Skip to main content
×
Home

Making or Administering Law and Policy? Discretion and Judgment in Employment Standards Enforcement in Ontario

  • Eric Tucker (a1), Alan Hall (a2), Leah Vosko (a3), Rebecca Hall (a4) and Elliot Siemiatycki (a5)...
Abstract
Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to advance an approach to analyzing decision-making by front line public officials. The notion of discretion in front line decision-making has been examined widely in the law and society literature. However, it has often failed to capture the different kinds and levels of decisions that enforcement officials make. Taking an interdisciplinary approach that draws on political, sociological, and legal analysis, we propose a new conceptual framework, one that draws a sharper distinction between discretion and judgment and teases out distinct levels in the scope and depth of decision-making. We then use this framework to create a conceptual map of the decision-making process of front-line officials charged with enforcing the Employment Standards Act (ESA) of Ontario, demonstrating that a deeper, more precise analysis of discretion and judgment can contribute to a richer understanding of front line decision-making and its social, political, and legal implications.

Résumé

Cette recherche a pour but de proposer une méthode d’analyse du processus décisionnel des fonctionnaires de première ligne. La notion de la discrétion dans la prise de décision de première ligne a été largement étudiée dans les domaines judiciaire et social. Toutefois, l’on n’a pas bien cerné les différents types et niveaux de décisions que prennent les responsables de l’application des lois. À l’aide d’une démarche interdisciplinaire s’inspirant d’analyses politiques, sociologiques et légales, nous proposons un nouveau cadre conceptuel qui fait la distinction entre la discrétion et le jugement et qui ventile les processus de prise de décision en fonction de leur envergure et profondeur. Nous employons ensuite ce cadre pour créer une carte conceptuelle des processus de prise de décision des fonctionnaires de première ligne chargés de l’application de la Loi sur les normes d’emploi de l’Ontario, démontrant qu’une analyse plus profonde et précise des notions de discrétion et de jugement peut contribuer à une meilleure compréhension du processus de prise de décision de première ligne et de ses répercussions sociales, politiques et légales.

