There is a big difference in compensation between those who are classified as ‘independent contractors’ and those acknowledged as employees. (iStock)

Companies accused of ‘misclassifying’ employees to avoid paying benefits


There are employers who classify their employees as “independent contractors” in order to avoid paying benefits, overtime and other entitlements such as holiday pay, says employment lawyer Andrew Monkhouse. This is against labour law in the province of Ontario and elsewhere in Canada.

“A growing number of Canadians do face this situation of being called contractors even though they should be (called) employees,” he says. “We’ve seen certainly a rise in what’s considered the gig economy where companies call workers contractors for their own tax and benefit purposes. And those employees lose out on the benefit of being a full employee.”

Recourse is available

In such case, an employee can try to be classified correctly by appealing to a labour board or to tax authorities. But there have been five groups of employees who have chosen to file class action lawsuits over this issue in the province of Ontario.

A class-action lawsuit is pending against Deloitte Management Services launched by people who allege they lost out on benefits because they were inaccurately classified as ‘independent contractors.’ (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press/file)

Five class-actions in Ontario

Monkhouse represented the first of such cases in March 2015 where individuals filed a suit alleging lost pay by Deloitte Management Services. The case is pending.The law firm also seeks to certify a class-action proceeding against Solar Brokers Canada alleging the company misclassified sales representatives and failed to pay them appropriate wages, vacation, overtime and public holiday pay. About 120 employees in Ontario and Alberta are part of this suit alleging they were employees, followed work schedules, wore company badges and other details that will be used to try to prove their case. The companies in both cases are expected to deny the charges.

If the cases are won, Monkhouse hopes it will discourage employers from classifying people as independent contractors when they should be called employees. “We hope that more people are going to have more stable jobs, more people are going to have benefits and that it’s going to improve overall the working life of the average Canadian or Ontarian.”

Lawyer Andrew Monkhouse explains allegations that companies misclassified workers depriving them of better compensation.

(photo: Monkhouse Law)

Categories: Society

Do you want to report an error or a typo? Click here!

@*@ Comments

Leave a Reply

Note: By submitting your comments, you acknowledge that Radio Canada International has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Radio Canada International does not endorse any of the views posted. Your comments will be pre-moderated and published if they meet Netiquette guidelines.

When you express your personal opinion in an online forum, you must be as courteous as if you were speaking with someone face-to-face. Insults and personal attacks will not be tolerated. To disagree with an opinion, an idea or an event is one thing, but to show disrespect for other people is quite another. Great minds don’t always think alike—and that’s precisely what makes online dialogue so interesting and valuable.

Netiquette is the set of rules of conduct governing how you should behave when communicating via the Internet. Before you post a message to a blog or forum, it’s important to read and understand these rules. Otherwise, you may be banned from posting.

  1.’s online forums are not anonymous. Users must register, and give their full name and place of residence, which are displayed alongside each of their comments. reserves the right not to publish comments if there is any doubt as to the identity of their author.
  2. Assuming the identity of another person with intent to mislead or cause harm is a serious infraction that may result in the offender being banned.
  3.’s online forums are open to everyone, without regard to age, ethnic origin, religion, gender or sexual orientation.
  4. Comments that are defamatory, hateful, racist, xenophobic, sexist, or that disparage an ethnic origin, religious affiliation or age group will not be published.
  5. In online speak, writing in ALL CAPS is considered yelling, and may be interpreted as aggressive behaviour, which is unpleasant for the people reading. Any message containing one or more words in all caps (except for initialisms and acronyms) will be rejected, as will any message containing one or more words in bold, italic or underlined characters.
  6. Use of vulgar, obscene or objectionable language is prohibited. Forums are public places and your comments could offend some users. People who use inappropriate language will be banned.
  7. Mutual respect is essential among users. Insulting, threatening or harassing another user is prohibited. You can express your disagreement with an idea without attacking anyone.
  8. Exchanging arguments and opposing views is a key component of healthy debate, but it should not turn into a dialogue or private discussion between two users who address each other without regard for the other participants. Messages of this type will not be posted.
  9. Radio Canada International publishes contents in five languages. The language used in the forums has to be the same as the contents we publish or in one of the two official languages, English or French. The usage of other languages, with the exception of some words, is forbidden. Messages that are off-topic will not be published.
  10. Making repetitive posts disrupts the flow of discussions and will not be tolerated.
  11. Adding images or any other type of file to comments is forbidden. Including hyperlinks to other websites is allowed, as long as they comply with netiquette. Radio Canada International  is in no way responsible for the content of such sites, however.
  12. Copying and pasting text written by someone else, even if you credit the author, is unacceptable if that text makes up the majority of your comment.
  13. Posting any type of advertising or call to action, in any form, to Radio Canada International  forums is prohibited.
  14. All comments and other types of content are moderated before publication. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to refuse any comment for publication.
  15. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to close a forum at any time, without notice.
  16. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to amend this code of conduct (netiquette) at any time, without notice.
  17. By participating in its online forums, you allow Radio Canada International to publish your comments on the web for an indefinite time. This also implies that these messages will be indexed by Internet search engines.
  18. Radio Canada International has no obligation to remove your messages from the web if one day you request it. We invite you to carefully consider your comments and the consequences of their posting.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *