Provincial officials hosted a consultation session in Windsor on Friday for the province’s proposed Bill 148, also known as the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act.

Part of the proposed bill includes hiking the minimum wage, ensuring part-time workers are paid the same hourly wage as full-time workers, introducing paid sick days for every worker and stepping up enforcement of employment laws.

In order to help develop this legislation, the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs is hearing from local residents and businesses in 10 communities across Ontario throughout July.

"Bill 148, ‎the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, is a step in the right direction, especially for the under-privileged and immigrant women,”said Dr. Sudip Minhas, executive director of Windsor Women Working With Immigrant Women. “ As various studies and anecdotal information has informed us, immigrant and racialized women have been at the lowest strata of Canadian employment hierarchy. “

Minhas says raising minimum wage will benefit this section the most since most immigrant women work in the minimum wage category.
Through a broad, inclusive consultation process, including engaging residents in Windsor, provincial officials say they will ensure proposed reforms give all workers the opportunity to succeed and get ahead.

"While some choose to put the bottom line ahead of people working hard to provide for their family, our government believes in protecting all citizens, creating better opportunities for all workers, and giving families hope and confidence about the future,” says Minister of Labour Kevin Flynn.

Some Windsor small business owners are voicing concerns with the proposed legislation.