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Debra, Lawyer
Category: Canada Law
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Experience:  Lawyer
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I was red under verbal contract with a farmer. This verbal

Customer Question

I was hired under verbal contract for employment with a farmer. This verbal contract stated I was to be there every day during seeding and harvest UNTIL the job is done regardless my personal religious observances, hours worked, consecutive days worked and so on. It also stated I was hired to be a truck driver, not a mechanic, not an equipment operator, it stated an hourly wage and there was no mention of work schedule for rest of the year. I was misled to believe that everyone would have same working schedules at seeding and harvest.
There are 2 Mexican Mennonite employees who happened to be in Mexico when I was hired. Everyone had gotten Sundays off until seeding started. Only then did I know 4 months after being hired that the Mexican Mennonite employees do not work Sundays, ever. Not only that but they get Cinco de Mayo off during seeding as well.
Now farmers do not fall under the jurisdiction of the Saskatchewan Employment Standards Act, but it states that everything from working schedules, holidays, overtime rates and even meal breaks are to be negotiated between employer and employee at time of hiring. So if there are negotiations during this verbal entrapment there is no record. This farmer obviously negotiated with the Mexican Mennonite employees, but if they don't tell you at hiring what your work schedule actually is or meal breaks or public holiday rates or anything, they are trapping you into a verbal contract for what is essentially slavery.
This seeding cycle, I got hit with an appointment that was set under no control of mine. I gave 2 weeks notice for a day off during seeding. The first boss days can't you change the date? Can someone cover the appointment for me? Instead of saying yes after that he says we will see. I was floored, in 2015 seeding cycle I worked 23 consecutive days of 12 to 15 hours, I was there every single day for 2015 harvest and 2016 seeding up to that time. If I can't get a day off with 14 days notice how am I an employee, but a contract laborer? Paid there to get the job finished during seeding and harvest regardless of personal welfare. The Mexican Mennonite employees are not paid to be there regardless of religious beliefs and personal welfare to get the job done. They are employees I am contract labor I believe still. If I am not contract labor, I have been verbally contracted into slavery without knowing it.
If they know that Saskatchewan Employment Standards states farmers and employees must negotiate everything from hours worked, consecutive days worked and overtime rates and even meal breaks, then they willfully mislead you with a verbal contract can I sue? Is there a human rights issue regarding unfair hiring and working practices? Can I sue for unfair working environment?
Thank you for your time and help.
Conrad Isaac Eston, Saskatchewan
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Canada Law
Expert:  Debra replied 1 year ago.

Is the bot***** *****ne that you are being treated differently than the Mexican employees?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
By far and away that is my grievance. Very unfair labor practices if negotiations aren't even offered at hiring
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
How can you treat people so blatantly differently. Offer them the chance to negotiate terms like Saskatchewan Employment Standards Act states, but everyone else is verbally contracted into essential slavery. They play both sides of same law how is that possible
Expert:  Debra replied 1 year ago.

You may not be covered by the Employment Standards Act but you are most assuredly covered by the Human Rights Code.

So your next step should be to contact them and speak to an intake worker and get some advice about whether it would make sense to file a complaint of discrimination against the employer.

You are being discriminated against because of your nationality or perhaps race or religion.

Here is a link to the contact information you will need:

Does that help as a starting point?