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B.C. truck driver awarded $4,500 in dispute over wages

by HR Law Canada

The Civil Resolution Tribunal (CRT) of British Columbia has ordered Speedy Consolidated Inc. to pay about $4,500 to a former truck driver for unpaid wages and associated costs.

The driver claimed that the company failed to compensate him $4,005 for truck driving services rendered between Feb. 2 and Feb. 14, 2021. Speedy denied the claim, asserting that the driver never showed up for work.

Evidence and tribunal findings

The Tribunal’s examination revealed compelling evidence supporting the driver’s claims. Notably, text messages between him and the company’s director showed repeated follow-ups on his outstanding pay, which the company did not dispute in the 2021 messages.

Speedy even sent the driver a picture of a cheque made out to him for $4,005, although the driver never received the cheque.

Additionally, the driver provided various bills of lading dated in February 2021 under Speedy’s name, which went unaddressed by Speedy. Despite the company’s claim that the driver was contracted to a related company, Speedy Bob Logistics, the Tribunal found no evidence supporting this distinction or any sponsorship fees allegedly paid by Speedy on behalf of the driver.

“I find (the driver) performed truck driving services for Speedy,” the tribunal said in the ruling. It further affirmed that the parties had agreed to the $4,005 payment for the driver’s work, rejecting any reduction for supposed sponsorship costs due to lack of evidence from Speedy.

Tribunal’s decision

The Tribunal ordered Speedy to pay the driver the full amount of $4,005, along with $329.59 in pre-judgment interest calculated from Feb.14, 2021, and $175 in tribunal fees. The total amount of $4,509.59 is to be paid within 21 days of the decision. The driver is also entitled to post-judgment interest as applicable.

Lessons from this ruling

  1. Documentation is key: Maintain thorough and accurate records of all employment agreements, payments, and communications with employees. Proper documentation can be pivotal in resolving disputes.
  2. Clear communication: Ensure that all terms of employment, including compensation and any deductions or sponsorship agreements, are clearly communicated and documented. Verbal agreements should be supported by written confirmation.
  3. Timely payments: Employers must adhere to agreed-upon payment schedules to avoid disputes and legal action. Any delays or issues in payment should be promptly addressed and documented to prevent misunderstandings.

For more information, see Stojnic v. Speedy Consolidated Inc., 2024 BCCRT 474 (CanLII).

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