Working for Free

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It is no secret that, in the restaurant industry, people work long hours.  The problem is that certain restaurant owners – here in Montreal (Quebec) – don’t give any breaks, nor meal breaks to their employees, even if the employees’ shift is 10 to 12 hours long. AND the employees are prohibited from eating while working (which I understand because it’s not sanitary to eat while working with food).

How can that be, when we all know that the norm is to give two (2) fifteen (15) minute breaks and at least an unpaid thirty (30) minute meal break?  We’re not in a country where slavery is legal, and giving breaks is good practice!

Well, here’s what Quebec’s labour laws say about it:

Breaks

So, as per the labour laws, an employer is NOT required to give any breaks, of any sorts, whatsoever.

 

Ok, so what do Quebec’s Labour laws say about overtime?

Overtime

But there’s a huge problem with this picture.  Certain restaurant owners DO NOT pay overtime at all (which is illegal to not pay overtime). So, the employees, although they work 50, 60 hours, or more, they only get paid for the first 40 hours they’ve worked. AND, they are REQUIRED and/or EXPECTED to work those hours overtime! Otherwise the employee is eventually out the door because the job he/she has to do is not completed!

 

Now, let’s go back to the breaks and meal breaks:

So the employee has no breaks, no meal breaks (which if given would be an unpaid meal break – but since they don’t have a break, that thirty-minute has to be paid) and the employee is required to work overtime without being paid for it.

With that many overtime hours, a meal break would pay itself up in no time.

The thing is, if certain restaurant owners are more than willing to not give any breaks and/or meal breaks and goes to the point of unlawfully not pay for overtime, what are the probabilities that he/she also doesn’t pay that meal break (as required by law if the employee cannot leave his/her work station) and instead, on the employee’s paycheck, pass it off as if the employee has had a meal break?

Often times, those restaurant employees are young and don’t know their rights and their employer’s obligations. And some restaurant owners take advantage of that.

I have been told that not being paid for overtime is a very common practice.  Not paying for it doesn’t make it right. The same way you wouldn’t jump off a bridge even if most of your neighbors did!

I understand that the economy is not at its best; nevertheless, it’s not a reason to let people exploit you! You have rights and when you work overtime, THEY HAVE TO PAY YOU!!!

 

Let’s see an example on how it turns your salary around, so to speak;
Imagine that you start a new job where they pay you $12/hour.
You work 40 hours and you get paid for those 40 hours.

Let’s do the math, shall we!?
$12 x 40 hours = $480

So far, that’s not complicated.

 

Now imagine that you work 50 hours per week, but only get paid for 40 hours.
We already established that you would get paid $480 for 40 hours.

So let’s take that amount and divide it by the actual time worked.
$480 ÷ 50 hours = $9.60

So in reality, you’re being paid $9.60/hour.

 

And what if you work 60 hours per week (which is not uncommon in a kitchen)?
$480 ÷ 60 hours = $8.00

Then you’re paid even less, per hour, than a person who earns tips as part of their job (ex: a waiter).

 

Those amounts are under the legal minimum wage for a person who works in a kitchen!

Here are the legal minimum wages:

Minimum wage rates as of May 1, 2015

Let’s now see how much you’d receive if you were paid for the 50 hours that you’ve worked.

As we’ve seen before, out of the 50 hours that you’ve worked, 40 hours were worked at your regular $12/hour rate (giving you $480/week).

And the remaining 10 hours is worked overtime. Remember, overtime is paid time and a half. Meaning, your overtime rate per hour is 1.5 times your normal rate of $12.

So, $12 x 1.5 = $18

Therefore, $18 is how much you have to get for every hour of overtime that you work.

And in this example, you worked 10 hours overtime.
$18 x 10 = $180

Now, the total amount for a 50 hour week is this;

$480 + ($18 x 10 hours overtime)    = ???
$480 + ($180)                                   = $660

And for a 60 hour week (so 20 hours overtime) it’s:

$480 + ($18 x 20 hours overtime)    = ???
$480 + ($360)                                   = $840

 

Ok, so now let’s take those amounts to see how much per hours that would be if you had a flat rate:

$660 ÷ 50 hours = $13.20 per hour
$840 ÷ 60 hours = $14.00 per hour

That’s a pretty big difference from the $9.60/hour for 50 hours, or the $8.00/hour for 60 hours.

 

If your employer is not paying you your overtime, you can file a complaint with the Commission des normes du travail. Just make sure to learn what options and processes are available to you, depending on your situation and the type of complaint you want to make.

It’s also important to learn what your rights and obligations are, as well as those of your employer. For that, you can consult the Labour standards in Québec*   on the Commission des normes du travail’s site.

In conclusion, it’s better to refuse work conditions that are not proper and find another job, than being stuck to make a formal complaint to the Commission des normes du travail down the line because the process can be long and arduous.

 

 

*Commission des normes du travail – “Labour standards in Québec – May 2015” http://www.cnt.gouv.qc.ca/fileadmin/pdf/publications/c_0149a.pdf

 

 

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Everything is awesome… Everything is cool….

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Although I’m tired, I woke up in a really good mood. Thanks to the singing we do in the morning…

And I love changing the lyrics to some songs, thanks to my joking mood…

The thing is, for some reason today, my kid got upset at me for making the same lyric-joke I’ve made several times in the past and she said it wrecked her good mood… I tried to cheer her up… she just wouldn’t budge and let go of the issue… therefore putting me in a bad mood for a little while (because you can choose to stay upset or you can move on and smile – and I ultimately chose the smiling option)…

We both said sorry and I specified that it wasn’t the last time she would be hearing that joke. Why? Because it makes me happy and it puts me in a super duper mood! That’s why!

