Shoppers Drug Mart in Toronto offers a part-time job with no pay

Shoppers Drug Mart is giving Torontonians the honour of volunteering at one of their locations for free.

On Wednesday, the Shoppers Drug Mart at King Street West and Peter Street in Toronto, Ont., placed an ad for a volunteer position on the social networking site Linkedin.

The ad stated that to get the volunteer position, applicants must have flexible work hours and be willing to work evenings and weekends.

Previous customer service and retail experience are assets, it said.

“As a volunteer, you will be responsible for assisting with various tasks and providing support to the staff. This may include helping customers find products, restocking shelves, organizing inventory, and maintaining a clean and organized store environment,” the ad said. “Your role as a volunteer is crucial in ensuring that our customers have a positive and seamless shopping experience.”

According to Owler Shopper’s Drug Mart, it makes an estimated $10-50 billion in revenue.

When asked why the company was offering this position, Loblaws, the owners of Shoppers Drug Mart, did not respond before the deadline given.

One explanation might be that high school students at the Toronto District School Board and the Toronto Catholic District School Board must work 40 hours of “community involvement” to graduate in June.

For students who have waited too long, a co-op placement at a Shoppers Drug Mart might be their best option if they want to graduate with their peers.

Typically, co-op students apply for positions themselves, and organizations don’t advertise that they’re looking for free labour.

Emil Harba, the pharmacist and owner of that specific store listed the job.

His LinkedIn account appears to no longer be operational, and after one day of being online, the listing says it is “no longer accepting applicants.”

Under the Employment Standards Act, Ontario’s government distinguishes between volunteers and employees.

“Volunteers are not employees under the ESA. However, the fact that someone is called a ‘volunteer’ does not determine whether that person is an employee and entitled to the protections of the ESA,” it says.

Ontario uses two main factors to determine whether someone is a volunteer or an employee.

They ask how much the employer benefits from the individual’s services and how much the individual views the arrangement as being in pursuit of a living.

“The fact that no wages were paid does not necessarily mean that someone is a volunteer,” it says on the government website.

This position might not meet the government’s standard for what constitutes a “volunteer,” If the person Harba was employing took the job in hopes of one day getting paid to make a living and because of how “crucial” the job listing said the volunteer position was to the store. 

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