Employment Law for EMS, Healthcare Workers and Health Professionals

If you work in emergency medical services (EMS), healthcare or are otherwise a health professional, then there are special exceptions and rules that govern the minimum standards of employment for you in Ontario.

Who Do these Special Exceptions Apply to?

 

  • Ambulance drivers and driver’s helper or first-aid attendant on an ambulance
  • Audiologists
  • Chiropodists and chiropody students
  • Chiropractors and chiropractic students
  • Dental Hygienists
  • Dental technologists
  • Dentists and dentistry students
  • Denturists
  • Dieticians
  • Firefighters
  • Hospital employees
  • Massage therapists and massage therapy students
  • Medical laboratory technologists
  • Medical radiation technologists
  • Midwives
  • Naturopaths and naturopathy students
  • Nurses
  • Occupational therapists
  • Opticians
  • Optometrists and optometry students
  • Paramedics and emergency medical attendants
  • Pharmacists and pharmacy students
  • Physicians, surgeons and medical students
  • Physiotherapists and physiotherapy students
  • Psychologists and psychology students
  • Residential care workers
  • Respiratory therapists
  • Speech-language pathologists
  • Veterinarians and veterinary students

 

What are the Special Exceptions?

 

Occupational Group

Special Rule/Exemption

Ambulance drivers and driver’s helper or first-aid attendant on an ambulance

You are not entitled to overtime pay.

Audiologists

Dental Hygienists

Dental technologists

Midwives

Opticians

Speech-language pathologists

You are not entitled to sick leave, family responsibility leave or bereavement leave if taking the leave would be professional misconduct or abandoning your duty

 

Chiropodists and chiropody students

Chiropractors and chiropractic students

Dentists and dentistry students

Denturists

Dieticians

Massage therapists and massage therapy students

Naturopaths and naturopathy students

Optometrists and optometry students

Pharmacists and pharmacy students

Physicians, surgeons and medical students

Physiotherapists and physiotherapy students

Psychologists and psychology students

Veterinarians and veterinary students

You are not entitled to:

  • Minimum wage
  • Eating periods
  • Overtime pay
  • Sick leave, family responsibility leave or bereavement leave if taking the leave would be professional misconduct or abandoning your duty
  • Public holidays or public holiday pay
  • Vacation with pay
  • Daily and weekly limits on hours of work
  • Daily rest period
  • Time off between shifts
  • Weekly/bi-weekly rest periods
  • Daily rest period

Firefighters

You are not entitled to:

  • Daily and weekly limits on hours of work
  • Daily rest periods
  • Time off between shifts
  • Weekly/bi-weekly rest periods
  • Overtime pay
  • Public holidays or public holiday pay

Hospital Employees

If you work in a hospital, long-term care home or health care facilities:

  • You may be required to work on a public holiday if the public holiday is normally a working day for them and you are not on vacation.
  • If required to work on a public holiday, your employer may either:
    • Pay you at your regular rate for the hours you work on the public holiday and provide you with a substitute day off work with public holiday pay or
    • Pay you public holiday pay plus premium pay for the hours you work on the public holiday.

Medical Laboratory Technologists

Medical Radiation Technologists

Nurses

Respiratory Therapists

You may not be entitled to sick leave, family responsibility leave or bereavement leave if taking the leave would be professional misconduct or abandoning your duty.

If you work in a hospital, you may be required to work on a public holiday if the public holiday is normally a working day for you and you are not on vacation.

If you are required to work on a public holiday, your employer may either:

  • Pay you at their regular rate for the hours they work on the public holiday and provide you with a substitute day off work with public holiday pay or
  • Pay you public holiday pay plus premium pay for the hours you work on the public holiday.

Paramedics and Emergency Medical Attendants

If you are a paramedic or emergency medical attendant in the land and air ambulance industry and are represented by a union:

  • You are not entitled to overtime pay.
  • Your employer and union may agree in writing that:
    • The general rest period rule does not apply and they are entitled to eight consecutive hours free from work each day
    • The general eating period rule does not apply and they are entitled to a different eating period set out in the written agreement

Residential Care Workers

If you work supervising and caring for children or persons with developmental disabilities in family-type residential homes and they live in the home during work periods, they are entitled to:

  • Public holidays
  • Vacation with pay
  • Notice of termination/termination pay
  • Severance

You are not entitled to:

  • Daily or weekly limits on hours of work
  • Daily rest periods
  • Time off between shifts
  • Eating periods
  • Overtime pay
  • Be paid for time you spend at the workplace eating, sleeping, resting or attending to your own affairs, even if you are on call during that time
  • The general minimum wage rate: instead, you are entitled to a regular rate of pay that equals at least the minimum wage rate for the lesser of the number of actual hours worked or 12 hours
  • The general weekly/bi-weekly rest period: instead, you are entitled to at least 36 hours free from work each week

You may be entitled to up to 15 hours of pay per day if you worked more than 12 hours in a day and you:

  • Have accurate records of the hours you worked
  • Provide those records to your employer immediately after the pay day for the period in which the extra hours were worked, and before the next pay period

You may agree to take multiple rest periods instead of one rest period of 36 consecutive hours. If you agree to work during your rest period(s), your employer must:

  • Pay you at least one and one-half times your regular rate of pay for the hours you work, or
  • Add the hours you work to one of their next eight 36 hour rest periods.

 


Contact Justin W. Anisman

Contact Justin W. Anisman, the author of this blog, about any employment law related questions or issues you may be facing. Call 416-304-7005 or email him at janisman@btlegal.ca.

Justin W. Anisman is an Employment Lawyer at the Toronto law firm Brauti Thorning LLP. Justin advises both companies and individuals in all aspects of employment law including wrongful dismissal, human rights and discrimination.


The publications made on this website are provided and intended for general introductory information purposes only. They do not constitute legal or other professional advice, or an opinion of any kind. Speak to a professional before making decisions about your own particular circumstances.

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