Improving Employment Standards Compliance: Institutional Learning and the Dual Regulatory Stream

29 Pages Posted: 25 Mar 2011

Date Written: March 21, 2011


A reasonable starting point for improving the situation of vulnerable employees is improving compliance with the Employment Standards Act. This submission deals specifically with the question of how to do that through a set of relatively modest legal reforms. The proposed reforms would, firstly, dramatically improve information flow and knowledge of ESA standards by requiring employers to learn their legal obligations and to pass on that knowledge to their employees. Secondly, the proposal would break down the traditional division between employment law and labour law by requiring that employers "earn" the legal rights our present labour law model confers on all employers to resist unionization by their employees. Employers who violate the ESA should forfeit the right to proselytize against collective bargaining and to insist on a certification ballot in addition to written evidence of employee support for it. By developing a dual regulatory stream model, the proposal charts a path forward that would at once increase the incentive for nonunion employers to comply with the ESA while also elevate the probability that employees of non-compliant employers will obtain the assistance of knowledgeable and skilled worker advocates.

Keywords: employment standards, fair labor standards, labor law, labour law, employment regulation

JEL Classification: K31, L52, K10, J50, J53, J51, J52, J71, J28, K12, K32

Suggested Citation

Doorey, David J., Improving Employment Standards Compliance: Institutional Learning and the Dual Regulatory Stream (March 21, 2011). Available at SSRN: or

David J. Doorey (Contact Author)

York University ( email )

4700 Keele Street
Toronto, Ontario M3J 1P3


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