Carrying Little Sticks: Is There a ‘Deterrence Gap’ in Employment Standards Enforcement in Ontario, Canada?

30 Pages Posted: 20 Apr 2018 Last revised: 7 Mar 2019

See all articles by Eric Tucker

Eric Tucker

York University - Osgoode Hall Law School; Cleveland State University, Cleveland-Marshall College of Law

Leah F. Vosko

York University - Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies

Rebecca Casey

York University

Mark P. Thomas

York University

John Grundy

York University

Andrea M. Noack

Ryerson University

Date Written: 2019

Abstract

This article assesses whether a deterrence gap exists in the enforcement of the Ontario Employment Standards Act (ESA), which sets minimum conditions of employment in areas such as minimum wage, overtime pay and leaves. Drawing on a unique administrative data set, the article measures the use of deterrence in Ontario’s ESA enforcement regime against the role of deterrence within two influential models of enforcement: responsive regulation and strategic enforcement. The article finds that the use of deterrence is below its prescribed role in either model of enforcement. We conclude that there is a deterrence gap in Ontario.

Keywords: Workers' Rights; Public Policy; Labor Law

JEL Classification: J81; J88; K31

Suggested Citation

Tucker, Eric and Vosko, Leah F. and Casey, Rebecca and Thomas, Mark P. and Grundy, John and Noack, Andrea M., Carrying Little Sticks: Is There a ‘Deterrence Gap’ in Employment Standards Enforcement in Ontario, Canada? (2019). International Journal of Comparative Labour Law 35, no. 1 (2019): 1–30. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3165580 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3165580

Eric Tucker (Contact Author)

York University - Osgoode Hall Law School ( email )

4700 Keele Street
Toronto, Ontario M3J 1P3
Canada
416 736-5578 (Phone)
416 636-5736 (Fax)

Cleveland State University, Cleveland-Marshall College of Law ( email )

2121 Euclid Avenue, LB 138
Cleveland, OH 44115-2214
United States

Leah F. Vosko

York University - Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies ( email )

Toronto, Ontario M3J 1P3
Canada

Rebecca Casey

York University ( email )

4700 Keele Street
Toronto, Ontario M3J 1P3
Canada

Mark P. Thomas

York University ( email )

4700 Keele Street
Toronto, Ontario M3J 1P3
Canada

John Grundy

York University

4700 Keele Street
Toronto, M3J 1P3
Canada

Andrea M. Noack

Ryerson University

350 Victoria Street
Toronto, M5B 2K3
Canada

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