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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was layed off not long ago and would like to go after my former employer for unpaid overtime and breaks over two and a half years. The Alberta labour board can only go back 6 months, but the majority of the OT was over the first year and a half. By my calculation with the records I have it is over $12-13k, so not chump change.

They also changed their recording method this year and would refuse to give proper breakdowns each pay period, probably to avoid exactly this. I have great records of my hours and paystubs (which were also not legal and used the CRA online calculator)

Should I sue? Can they be forced to provide hourly breakdown since they changed their system as it is probably another $8-10k of OT.


I had to do this once in BC but their labour relations board is much better and recouped my earnings. AB is not as employee friendly.

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Go talk to a lawyer. Many of them do not charge for the first consultation.
 
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Two questions:

Is it a big company, or a family run business?
Why didn't you do anything sooner?

They may have obliged when it was a few hundred bucks and you could have avoided this, or they could have said no and you could have left.

I don't know how I feel about waiting until you're gone before saying something. It makes sense that AB would do the 6 months thing, so they can avoid this kind of stuff.

The fact that you've done it before doesn't sit right with me either. Just stop working for people who do that, and if you don't have a choice or simply don't want to, you gotta suck it up, imo.

All that said, if it's a big company that's greedy and hangs on to profit, have at it, but I suspect it isn't, since they don't tend to do this kind of stuff.

I'm hoping this post doesn't come across as berating - just trying to see it from both sides at this point.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Already talked to them. They can only go back 6 months.

I only stayed as I had my beat friends working there and they were a great place to apprentice. I learned more in a couple years than most apprentices would learn in 5 or more years. They also layed me off for taking too many days off for my disabled daughter and her appointments, they said they didnt require doctors notes which ended up being BS.

I knew full well that if we had a bad falling out I would excercise my right to recoup my lost wages. I only tollerated it as they paid me more than my apprentice rate, gave me a work vehicle etc. Certainly not 20k in benifits. Its theft plane and simple and not exactly chump change. There wasnt a written contract forfeiting my OT therefore they must follow the labour laws. It is a very sore spot for all employees but their just happy to have a job, I dont quit that easily.

They had good people but were terrible employers and yes it was basically family run. They dont pay taxes, avoid the taxes they do pay. Brag about using offshore accounts, and are generally cheap pricks that caused alot more stress than the job should entail.

I did it once before as I was wrongfully dismissed without notice and when I went to the labour board to collect severance they forced them to pay as they had my records so they rightfully collected the lost wages for me. I was completely naive at the time and there were a few guys that ended up getting compensated as a result.

I didnt realize lawyers provided free consultations, never had to use one.




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I think a lawyer would be asking the same questions as Chuck - if you knew it was happening, and you knew the rule about 6-month checking period, why did you wait? That doesn't bode well for you in a court, emotions aside.

Either way, best of luck.
 

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You sure a company car isn't a 20K benefit?
Not likely unless it was something super high end. Depends on how much personal mileage/km is claimed. but even $5K would be a large figure for a 'normal' co vehicle benefit.

Something, but not exactly, like this: $50,000 vehicle, 1 year's depreciation 30% so based off of $15,000 value for this year (depreciation also works off a declining basis, so if it were 2 years old the $50K would be a much smaller number), x let's say 20% personal miles = $3,000 taxable benefit. Again, that's not going to be precise, it's a more complex formula, but it gives the essence of how it works.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
My house is five minutes away. They basicaly let me take it home so it wouldnt get broken into and vandalised every couple months.

I didnt know of the 6 month limit until I looked into it recently and was shocked as its two years in BC as long as you file the claim within 6 months of the last day worked. I was surprised that it is so short in AB but given the amount of contruction and oil/gas jobs here I have come to realize the province is very pro buisiness.

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I had a friend who I worked with that got the same treatment and ended up getting over 50k in damages for very similar circumstances over the same length of time.

Im calling around today, just waiting for a call back.

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I don't know man, I wanna be on your side, but it seems like you knew the situation was shit and stayed. I get that people have bills to pay and that experience is experience, but I don't know...

I don't want to start a whole "I had a job once...." derailment, but I once had a job :) at a machine shop where the conditions were unsafe and management was demeaning. I left. I tried to bite the bullet, but had a breaking point - I gave it two months. That was enough. I went home after I drank a bee that snuck into my soda and my mouth blew up and they told me to stay and work. That was my last day, haha.
 

