My question involves labor and employment law for the state of: Ontario,.Canada.
To start off, I'm not sure if this is a states-only forum. If it is, I'm sorry for being Canadian. But this is something I've been ignoring for much too long, and I need some sort of guidance.
So our story starts off with me. I've been working at a privately owned convenience store for a little over a year now. This is my first job, so I was wicked happy when I got a call asking me to come in for an interview. Things were going great, the summer flew by. I made a couple new friends, had some laughs at the tourists, it was awesome. Everything was going fine until early November, that's when my first pay cheque bounced. I didn't think much of it at the time, "Oh, it's just a hiccup. The store has been slow lately, this won't continue."
I was wrong. Dead wrong. Which is kind of why I'm here. Up until about two months ago, my cheques bounced, but the money was promptly replaced and put back into my bank account. That is, until recently. I went to the bank to cash my pay one day, and the bank told me that due to my history, they needed to hold my cheque for seven business days. That wasn't going to fly with me, do I took my cheque with me back to work. I told them I worked for that money, I shouldn't have to wait for it. They gave me cash and I was on my merry way. I was okay with getting cash, it felt good in my pocket.
This went on until some three weeks ago. On pay day, I was told they didn't have the cash. I was told to come in on Tuesday (four days after pay day) and they'd have it all sorted out. I figured it's quicker than having the bank hold it for a week, so I left. Obviously disgruntled, but I left anyway - I'm not a very confrontational person. So I came back on Tuesday to get my money. However, I was presented with a cheque. I was told it was clear, so I went off to the nearest bank. I got to the bank, happy as a clam. Or as happy as a seventeen year old with a pay cheque for nearly nine hundred dollars. To my dismay, the teller told me the cheque was no good and I'd have to wait until the following Wednesday to get my money. It was late, I was in a bad mood, and I just wanted to go home. So that's what I did. The next day, I was pulled aside at work and asked what I did with my pay. I was up-front and told them the bank was holding it because they didn't have money in the account to pay me. All I got was an "Oh." and that was that. I waited until this Wednesday to get my pay from two weeks ago.
Today, it's pay day again. I've been told I have to wait until Monday to get paid. I feel as though I'm gonna get the run-around once more. I know this isn't right, but I don't know what to do about it. And I'm not the only one they're doing it to.
Now, the next part of my thread is about a lady I work with. For the sake of the story, let's call her X. X started working at my store a few weeks after I started. We became quick friends despite the eight year gap between is, she told me I reminded her of herself in high school. X is renting a house from the owners of the store, and out of the blue (around the time the pay cheque thing was starting), her pay was beginning to show that she only got sixteen dollars out of her seven hundred dollar pay cheque. She didn't sign anything saying they could do this, they just did it. For a single mum with two kids, that sixteen dollars won't go very far. She wasn't able to pay bills, buy birthday/Christmas presents, and there's nothing she can think of to do. It's still going on, and it's not right.
So here I am, asking for advice and possible solutions. I have no idea what I can do to help myself, X,.or any of the other people I work with. I understand it may be difficult because I'm not an American with a problem, but I do have a problem and I'm hoping someone knows something I could do.