Repeal Section 37.8 of the Employment Standards Act

Section 37.8 has created a culture of problematic labour practices among high technology companies in BC. Employers do not pay overtime wages or even straight pay for overtime hours; they do not ensure that employees have at least 32 consecutive hours free from work, instead often requiring or allowing their employees to work up to 7 days a week; they do not engage in overtime averaging agreements; they do not respect rules regarding statutory holidays; and generally engage in legally grey but distasteful practices like encouraging employees to sleep at the office or in the parking lot in order to maximize the amount of time they can spend at the office in a day. In addition, companies tangentially related to technology, such as animation and film visual effects, have been using Section 37.8 as justification for engaging in similar practices. The standards are inconsistently enforced by the Employment Standards Branch, with similar cases being treated wildly differently depending on who has been assigned to the file. I suggest the Greens commit to repealing Section 37.8, such that common-sense labour laws can be rightfully enforced in the tech sector just as with most other sectors. There are better ways to promote the technology industry than slashing labour rights.


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