Shoppers Drug Mart Gets Caught Trying to Hire A ‘Volunteer’

A Shoppers Drug Mart pharmacy in downtown Toronto was caught appearing to try to hire a volunteer — i.e. get free labor — through a now-deleted job listing. 

The listing, posted on LinkedIn by pharmacist-owner Emil Harba, outlined duties such as assisting customers, restocking shelves, and organizing inventory, all without compensation.

Loblaw (TSE: L), Shoppers Drug Mart’s parent company, said in an email to CBC Toronto that the “job posting was an error,” and that hiring volunteers is against company policy. The “error” was that Harba claims he was trying to help people seeking Canadian experience but was informed by the corporation that he could not take on volunteers in the store, prompting him to remove the listing.

The company has been under fire recently for high grocery prices and is facing a consumer boycott, though they claim it has not harmed their bottom line.

Legal experts note that volunteers do not fall under the protection of Ontario’s Employment Standards Act, which provides workers with rights to minimum wage, overtime pay, and public holidays. The act considers factors such as the nature of the work, the tools and materials provided, and the employer’s control to determine if a volunteer should be classified as an employee and paid minimum wage.


Information for this story was found via CBC News, Toronto Star, and the sources and companies mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to the organizations discussed. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

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