Complaint, investigation or general inspection launched.

A complaint by an individual is filed with Employment Standards or an employer is identified for a general inspection. The enforcement process begins.

Note - Prosecution through the courts is possible for making an untrue or fraudulent complaint.

Records demanded.

An Officer notifies the employer of the investigation or inspection and issues a formal demand for the employer to produce payroll records. The employer will be given a specific time period to produce records.

Employer directed to post an inspection notice.

The Officer provides the employer with an Inspection Notice to be posted in a prominent location at the worksite(s). The notice indicates that an inspection or investigation is underway and must not be removed until the project is complete.

Records produced?

Has the employer provided the records requested?

Prosecution for obstruction will be considered.

Prosecution through the courts will be considered for obstructing an Officer, falsifying records, making a complaint to an Officer knowing it is untrue or failing to comply with a 'Notice of Officer'.

Officer reviews records provided and/or complaint details.

The Officer will review the information provided by the complainant, the records provided from the employer and any other pertinent information. This may also include interviewing other employees.

ES Violation?

The Officer decides whether an employment standards violation has occurred.

Non violation decision issued to employee. (Appeal possible).

The Officer has decided no violation has occurred and issues a Non-Violation Decision. The complainant has the option to appeal the decision. Please see the Employment Standards Fact Sheet regarding complaints.

Frequent/problem offender?

Frequent/problem offenders could be employers that have had numerous complaints registered and/or decisions/Orders issued, or could be employers that refuse to comply with Officer Directions or Orders.

Possible audit and prosecution.

Employment Standards may choose to initiate an audit and/or legal prosecution of frequent or problem offenders, even if the employer has complied with standards in a particular instance. Audits of employer records may discover previous unpaid employee earnings. If so, payment for these earnings will be enforced by ES Officers.

Violations outlined to employer, who is directed to comply.

The Officer explains the violations that have occurred to the employer and outlines what the employer must do to comply with minimum standards.

Employer takes action and informs Officer.

The employer follows the directions given by Officer and provides proof to confirm compliance.

Full compliance?

The Officer reviews the proof provided by the employer that action has been taken to comply with employment standards and decides whether full compliance has been achieved. This may have included payment of monies owed, reinstatement or other steps ordered by the Officer or Director.

'Compliance met' documentation issued by Officer and posted by employer.

The Officer has decided that full compliance with employment standards has been met and issues a 'Compliance Met' form to all parties. Documentation confirming compliance has been met is provided to the employer. The employer is asked to replace the Inspection Notice issued earlier (Box 3) with the 'Compliance Met' notice.

One or more steps will be taken.

The Officer has decided that employment standards have not been met and proceeds to the next stage, which may involve one or more actions.

Audit performed at employer's expense.

An audit may be performed by a government representative (known as a Crown Audit) or it may be performed by an external organization (known as a Third Party Audit). In either case, the employer will be charged for the costs of the audit, which can be extensive. Results from an audit are reviewed and a decision is made whether to proceed with further steps.

Orders issued to employer. (Appeal possible).

The Officer may issue Orders for the employer to pay monies owing. The Director may issue an Order to reinstate or compensate the complainant. In either case an Order Fee will be charged to the employer. The employer has the option to appeal. If the employer complies with these Orders they will not be filed in court (box 19).

Order filed in court. Order fee applies.

The Order(s) are filed with the provincial Court of Queen's Bench.

Collection proceedings begin.

Collection proceedings will proceed. No further appeals of the amounts assessed by the Officer are permitted.

Referral to collection agency. Seize assets. Additional fees apply.

If monies are not collected, the matter is referred to an external collection agency, which will proceed with collection. Employer property may be seized. Additional fees will apply.

Seize monies. (Appeal possible).

Monies may be seized from the employer, from a bank account or from another party, such as a firm indebted to the employer. The employer and the complainant have the option to appeal.

Money collected/assets liquidated.

Monies are collected. Seized property assets may be liquidated to cash.

Money distributed to workers(s).

