Rob Ford is many things: an accomplished liar; a convicted criminal; and, currently the defendant in a high-profile conflict of interest case. But is he also a serial abuser of young workers? Rob Ford's grasp of workplace law has been thrust back into the media with revelations that he's been using junior staffers to assist him with his football coaching duties.
Now Councillor Doug Ford, the Mayor's brother and city councillor, has pushed back against these allegations stating that "This is on their own time, after forty hours, Rob doesn't force anyone to work on city time". Curiously, this isn't the first time that Rob Ford has faced questions about contravening Ontario's Employment Standard Act, 2000 ("the ESA").
In the wake of 2010 municipal election Nick Kouvalis, then Rob Ford's Chief of Staff, stated that: "I wanted young kids because I could pay them nothing and they would do what I told them to. I paid them $500 a week and I wanted 60 or 70 hours a week out of them." This statement was clear admission that Rob Ford's campaign breached the provisions in the ESA relating to minimum wage, overtime, and overtime pay.
The new allegations relate to overtime and overtime pay; furthermore, it again raises the concern that Rob Ford is using public resources to further his private activities. Personally, I doubt that a breach of the ESA actually occurred given that it appears the junior staffers involved were probably hired onto Rob Ford's staff more for there football ability rather than their political acumen and it appears that they have no problem with volunteering to coach football, but it does leave lingering questions about Rob Ford's adherence to the workplace laws of Ontario.
That's all, check out the Ministry of Labour's fact sheet about the provisions governing overtime in Ontario under the ESA and my original blog post about Rob Ford's treatment of campaign staffers. Finally, check out this video of Rob Ford interacting with some young Torontonians, see: