Solidarity Stewards Program
What Can We Help With?
We offer varying levels of free support to low wage non-unionized employees in BC, with the exclusion of federally regulated employees. All the information you share with us will remain confidential.
Once you submit a request for support, we will contact you via email to follow up with you. Typically, we will share rights information relevant to the types of situations you have described, and some of the common avenues for addressing those issues.
We will reach out to you to discuss the issues and what you are hoping to achieve. We don’t expect or encourage workers to take any specific action – you’re in charge.
We try to get back to everyone within 3-5 days. However, depending on the volume of workers, and our capacity, some workers will wait upwards of a week for an initial response.
We are able to offer support in the following areas:
Employment Standards Complaints must be submitted within 6 months of the termination of employment and recover wages as far back as 1 year from the date the complaint is filed, or the termination of employment.
Many different issues can be addressed in an Employment Standards complaint, including issues not listed on this page. Below are some common worker experiences that often indicate an employer who is not complying with the BC Employment Standards Act:
- My employer has not paid me for all time worked, including work that was performed before or after a scheduled shift;
- My employer tells me that I have been terminated with just cause, and has not paid out my compensation for length of service. I believe that I was terminated without just cause;
- My employer has provided me with agreements or policies that fall below the requirements of the Employment Standards Act, for example: refusing to provide appropriate overtime pay, breaks or vacation
- My employer requires for me to “bank” my overtime hours rather than pay them out appropriately.
- My employer has made me feel explicitly or implicitly that I cannot take a protected leave that is included in the Employment Standards Act.
- I quit my job because my employer reduced my wages or hours of work without notice and without my permission.
- My employer tells me that I am an independent contractor, volunteer, or something other than an employee, but I am not self-employed.
Employers must not discriminate against you based on any of the following grounds:
The deadline for submitting a complaint to the Human Rights Tribunal is 1 year.
Employers must also take appropriate steps to prevent and address discrimination from occurring in the workplace.
The employer’s intent is not a factor in determining whether or not discrimination occurred.
Forms of discrimination can look like:
- Acting on stereotypes
- Different standards based on protected grounds
- Failing to accommodate
- Treating a ground, a request for accommodation as poor work performance
- Retaliation for addressing discrimination in the workplace.
General information about your rights regarding discrimination in the area of employment:
- General information about the Human Rights complaint process
- Supporting workers in drafting complaints
- Based on capacity. We will do our best to refer to other organizations who offer similar support where we believe workers may be better supported elsewhere.
- General information regarding your rights regarding PA (retaliation)
- Support in drafting complaints
- Information about the process
If you are unsure, you are welcome to reach out anyways, and we will be able to clarify if we are able to offer the support you are looking for. Keep the description of the issues brief, and do not include too much identifying information at this stage.
What happens when you reach out?
If you have general questions about your rights, a legal advocate will reach out to you over email and provide rights information to you. Depending on the situation and the worker’s preference, you might follow up with a phone call to discuss further.
If you have questions or need support with a specific issue, you will be asked to provide your employer’s details before proceeding. Your information will remain confidential, and the employer will not be contacted. The information is used only to perform a conflict of interest check before proceeding.
Someone will reach out to you to discuss the issues and what you are hoping to achieve. We will not expect or encourage workers to take any specific action – you’re in charge. Additionally, everything that you share with us will remain confidential.
We try to get back to everyone within 3-5 days. However, depending on the volume of workers, and our capacity, workers will wait upwards of 1 week for an initial response.
What level of support are you looking for?
We can share rights information on any of the areas listed. A legal advocate will provide you with the information you have requested over email. Workers may want to submit follow-up questions, or schedule a phone call to seek clarification or further details on the information provided.
You will not be asked to share any personal details about you or your employment, only the details necessary to answer your questions. A legal advocate will not be able to give you legal advice on your situation.
If you have submitted or are planning to submit a complaint on your own, a legal advocate can provide you with information about your rights and the relevant complaint process for any of the types of issues mentioned on this page.
As much as possible, you will be in touch with the same legal advocate throughout the process. Workers can share documents and notes to provide context, and request to schedule appointments as needed. There is no limit on the number of appointments workers can request, but workers may have to wait for an available slot during busier times.
Based on capacity, WSN is able to offer representation to workers who want to submit Employment Standards Complaints and have more than 1 month before the limitation period expires.
A legal advocate will submit a complaint as your representative, make submissions on your behalf to the Employment Standards Branch and the employer as required, and help to facilitate settlements.
We are not able to represent workers in other types of complaints at this time. We do our best to find other suitable support and referrals for workers who are seeking representation with anything other than Employment Standards complaints.