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Toronto Employment Lawyers Advising Employees on Open Work Permits for Vulnerable Workers

In general, temporary foreign workers on an employer-specific work permit are only authorized to work for the employer specified on their work permit. In order to change jobs, the foreign worker must obtain a new work permit, which can be challenging due to costs and time. The challenges are only maximized if there is abuse of any kind taking place.

At Sultan Lawyers, our workplace immigration lawyers, provide legal guidance and support to employees on employer-specific work permits who may be experiencing abuse, or who are at risk of abuse, in the context of their employment in Canada. We can assist in applications for an open work permit for vulnerable workers.

What is a Vulnerable Worker Permit?

A foreign worker on a specific-employer work permit may be eligible to receive an open work permit that is exempt from the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) process if they are experiencing abuse.

Abuse consists of any of the following:

  • Physical abuse, including hitting, slapping, forcible confinement
  • Sexual abuse, including sexual contact without consent, using force, weapons, or objects in non-consensual sexual acts
  • Psychological abuse, including threats, intimidation, insults, yelling, name-calling, shaming or ridiculing
  • Financial abuse, including withholding money, spending a worker’s money without consent, fraud

When will an employee be eligible for a Vulnerable Worker Permit?

A temporary foreign worker may be eligible for a vulnerable worker work permit if:

  • The temporary foreign worker is in Canada
  • The temporary foreign worker holds an employer-specific work permit or are authorized to work without a permit under implied status; and
  • There are reasonable grounds to believe the temporary foreign worker is experiencing abuse in the context of their employment in Canada or are at risk of experiencing abuse.

Sultan Lawyers: Advising Employees and Employers on Vulnerable Worker Work Permits

The Toronto workplace immigration lawyers at Sultan Lawyers regularly advise our employee clients on how best to address and apply for a Vulnerable Worker Work Permit. Our team will also review the circumstances surrounding a worker’s workplace to assess whether there are violations of Ontario employment legislation such as the Ontario Employment Standards Act, 2000, or the Ontario Human Rights Code.

Sultan Lawyers will also assist employers in reviewing their workplace to ensure they have internal policies, procedures, and mechanisms in place to address situations of abuse in the workplace. We also offer flat rate consultations, specifically designed to provide our clients with critical information and tools that they need to plan out how best to manage the circumstances, including whether to proceed with a specific application. Contact us online or at 416-214-5111 for a consultation.


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