Don’t Settle for the Minimum!

By: Milena Romalis

Co-Authored by Robert D. Katz

As explained in “Employment Law in Ontario,” Ontario’s Labour Standards provide workers a ‘minimum’ of protection. However, VRA does not believe disabled adults should be expected to accept the minimum. Our clients deserve better.

Minimum Wages

The Minimum Wage is not a living wage. No adult should be expected to live on the minimum wage. Just about the only people who should accept the minimum wage are entry-level apprentices, recent high-school-dropouts and part-timers. It is especially unacceptable for injured people to be told that, since they disabled, they should settle for the Minimum Wage.

VRA believes that disabled adults deserve the ‘going rate,’ the same as any other worker. We recognize that there are times some adults in Rehabilitation may have to accept the minimum wage for a short period while they prove themselves or receive on-the-job-training – but that should be the exception.

Minimal Holidays

The province’s minimum vacation pay legislation may be fine for the first year. However, as workers accrue seniority, their vacation entitlement should increase beyond the minimum. After two years, a disabled worker who has proven his or her ability deserves more than two weeks’ vacation per annum. Anything less is a signal to start looking for a better job.

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Milena Romalis

Milena Romalis, B.A., B.Ed. OCT Milena is a certified teacher and vocational rehabilitation professional with a combined 20 years of experience teaching, counselling and assessing a wide range of clients from early childhood to retirement. In her decade as a teacher with the Toronto District School Board, Milena's work emphasized an individualized, experiential approach, using the students’ experiences and strengths as a springboard for learning. As a counsellor and assessor with a specialized, Toronto area firm, Milena assists both child and adult clients living with physical, emotional, social and developmental disabilities to navigate educational, training, and employment options. Her work involves assessing needs, formulating rehabilitation plans and providing comprehensive case management support during life transitions. Milena graduated from a specialized Bachelor of Education program (Diversity Initiative) with an emphasis on representing and integrating high needs students into curriculum development and delivery.

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