Here is a brief summary of the rights of employees under the special silvicultural regulations promulgated two years ago and still ignored by some silvicultural firms.
Treeplanters Brushers Spacers This is the Law
Your employer must comply with B.C. Employment Standards Act regulations:
All wages must be paid in full on a regular basis every two weeks.
Your employer cannot retain any holdbacks or “bonuses;”
You cannot work more than five days in a row without a day off.
If you do, you are entitled to double the regular piece rate on the sixth day and any following days of continuous work;
If you work more than 11 hours (excluding breaks) in a day you must be paid at double the regular piece rate after ll hours.
Travel time is included as part of the work day;
Quality deductions for your crew cannot be taken from your pay.
You are entitled to 100% pay regardless of what quality your employer is paid. You cannot be penalized for trees overclaimed by the crew. If your employer has made illegal deductions you are entitled to get them back;
The maximum an employer is allowed to charge for camp costs is $25/day.
Your employer cannot charge you more than $25 and rebate the difference back to you at a later date;
All employees are entitled to minimum wage for all hours worked.
For example, the minimum wage for an 11 hour day is $100/day (1st 8 hours at $8/hr and the next 3 at $12/hour);
You cannot sign away your rights.
No matter what conditions you may have agreed to with your employer the law still applies. You are still entitled to the above;
If your employer has not paid you according to the law you can contact the Employment Standards Branch in your region to assist you. You have six months to file a complaint.
For more information on the special regulations for silviculture workers visit the Ministry of Skills Development and Labour Employment Standards Act website at http://www.labour.gov.bc.ca/esb/silviculture/silvicul-fact.htm