontario.ca/document/industries-and-jobs-exemptions-or-special-rules/agriculture-growing-breeding-keeping-and-fishing#section-0

Customer
Thank you for clarifying this matter. So sad to see some people are left behind in Ontario. My employer also has 4 other employees working in a non farming business and they get 50% more than myself plus vacation pay and holiday pay. I believe I work as hard as they do. How does the equal pay for equal work law apply?
Customer
I have way more years of service than they do.
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JJL11, Expert

I agree with you. Could your job be categorized as harvesters because under the Act, they have much more protection under the Act than farm workers

Equal pay for equal work means that employees who "substantially" do the same kind of work should be paid the same. Substantially does not have to mean identical but it requires the same level of skill, ability and responsibility and is done in the same place under the same working condition.

You could ask your employer for a review of your earnings and argue that you have a higher level of skill and ability than you newer more inexperienced coworkers.

Customer
My co-workers are truck drivers (class "D" license) .As a farm employee I operate, service and adjust many different kind of specialized farm equipment which I have learned to do over a 40 years period. A lot of times I have to instruct the license mechanic how the piece of equipment operate for him to repair it. Sometimes those truck drivers work alongside with me to help with the task that requires two persons. I sometimes crossover and perform work for the other business at the farm rate. Its very frustrating to work with co workers that get paid way more than myself. Why should I get punished because I working in a farm setting?
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JJL11, Expert

I understand and it is not fair because farm workers are all lumped together under the ESA. As I said, you can ask your employer for a review of your skills and ability and to advocate for a seniority system whereby experience and higher level skill are recognized.

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