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I think you need to talk to a lawyer...there's a lot of iffy stuff in there. But it is the employers responsibility to maintain accurate records for hours worked, paid, vacation earned/taken etc.

But here's the problem... for trying to get $10k, you can easily spend 4-5k on legal fees. And even if you win, it doesn't guarantee you'll be able to collect easily.
I'm not in favour of letting them get away with it, but you have to weigh the pros and cons for that decision and what your time and energy is worth.

My hunch is, you'd be best off paying a lawyer to write a letter for a hundred bucks threatening to sue, and then take a settlement of $5k-6 or so.
 
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I don't know man, I wanna be on your side, but it seems like you knew the situation was shit and stayed. I get that people have bills to pay and that experience is experience, but I don't know...

I don't want to start a whole "I had a job once...." derailment, but I once had a job :) at a machine shop where the conditions were unsafe and management was demeaning. I left. I tried to bite the bullet, but had a breaking point - I gave it two months. That was enough. I went home after I drank a bee that snuck into my soda and my mouth blew up and they told me to stay and work. That was my last day, haha.
Sure I got experience but they also refused to let me go for schooling which is again against the apprenticeship regulations as we as witholding my blue book and refusing to fill out my experience hours. Plus telling me theyd pay registration and schooling then outright refusing when I was due to go. This is my next call, the apprenticeship board to force them to produce my hours.

True. Business is business though and they had no respect for that. And if can also set an example for my friends who are still there I think that is a yuge plus. My friend, a journeyman is selling himself short and is entitled to much more. It wasnt until I brought up issues with him getting his ticket before the owner finally filled out the right forms to make it happen after years. He just takes it up the a$$.

Ill see what a lawyer says and go from there.

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I think you need to talk to a lawyer...there's a lot of iffy stuff in there. But it is the employers responsibility to maintain accurate records for hours worked, paid, vacation earned/taken etc.

But here's the problem... for trying to get $10k, you can easily spend 4-5k on legal fees. And even if you win, it doesn't guarantee you'll be able to collect easily.
I'm not in favour of letting them get away with it, but you have to weigh the pros and cons for that decision and what your time and energy is worth.

My hunch is, you'd be best off paying a lawyer to write a letter for a hundred bucks threatening to sue, and then take a settlement of $5k-6 or so.
Thats good advice and a very valid point. I know there are plenty of older and wiser members here, and at least a few lawyer cork sniffers here as in all giitar forums, so I figured Id ask!

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I was layed off not long ago and would like to go after my former employer for unpaid overtime and breaks over two and a half years. The Alberta labour board can only go back 6 months, but the majority of the OT was over the first year and a half. By my calculation with the records I have it is over $12-13k, so not chump change.

They also changed their recording method this year and would refuse to give proper breakdowns each pay period, probably to avoid exactly this. I have great records of my hours and paystubs (which were also not legal and used the CRA online calculator)

Should I sue? Can they be forced to provide hourly breakdown since they changed their system as it is probably another $8-10k of OT.


I had to do this once in BC but their labour relations board is much better and recouped my earnings. AB is not as employee friendly.

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Having been married to a lawyer for many years one of the reoccurring complaints I hear at the dinner table is about clients wasting her time and their money with a bunch of crap advice they pieced together from people not qualified to give advice. No offense to anyone here, there are a lot if knowledgeable musicians but no lawyers to the best of my knowledge. If I were you I would be asking if anyone knows a reputable lawyer that could help you and not be asking for legal advice on a guitar forum. But that's just me. Best of luck with your issue.

Cheers,
F.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Having been married to a lawyer for many years one of the reoccurring complaints I hear at the dinner table is about clients wasting her time and their money with a bunch of crap advice they pieced together from people not qualified to give advice. No offense to anyone here, there are a lot if knowledgeable musicians but no lawyers to the best of my knowledge. If I were you I would be asking if anyone knows a reputable lawyer that could help you and not be asking for legal advice on a guitar forum. But that's just me. Best of luck with your issue.

Cheers,
F.
Waiting for a call back from a couple labour relation firms. Thanks Im sure youre right.

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And a lawyer isn't going to give specific advice on a forum anyway. And on the odd occasion when a lawyer gives general information about a legal topic on a forum, you'll usually see them shouted down by "internet experts" who have done a few Google searches and figure they know better. In short, nothing useful will come of this.
They will weigh in, but with a disclaimer that it's not legal advice :p. I only bring this up because a couple of people on another board are indeed lawyers and preface posts.
 
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