Recovered monies are distributed to the complainant.

Prosecution recommended to Alberta Justice.

A recommendation for prosecution may be provided to Alberta Justice along with all appropriate information.

Alberta Justice proceeds with prosecution.

Alberta Justice reviews all information provided and makes a decision whether to proceed with civil prosecution in the Alberta courts. If so, the employer will be notified and court action will commence.

Enforcement Process Step Details

  1. A complaint by an individual is filed with Employment Standards or an employer is identified for a general inspection. The enforcement process begins. Note - Prosecution through the courts is possible for making an untrue or fraudulent complaint.
  2. An Officer notifies the employer of the investigation or inspection and issues a formal demand for the employer to produce payroll records. The employer will be given a specific time period to produce records.
  3. The Officer provides the employer with an Inspection Notice to be posted in a prominent location at the worksite(s). The notice indicates that an inspection or investigation is underway and must not be removed until the project is complete.
  4. Has the employer provided the records requested?
  5. Prosecution through the courts will be considered for obstructing an Officer, falsifying records, making a complaint to an Officer knowing it is untrue or failing to comply with a 'Notice of Officer'.
  6. The Officer will review the information provided by the complainant, the records provided from the employer and any other pertinent information. This may also include interviewing other employees.
  7. The Officer decides whether an employment standards violation has occurred.
  8. The Officer has decided no violation has occurred and issues a Non-Violation Decision. The complainant has the option to appeal the decision. Please see the Employment Standards Fact Sheet regarding complaints.
  9. Frequent/problem offenders could be employers that have had numerous complaints registered and/or decisions/Orders issued, or could be employers that refuse to comply with Officer Directions or Orders.
  10. Employment Standards may choose to initiate an audit and/or legal prosecution of frequent or problem offenders, even if the employer has complied with standards in a particular instance. Audits of employer records may discover previous unpaid employee earnings. If so, payment for these earnings will be enforced by ES Officers.
  11. The Officer explains the violations that have occurred to the employer and outlines what the employer must do to comply with minimum standards.
  12. The employer follows the directions given by Officer and provides proof to confirm compliance.
  13. The Officer reviews the proof provided by the employer that action has been taken to comply with employment standards and decides whether full compliance has been achieved. This may have included payment of monies owed, reinstatement or other steps ordered by the Officer or Director.
  14. The Officer has decided that full compliance with employment standards has been met and issues a 'Compliance Met' form to all parties. Documentation confirming compliance has been met is provided to the employer. The employer is asked to replace the Inspection Notice issued earlier (Box 3) with the 'Compliance Met' notice.
  15. The Officer has decided that employment standards have not been met and proceeds to the next stage, which may involve one or more actions.
  16. An audit may be performed by a government representative (known as a Crown Audit) or it may be performed by an external organization (known as a Third Party Audit). In either case, the employer will be charged for the costs of the audit, which can be extensive. Results from an audit are reviewed and a decision is made whether to proceed with further steps.
  17. The Officer may issue Orders for the employer to pay monies owing. The Director may issue an Order to reinstate or compensate the complainant. In either case an Order Fee will be charged to the employer. The employer has the option to appeal. If the employer complies with these Orders they will not be filed in court (box 19).
  18. The Order(s) are filed with the provincial Court of Queen's Bench.
  19. Collection proceedings will proceed. No further appeals of the amounts assessed by the Officer are permitted.
  20. If monies are not collected, the matter is referred to an external collection agency, which will proceed with collection. Employer property may be seized. Additional fees will apply.
  21. Monies may be seized from the employer, from a bank account or from another party, such as a firm indebted to the employer. The employer and the complainant have the option to appeal.
  22. Monies are collected. Seized property assets may be liquidated to cash.
  23. Recovered monies are distributed to the complainant.
  24. A recommendation for prosecution may be provided to Alberta Justice along with all appropriate information.
  25. Alberta Justice reviews all information provided and makes a decision whether to proceed with civil prosecution in the Alberta courts. If so, the employer will be notified and court action will commence.