Subway Restaurant
270 Erie St Unit 3
Leamington ON N8H 3L5


So this is a warning to all parents of teenage kids who live in Canada.

I won’t generalize about all Subway locations in Canada because I can’t be sure, but this is the experience my son & I had with the Subway in Leamington, Ontario when he applied for a job there.

He was hired by Annie (not sure if she is the owner or just the manager), but then was told he had to pay Subway money for the uniform before he even started working. I became very suspicious because my son had also gone for an interview at Wendy’s, & while he did have to pay for the safety shoes (clearly you can’t return shoes), he did NOT have to pay for any uniform. They were also willing to slowly take the shoes out of his paycheck. This is their policy, he didn’t ask.

I proceeded to phone up the head office of Subway which is in the US & finally got someone named Tim who was a very nice guy by the way.

I asked him if this was normal for their company to charge people for things before they have even started working there & this is what he told me.

  1. Subway never gets involved with the human resources (HR) aspect of a franchisee’s location.

    While I accepted this, I wanted to know what the norm was worldwide, or at least in the States.

  2. Most (not all) subways in the States do NOT charge their workers for the uniforms unless they have demolished them.

    If it is their policy to charge them, he thought they would take it out of the paycheck & not charge upfront & that the money would be returned to my son when he left the company.

    He was kind of surprised at this franchisee’s way of doing things, but once again said he can’t get involved.

  3. He told me to contact the labour board in Ontario, so I did.

    Canada of course (or at least Ontario) allows companies to charge people for uniforms before they have even started working. Since there is no age limit here (like 18), even teenagers can be charged these ridiculous fees just to get a job.

  4. Tim proceeded to look up the costs that the subway in Canada has to pay & the total for one shirt, one apron & one cap came to $16.84 CND, YET, this Annie told my son he had to pay $25, so he was going to be overcharged.

    The situation became even more suspicious to me.

  5. Because Tim said the money is usually returned once the worker has left Subway, I decided to get my son to call up this Annie & ask her if he would get the money back.

    Well my son only being 16 didn’t word things very well, so she somehow got it into her head that he was going to start & quit all in the same month & instead of dealing with his question, went on & on & on about she isn’t going to train someone just to have them quit a month later.

    While I totally get her perspective as I’m an entrepreneur myself, I started to get the impression that she had a very high turnover there & this started to feel like there were management or ownership issues at this particular location.

    Anyway, in the end Annie said that NO, they don’t give you your money back when the worker leaves & when I got on the phone & broached the subject of how they expect a 16 year old to come up with $25 just to get a job, she had no answer for me other than they don’t do this based on age, this is their policy.

    She was also asked if he would get a receipt (we wanted to see an itemized receipt to see why there was a $8.16 discrepancy) & while she said sure, I could tell this was a very unusual request.

    I know Leamington, Ontario is a very small town where the people aren’t always the swiftest, but come on people, how can ANYONE expect a teenager to fork over money he doesn’t have just to get a job.

    If Wendy’s doesn’t do it, & Timmy’s doesn’t charge, I wonder if McDonald’s does.

  6. Tim also suggested I call Mary Alliger who was the Ontario Director (905-850-7003), so I did.

    She said she wasn’t in charge of that location (I don’t know, I thought she covered all of Ontario), but would look into it.

    At this point I hadn’t given out the location to Tim because I wasn’t going to jeopardize my son’s job until I was sure there was something very fishy about how they run their restaurant, but I gave it to Mary.

    She said she would get back to me & she never did.

    I called her a couple of days later & left a message & she never returned my call which made me even MORE suspicious.

    It always seems that Americans are willing to bend over backwards to give things to customers while Canadian companies generally DO NOT.

    Here is one more example of how a Canadian company is ripping off their citizens (in this case it’s workers) & the Americans generally aren’t. I am sure there are always exceptions, but I’m talking about the norm here.

So in the end my son turned down the job because I wasn’t going to give him the money, & this whole experience sounded like Subway was ripping people off.

He took the job at Wendy’s where they are way more professional, & even after 3 paychecks my son barely noticed that the shoes were being taken off.

So to all parents, I don’t feel you should have to pay for uniforms out of your pocket & if you do, you or your kid should be reimbursed, not forced to pay for something he/she will never wear again once they leave the company. Also get an itemized receipt & if you want, call up the head office to confirm how much the store has to pay.

I think that Mary tried to say maybe he was being charged for shipping, but GIVE ME A BREAK, they are charing the workers for shipping toooooo???? I’m glad he never worked there, they sound like selfish controlling people.

Once I called Tim back to tell him what I learned, I was hoping Tim would investigate further into this potential fraudulent situation, but because it falls under HR, he wouldn’t. He also didn’t seem to care that Mary (she is representing Subway as a whole) avoided getting back to me on this issue.

As a side note that may or may not be relevant, I heard that the Subway in Kingsville, Ontario which is 20 minutes away, has a very nasty mean spirited manager working there. My son met a girl who told me she quit because the abuse was so bad.

I don’t know how the Subway on Talbot in Leamington, Ontario runs their location, my son was never called in for an interview.

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