Tim Hortons Wages

Toronto Tim Hortons under fire for new no-tipping policy

Employees at several Tim Hortons stores across Ontario – including one owned by children of the coffee chain's founders – say they've lost paid breaks and benefits as a result of the province's very recent minimum wage hike.

And now the controversy has come to Toronto, as a location in Scarborough is under fire for implementing a no-tipping policy. 

It all started with a letter that was leaked online.

"Dear team members: It is with great regret that Ron Joyce. Jr. Enterprises Ltd. (Tim Hortons) finds it necessary to make the following changes to our incentive programs, paid breaks, and policies," reads a letter shared widely via Reddit this week.

"These changes are due to the increase of wages to $14.00 minimum wage on January 1, 2018," continued the letter, which was posted at a Coburg, Ontario store, "as well as the lack of assistance and financial help from our head office and from the Government."

People across the country – including Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne – have been criticizing the company all week for taking compensation from its workers, despite bringing in $4.15 billion in 2016 alone.

"The chain was sold for billions of dollars," said Wynne on Thursday. and when I read how (Joyce Jr.) was treating his employees, it just felt to me like this was a pretty clear act of bullying."

Employees at the Lawrence Ave. E. and Markham Rd. location have come forward to say that, in addition to losing paid breaks, they're no longer being permitted to accept tips.

The Toronto Star reports that workers at the Tim Hortons franchise near Lawrence Ave E. and Markham Red. were recently told that there would be "no more tips" as of 2018 in light of the minimum wage increase.

Employees at that store were reportedly told by management that all tips "must go in the till" from now on – which isn't illegal for the business to do, as long as customers are made aware that gratuities will not be accepted.

Tim Hortons Parent company, Restaurant Brands International, responded to the controversy today by saying that franchisees handle all employment matters and are thus responsible for the break and benefit cuts.

"Let us be perfectly clear," wrote the company in a statement. "These recent actions by a few restaurant owners, and the unauthorized statements made to the media by a 'rogue group' claiming to speak on behalf of Tim Hortons, do not reflect the values of our brand."

And the drama continues...

Lead photo by

Tim Hortons

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