Bill 149 receives royal assent


Further to our earlier blog post regarding Ontario’s proposed Bill 149, the Working for Workers Four Act, 2023 (Bill 149), on March 21, 2024, Bill 149 received royal assent. As described in our earlier blog post, Bill 149 imposes new requirements regarding pay transparency, Canadian work experience and the use of AI in job postings, among other things.

Below is a reminder of the changes introduced by Bill 149 and their respective effective dates. For a more in-depth discussion of the changes, please see our earlier blog post.

Pursuant to Bill 149, the following amendments to the Employment Standards Act2000 (Ontario) (the ESA) are currently in force as of March 21, 2024:

  • Deductions: employers are expressly prohibited from withholding or deducting wages from an employee where a customer of a restaurant, gas station or other establishment leaves the establishment without paying for their goods or services
  • Trial periods: the meaning of “training” for the purposes of the definition of “employee” under the ESA has been clarified to include an employee in a “trial period”. As noted previously, this appears to be a clarifying change rather than a substantive one, since the ESA already provides that employees must be paid for all work that is permitted to be done by the employee.

The following noteworthy ESA amendments will come into force on June 21, 2024:

  • Tips: if an employer opts to pay their employees tips and gratuities by cash or cheque, such payments must be given to the employee at their workplace or at some other place agreeable to the employee. The amendments also provide that any tip sharing policy must be posted in a conspicuous place in the workplace and retained for three years.
  • Vacation pay: alternative pay arrangements must be set out in an agreement and vacation pay must be paid out in accordance with the timing set out in that agreement

Perhaps most notably, Bill 149 introduces the following new requirements related to job postings. Such requirements will not come into effect until the date of proclamation, which is not yet known:

  • Pay transparency: employers will be required to include in any publicly advertised job posting the expected compensation or the range of expected compensation for the position [1]
  • Canadian work experience: employers will be prohibited from including any requirements relating to Canadian work experience in publicly advertised job postings
  • AI: employers will be required to include a statement disclosing their use of AI to screen, assess or select applicants for a position advertised in a publicly available job posting


We will continue to monitor legislative updates including when the changes described above are proclaimed into force. Once the amendments relating to job postings are effective, employers in Ontario will need to ensure their publicly advertised job postings are in compliance with these new requirements. For any additional information on these changes, please contact a member of Osler's Employment and Labour Department.


[1] There is a section of the bill which comes into force on an unknown date that suggests this provision will be repealed. As such, it is unclear when, and for how long, this requirement would be effective.