The Ontario government recently introduced Bill 149, the Working for Workers Four Act, 2023 to amend several employment-related statutes, including the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (the “ESA”) and the Digital Platform Workers’ Rights Act, 2022.
Salary range disclosure in job postings
Bill 149 aims to provide workers with more information when job-searching, increase pay transparency and close the gender pay gap. If enacted in its current form, Bill 149 would amend the ESA by requiring employers who advertise a publicly advertised job posting to include in the posting information about the expected compensation for the position or the range of expected compensation for the position.
Employers would also be required to retain copies of all publicly advertised job postings and any associated application for three years after access to the job posting by the general public is removed. These new requirements would be subject to limitations, restrictions or requirements to be implemented by regulations. No regulations have been proposed at this time.
Disclosure of AI use in hiring
The Ontario government has also stated that it wants job seekers to be aware when artificial intelligence (AI) is used to inform decisions made during the hiring process, and to address the ethical, legal and privacy implications of AI.
If enacted in its current form, Bill 149 would amend the ESA by requiring every employer who advertises a publicly advertised job posting and who uses AI to screen, assess or select applicants for the position to include in the posting a statement disclosing the use of AI. This requirement would also be subject to further regulations, which have yet to be proposed.
Other changes proposed by Bill 149
If passed, Bill 149 would also introduce several other legislative changes, including:
- Amending the ESA to prohibit employers from requiring Canadian work experience in any publicly advertised job postings or associated application forms.
- The ESA’s vacation pay provisions would be clarified to require the written agreement of employees to pay vacation pay in any way other than as a lump sum before their vacation.
- The ESA’s definition of “employee” would be expended such that individuals performing work during a trial period would also be considered employees.
- The Digital Platform Workers’ Rights Act, 2022 would be amended to provide that certain limits on recurring pay periods, pay days and minimum wage requirements may be prescribed by regulations. Such regulations have yet to be proposed.
The Ontario government also announced that it will be launching consultations on restricting the use of non-disclosure agreements (“NDAs”) in the settlement of cases of workplace sexual harassment, misconduct or violence. Although this announcement was made in connection with the introduction of Bill 149, Bill 149 does not include provisions addressing NDAs at this time. As of the date of this publication, the consultation has not been posted to Ontario’s