News / Vancouver

And B.C.'s Bad Boss Award goes to...

The B.C. Federation of Labour has handed out the first ever Bad Boss Award to Anil Dhawan, an owner and manager of three Vancouver Subway franchises, who employees allege asked them to forgo overtime wages.

The BCFed's Employee Action Rights Network (EARN) said an employee at Dhawan's Oakridge Mall restaurant entered him in the Bad Boss Contest earlier this year, for what EARN called a "blatant violation of employment standards."

"We are asking the Ministry of Labour to launch an immediate investigation into Mr. Dhawan's operations and ensure workers receive the full wages they are owed," said EARN spokesman Stephen Von Sychowski in a statement.

A leaked contract stamped with the Subway logo asks employees to "acknowledge and agree to waive any overtime wages due to (their) request to work additional hours per week."

A Ministry of Labour spokesperson said the Employment Standards Branch is investigating the allegations, but up until now they haven't received any complaints about Dhawan.

Dhawan told Metro Tuesday afternoon the form was drafted by a senior manager at the Oakridge Mall location without his knowledge or consent.

"To my knowledge, no one has signed it, but secondly we don't use that form," he said.

"Anyone can make a form on a Word document, and it's just unfortunate that this labour group has got a hold of the form and they've painted a much different story than what actually exists. It's too bad they didn't come to me and ask me about it initially."

The franchise owner said the Employment Standards Branch is welcome to check his records, which he claimed are meticulously kept and verify that he pays overtime in accordance with labour laws.

"I don't have any disgruntled employees that I'm aware of, but it's evident to me that someone has passed on this letter to the Federation of Labour. I'm not sure how," he added.

Von Sychowski said the BCFed has spoken to several disgruntled employees at all three of Dhawan's restaurants.

"It seems very unlikely that he wouldn't have known about the form if he's the owner of the three stores where it's happening, and we've had it confirmed to us four different ways by people working in those stores now that, indeed, it's going on," Von Sychowski said.

"I can't say that we've seen any pay stubs, so that will be I guess revealed now, and if it hasn't been used to deduct pay then that's great. We don't want that to happen to people, but obviously the form itself is a violation of the (Employment Standards) Act, so hopefully he'll be doing away with that form now."

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