Worker Sues For 11,570 Hours of Unpaid Overtime

by Samfiru Tumarkin

Saturday, April 23rd, 2016 at 2:53 pm

11,570 hours.

That’s the amount of unpaid overtime Muhammad Umar Naseem claims he worked while employed at a Toronto gas station, according to a joint investigation by the Toronto Star and Global News.

Naseem alleges that between 2009 and 2015, he worked an average of 105 hours a week, with 61 of those hours considered overtime. He calculates that the overtime pay totals more than $350,000.

Naseem has filed a $1.1 million civil lawsuit against his former employer, Shoyaib Khan.

Allegedly Khan told Naseem in the initial job interview that he would not receive overtime pay, but he did have the option of working longer hours. He was also advised to make himself available to work whenever he was called upon. Some of Naseem’s former colleagues support the claim that employees were not paid overtime.

Naseem, who immigrated to Canada from Pakistan in 2008, was unaware that he was legally entitled to overtime pay. When he finally confronted his boss over the number of hours he was working, Khan threatened to terminate his employment and have him deported.

In April of 2015, Naseem alleges he was fired and given $6,000 for “pay in lieu of notice”. Khan argues that Naseem resigned, and that the $6,000 was a “gratuity”.

Khan is also accused of threatening his former employee and his family back home in Pakistan.

Many new Canadians like Naseem are unfamiliar with our country’s labour laws. Instead of asking questions and voicing their concerns, many Ontario workers opt to remain silent instead of speaking out in defence of their rights.

Unfortunately, stories like this are more common they should be, as evidenced by the results of a recent workplace blitz. Between May and August of 2015, the Ontario Ministry of Labour investigated over 300 businesses in the GTA, and discovered the 76% were in violation of the Employment Standards Act.


What Can You Do?

People whose employment rights have been violated may be able to treat their employment as being constructively terminated, resign and get severance.

If you think your workplace rights are not being enforced with respect to unpaid overtime, contact us with your concerns.

You can also anonymously contact the Ministry of Labour here.

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