If your kid chooses to stay in a foul mood, then you can’t do a thing about it! The only thing you can do is choose the mood you’ll be in!

The bottom line here is, no matter whom gets mad at you, do what makes YOU happy!

And if it’s your kid, know that he/she will come around and will just have to take you the way you are, with your quirkiness and all!😉

Porto and Bubbles

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Well, my feet are hurting… I’m tired… the clothes are in the dryer and I just feel like sleeping (it’s 10h00 pm atm).

We, my daughter and I, had Porto with our light meal.

We had a pretty full day… we’re pooped…

I just want to prepare a nice bubble bath for her because she’s been working so so hard, and with the move, it took a toll on her. So, like that she’ll be able to just let go of everything and relax…

As for me… sigh… my feet hurt!!! lolol…

Moving Pastries

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So, I just moved in my new apartment with my 19 years old daughter, Farya*, and I’m overwhelmed by all the unpacking there is to do!

Although it’s a nice apartment with an incredible view, it has a pretty small kitchen. And for someone who graduated, amongst other things, in professional pastry making, a big kitchen with lots of cupboards and counters space is a must!

So why a small kitchen then?

Ask the architect who designed it! No, seriously, nowadays you can’t find a good apartment in Montreal (QC) with a big kitchen.  Not only that! Everything is “open space” now!  Where have the 4-walls kitchens go!!!???

Anyway… The dilemma that I have with my small kitchen is that I have LOADS of pastry stuff that I have to find a “home” for.  So I’ll have to buy some sort of furniture (hopefully a big one!) where I can put everything in there.

Besides that, I’ll also have to buy work space (wooden-top table) where I can roll the different doughs for the many different pastries I want to do. And yes! I have TONS of more moulds to buy! Haha!!

Then, I’ll have to buy a huge marble slab to make chocolate! Yum!!! There’s so many different chocolates that one can make, it can make your head spin! lol

Me, being the list-lover that I am,  I often wonder why all those “home organization” experts never actually tackle the “moving out, moving in” subject.  It’s all nice and dandy when they tell you that you have to find a “home” for each and every item you own, but what about properly organizing a move?

I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one on this Earth that really strongly dislikes everything related to a move. So why do we only see moving companies offering tips on how to have a smooth move? Why hasn’t anybody tackled what happens when you JUST arrive in your new place with all your boxes? Where are all the “To-Do” lists for that?

I’d love to see that!

Until then, I’m going to keep on unpacking one box at a time and assigning a “home” for all the things we own. What a party this is turning out to be! lol

*Name has been changed.

The Truth Is Out There – No! The Truth Is Already Here!

There’s been, over the past decades, so many talks about UFO’s.  So many sightings have been reported and much information has come to be known by the public about the many different races of aliens, what they look like and where they come from, as well of what some of them are doing here.  There’s also the knowledge that there’s some alien races that look very much like human beings that, it is said, those races walk among us and interact with us on a daily basis.  There’s also the whole Grey and Reptilians (also called Reptoids) that some have seen in underground military bases.

There’s also a lot of people complaining about the fact that the U.S. government is tight lipped about anything related, near or far, to aliens.  We know they don’t say a thing on the news and they try to deny it, as much as they can, with different ridiculous explanations that would “supposedly” explain the different sightings that have come to light.

There was ,a while back, speculations that Obama would be giving a press conference in which he would tell the world that alien exist.  The word on that upcoming press conference spread far and wide over the world and the government took a different route.  Instead of making that I’ve-waited-all-my-life-to-hear-the-government-publicly-talk-about-aliens press conference, the government decided to release, in a hush-hush manner, previously classified “Top Secret” documents, now available to the general public, through “The Vault” section of the FBI website.

Now, there’s still questions as to why the government doesn’t publicly – loud and clear – come out with the truth about aliens, UFO’s, etc…

The truth is that if you keep on wondering and asking that question, you’ll get the same ridiculous answers.  One of them being the fact that the general population is not ready to face reality and accept there’s aliens out there (or walking among us, or even living underground – in our beloved Mother Earth).  That people would go in a total panic about it and fear would ensue, thus creating a total state of chaos, which the government would be unable to contain/control.

Now, lets face it!  If they would acknowledge it publicly, I strongly doubt that you’d see people running around the streets screaming at the top of their lungs.  And it’s true that sometimes the unknown can seem frightening, but that’s just because fear is born out of ignorance – out of lack of knowledge on the subject -. I think it would be some sort of shock for those who’ve decided to bury their head in the sand for the last few decades and yet, I believe it wouldn’t be a total shock for the simple fact that when you decide to bury your head in the sand, it’s because there’s a subject you chose to ignore.  And if they chose to ignore it, it just shows that they were aware of it in the first place.

What surprises me with all this is not the government’s refusal to willingly publicly acknowledge the presence of aliens and UFO’s. Nor the fact that they’ve (unsuccessfully) tried to put a lid on it with inane excuses/explanations for the different things people have see and/or experienced.  No! What surprises me is the constant need from the public to see the government acknowledge the alien presence and their UFO’s.

We all know they’re already here on Earth as well as underground, in the air space and in space.  So why there’s this incessant need to see the government acknowledge the truth about it when we already know what the truth is?

With the advent of the internet and the sharing of information through videos, pictures, articles, blogs and so forth, that information has already reached people in mass numbers.  There’s also the countless witnesses who have shared/voiced their experiences and sightings.  It’s all here on the internet for those who choose to look into it.

We don’t need the government to step in to say they exist! We KNOW they do exist!

The truth is not “Out There”… The truth is ALREADY here!