Blog Post #792 – Failure to Comply with Order to Pay Workers Draws $30,000 in Fines

Blog Post #792 – Failure to Comply with Order to Pay Workers Draws $30,000 in Fines

Excerpt from the government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’

An Ottawa-based towing company and its director have been fined a total of $30,000 in court for failing to pay workers after being ordered to do so.

The company, CRR Cornwall Roadside Recovery Inc. (operating as Glen’s Towing) and its director, Glen Comeau, received the fines at trial in Cornwall.

A total of six tow truck drivers were owed monies that included overtime, vacation pay, public holiday pay and unauthorized deductions. The amounts owing ranged between $1,000 and $7,000. The order to pay against the company was for $27,879.15, including an administrative fee of $2,534.47. The order to pay against Comeau was $25,344.68 in total. The orders to pay were issued on August 21, 2013 to the company and November 15, 2013 to the director.

Partial payments were made but at the time of trial the claimants were still owed about $10,000.

The court imposed a fine of $20,000 against the company and $10,000 against the director. The company is no longer in business. Justice of the Peace Basile V. Marchand presided over the proceedings on June 4, 2014.

The law(s) violated,

Glen’s Towing was found guilty of a violation of the Employment Standards Act, section 132 which states,

“A person who contravenes this Act or the regulations or fails to comply with an order, direction or other requirement under this Act or the regulations is guilty of an offence and on conviction is liable,

(a) if the person is an individual, to a fine of not more than $50,000 or to imprisonment for a term of not more than 12 months or to both;

(b) subject to clause (c), if the person is a corporation, to a fine of not more than $100,000; and

(c) if the person is a corporation that has previously been convicted of an offence under this Act or a predecessor to it,

(i) if the person has one previous conviction, to a fine of not more than $250,000, and
(ii) if the person has more than one previous conviction, to a fine of not more than $500,000.”

Glen Comeau was also found guilty of a violation of the ESA, section 136 which states,

“A director of a corporation is guilty of an offence if the director,

(a) fails to comply with an order of an employment standards officer under section 106 or 107 and has not applied for a review of that order; or

(b) fails to comply with an order issued under section 106 or 107 that has been amended or affirmed by the Board on a review of the order under section 116 or with a new order issued by the Board on such a review.

Penalty

(2) A director convicted of an offence under subsection (1) is liable to a fine of not more than $50,000.”

My opinion,

Can you believe that someone would dare hold back wages for employees? Well, it happens more than you know. I remember a restaurant in the Cobourg area was thinking of giving no wages to the serving staff and let them receive a wage through tips. It went on the news and was quickly rescinded. The colossal gall!

Can you believe that an employer can still be this arrogant and believe that they do not need to pay their workers for their time?

My understanding of this is that the company fines are still the responsibility of the owner if the company goes under. I am going to check further on this one.

Ensure your workplace is a safe place.

Remember – In Ontario, “ALL Accidents are Preventable”

‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.

Daniel L. Beal
CHSEP – Advanced Level
VP & Senior Trainer
HRS Group Inc.

Dan
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