Copyright
References
Hide All
Black Julia, and Baldwin Robert. 2010. Really responsive risk-based regulation. Law and Policy 32 (2): 181213.
Bouchard Genevieve, and Carroll Barbara W.. 2002. Policy-making and administrative discretion: The case of immigration in Canada. Canadian Public Administration 45 (2): 239–57.
Bovens Mark, and Zouridis Stavros. 2002. From street-level to system-level bureaucracies: How information and communication technology is transforming administration. Public Administration Review 62 (2): 174–85.
Carroll Barbara W., and Siegel David. 1999. Service in the field. Kingston and Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press.
Cranford Cynthia, Fudge Judy, Tucker Eric, and Vosko Leah F.. 2005. Self-employed workers organize: Law, policy and unions. Kingston and Montreal: McGill-Queens University Press.
Durose Catherine. 2011 Revisiting Lipsky: Front‐line work in UK local governance. Political studies 59 (4): 978–95.
Frank Nancy. 1984. Policing corporate crime: A typology of enforcement styles. Justice Quarterly 1:235–51.
Fudge Judy, Tucker Eric, and Vosko Leah F.. 2002. The legal concept of employment: Marginalizing workers. Ottawa: The Law Commission of Canada.
Gleeson Shannon. 2013. Conflicting commitments: The politics of enforcing immigrant worker rights in San Jose and Houston. Ithaca: ILR Press.
Gormley William T. 1998. Regulatory enforcement styles. Political Research Quarterly 51:363–83.
Howe John, Hardy Tess, and Cooney Sean. 2013. Mandate, discretion, and professionalization in an employment standards enforcement agency: An antipodean experience. Law & Policy, 35 (12): 81108.
Kelly Marissa. 1994. Theories of justice and street-level discretion. Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory 4 (2): 119–40.
Krippendorff Klaus. 2004. Content analysis: An introduction to its methodology. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications Inc.
Levesque Mario. 2011. Build it if you can: Discretion, building inspectors and Part 8 of Ontario’s 2006 Building Code. Canadian Journal of Urban Research 20 (1): 103–30.
Lewchuk Wayne, Clarke Marlea, and Wolff Alice de. 2011. Working without commitments: The health effects of precarious employment. Kingston and Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press.
Lipsky Michael. 1980. Street-level bureaucracy: The dilemmas of the individual in public service. New York: Russell Sage Foundation.
May Peter J., and Wood Robert S.. 2003. At the regulatory front lines: Inspectors’ enforcement styles and regulatory compliance. Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory 13 (2): 117–39.
Monsebraaten Laurie. 2013. Ontario minimum wage workers on the rise, study finds. Toronto Star, 8 October: GTA1.
Ontario. Ministry of Labour (MOL). 2009. Employment standards act policy and interpretation manual. Toronto: Carswell.
Ontario. Ministry of Labour (MOL). 2010. New Legislation Modernizes Ontario’s Employment Standards. MOL Newsroom. Toronto: Province of Ontario. November 29. http://www.labour.gov.on.ca/english/news/bulletin_ofba.php
Ontario. Ministry of Labour (MOL). 2013. Introduction to the administration manual for employment standards. Toronto: Province of Ontario.
Piore Michael J., and Schrank Andrew. 2008. Toward managed flexibility: The revival of labour inspection in the Latin world. International Labour Review 147 (1): 123.
Portillo Shannon, and Rudes Danielle. 2014. Construction of justice at the street level. Annual Review of Law and Social Science 10:321–34.
Pottie Laura, and Sossin Lorne. 2005. Demystifying the boundaries of public law: Policy, discretion and social welfare. UBC Law Review 38:147–88.
Snider Laureen, and Bittle Steven. 2011. The challenges of regulating powerful economic actors. In European Developments in Corporate Criminal Liability, ed. Gobert James and Pascal Ana-Maria, 5369. London: Routledge.
Thomas Mark. 2009. Regulating flexibility: The political economy of employment standards. Kingston and Montreal: McGill-Queens University Press.
Tombs Steve, and Whyte David. 2013. Transcending the deregulation debate? Regulation, risk, and the enforcement of health and safety law in the UK. Regulation & Governance 7 (1): 6179.
Vinzant J., and Crothers L. 1996. Street level leadership: Rethinking the role of public servants in contemporary governance. American Review of Public Administration, 26:457–76.
Vosko Leah F. 2006. Precarious employment: Towards an improved understanding of labour market insecurity. In Precarious employment: Understanding labour market insecurity in Canada, ed. Vosko Leah F., 339. Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queens University Press.
Vosko Leah F. 2007. Precarious part-time work in Australia and in transnational labour regulation: The gendered limits of SER-centrism. Labour & Industry: A Journal of The Social and Economic Relations of Work 17/3:4570.
Vosko Leah F. 2010. Managing the Margins: Gender, Citizenship, and the International Regulation of Precarious Employment. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Vosko Leah F., Tucker Eric, Thomas Mark P., and Gellatly Mary. 2012. New approaches to enforcement and compliance with labour regulatory standards: The case of Ontario, Canada. Toronto: Law Commission of Ontario.
Vosko Leah F., Grundy John, and Thomas Mark P.. 2014. Challenging new governance: Evaluating new approaches to employment standards enforcement in common law jurisdictions. Economic and Industrial Democracy September 8, doi:10.1177/0143831X14546237.
Weil David. 2010. Improving workplace conditions through strategic enforcement: A report to the wage and hour division. Boston: US Department of Labor.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Canadian Journal of Law and Society / La Revue Canadienne Droit et Société
  • ISSN: 0829-3201
  • EISSN: 1911-0227
  • URL: /core/journals/canadian-journal-of-law-and-society-la-revue-canadienne-droit-et-societe
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Keywords:

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 10
Total number of PDF views: 35 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 168 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 20th November 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.