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Labour board calls Nova Scotia worker’s last pay stub ‘wholly inappropriate fiction’

by HR Law Canada

The Nova Scotia Labour Board ordered Elmbrook Farms Ltd., operating as The Farmer’s Daughter Country Store, to pay a former employee a total of $3,904.73 for unpaid vacation pay, holiday pay, and wages.

The decision comes after an appeal by the employer under Section 21 of the Trade Union Act, challenging a prior decision made by the Director of Labour Standards.

L.M., who worked as the operations manager for The Farmer’s Daughter from April 2021 to December 2022, filed a complaint following her resignation, asserting that she was owed compensation for vacation pay, holiday pay, and unpaid wages.

Detailed findings

Vacation pay: L.M.’s employment contract entitled her to two weeks of vacation annually. However, she had requested three weeks, a request that was not formally granted but was partially accommodated through the practice of accruing lieu time for extra hours worked.

Despite conflicting testimonies about the legitimacy of this arrangement, the Board found that L.M. was entitled to 16 days of vacation pay over her 20-month tenure. The Board ruled that she should be compensated $3,286.14 for her unpaid vacation days.

Holiday pay: L.M. also claimed she was not paid for working on Canada Day in 2022. While Elmbrook’s reresentative could not confirm whether she worked on the holiday, the Board accepted L.M.’s claim and awarded her $295.20 in holiday pay.

Unpaid wages: A processing error in L.M.’s final paycheck resulted in her not receiving compensation for three days of work. The Board criticized Elmbrook’s handling of the payroll, describing the final pay stub as a “wholly inappropriate fiction.” Consequently, L.M. was awarded $323.39 for unpaid wages.

For more information, see Elmbrook Farms Limited v MacFarlane, 2024 NSLB 48 (CanLII).

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