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'Is it really necessary?' Barrie business owner weighs in on new labour legislation

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New labour legislation that includes banning pay deductions for dining and dashing and unpaid trial shifts surprised Kent Smith, owner of Michael and Marion's restaurant and the Side Door Bar in Barrie.

"My initial thoughts were, 'Wow, I didn't really know this was a necessity.' If the government is really interested in seeing more money on employee pay cheques, perhaps they should start with their own policies," Smith said.

Smith has owned the Barrie establishments for over 30 years and said he could only recall one or two incidents of a 'dine and dash.'

"I'm sure there are a lot of bad apples out there, but I can't help but think, for the most part, that this is really not a giant-sized issue. I wouldn't dream of having my employee cover it," he added.

The business owner said it has always been his policy to pay employees for training shifts, and after speaking with other local restaurant owners, he said they have the approach.

However, Trinity Moore agrees with the proposed measures. The server and manager at Wimpy's Diner in Barrie said she agrees with protecting workers.

"Knowing that it doesn't come out of our pocket, especially if it's like a $60 bill, it makes a huge difference. Because that would come out of our tips and our hard-working money," Moore said, adding many employees are students.

"We do depend on our tips, especially like myself and other coworkers here. We rely on our tips because we go through school. The tips really help us pay off our student debt loan," she noted.

The province is also proposing changes requiring employers to post in the workplace if they have a policy of sharing pooled tips and allowing employees to select which account tips are deposited into if employers use direct deposit.

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