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Hi there, I'm 33 years old and have been employed with the company since 2015 (~1 year sub contractor then in a salaried position since). With the COVID-19 we're not bringing in as much revenue. The employer has decided to cut off our benefits package effective May 1 (Note: employer has paid 100% of the benefits package). The benefits package is listed as a part of our compensation in the employment contract and was a deciding factor in accepting employment with this company. The notice was sent via text message without further explanation or indication that they will be resumed in the future. This will put a substantial financial burden on us, as my wife is on prescriptions that we may not be able to afford without the benefits.
A few other things I'd like some clarification on:
The position is 10 hours per day, 5 days a week with additional "on call" of 6 hours every 3 weeks (this has changed over the years, at points it was every 2 weeks). We are giving 1 hour lunch break (unspecified in contract & unsure if paid or not, no lunch breaks during on call however not required to remain at the desk during the whole shift). Should we be getting overtime for hours above 44 per week (even though it's a salaried position)?
We never received actual pay stubs until recently, pay was sent via ETF. We recently changed systems and now are receiving stubs, however it's listing my hours worked at 80. Is this legal?
Thank you for your question. If your benefits coverage is a crucial piece of your compensation (which it appears to be), the removal of benefits may be considered a significant change to the terms of your employment and a constructive dismissal. With respect to your hours, you may be eligible for overtime pay, although there are exceptions for specific industries. Before you respond to your employer regarding the removal of benefits, please give us a call at the number below as soon as possible to discuss in more detail. It would be important to review your employment contract and discuss this with you in more detail.