Six legal clinics in Toronto launched a new initiative on December 4, 2015, to provide employment law services to low-income residents in the east end of the City of Toronto. The launch event for the Toronto East Employment Law Services (“TEELS”) was held at Flemingdon Community Legal Services, 1 Leaside Park Drive in Toronto. The event was well attended, including by Primier Kathleen Wynne, Minister Michael Coteau and MPP Arthur Potts. Attendees heard precarious workers speak about the many challenges they face, including the story of a worker who had not been paid by her employer for over ten months.
Precarious work is a growing problem for many low-waged, low-income workers in the Toronto area and the TEELS initiative is designed to address the employment law needs of this growing segment of the labour market. Through direct casework, law reform, and public legal education, TEELS will work directly with workers to address the challenges arising from the changing nature of work in Toronto.
Marjorie Hiley, Executive Director of Flemingdon Community Legal Services, remarked that: “This pilot project fills a distinct and growing need for employment law services in Toronto. Many workers are increasingly facing issues arising from insecure, precarious jobs that do not provide a stable income. We’ll be providing legal assistance to low-waged, precarious workers in the areas of human rights, employment standards, wrongful dismissal, and employment insurance.”
“In East Toronto and Scarborough we’re already seeing a huge demand for employment law services from workers. It’s clear that legal clinics need to be assisting precarious workers in our communities given the growth of temporary agency work, a lack of understanding about employment standards, and laws that haven’t been updated for twenty years,” said Regini David, Outreach and Law Reform Coordinator for TEELS.
The six legal clinics are participating in TEELS are: West Scarborough Community Legal Services; Scarborough Community Legal Services; Willowdale Community Legal Services; Flemingdon Community Legal Services; Neighbourhood Legal Services; and, East Toronto Community Legal Services.
For further information: Regini David, 416-648-0063 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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