In a recent Alberta King’s Bench decision, Scheffler v Mourits Trucking Ltd., (2023 ABKB 139 CanLII), a former employee brought forward a claim for unpaid overtime after his termination. The employer argued that the employee could only claim unpaid overtime amounts within 6 months of being terminated.
While he served as an employee of Mourits Trucking Ltd., Mr. Scheffler accrued 719 overtime hours without being paid time-and-a-half, as required by the Alberta Employment Standards Code. Mr. Scheffler brought a civil claim for payment of those overtime hours more than 6 months after his termination. The employer argued that Mr. Scheffler could not claim payment for those overtime hours as his claim was initiated more than 6 months after his termination.
Ultimately, the court found in favour of the employee. The courts stated that Mr. Scheffler was entitled to the overtime pay because the 6-month time limitation that the employer relied on does not apply to civil claims like Mr. Scheffler’s.
Takeaways and Impact
While this is an Alberta case, it may have implications in Ontario. Like Alberta, Ontario’s Employment Standards Act also provides a time limit for employees to recover unpaid overtime. However, this case may present a legal loophole that encourages employees to bring civil claims for unpaid overtime. Ontario employers may want to review their overtime policies and procedures to ensure compliance with the Employment Standards Act as well as any potential civil claims for unpaid overtime. Additionally, employers may consider implementing measures to address any potential issues with overtime pay, including tracking employee hours and ensuring that overtime work is properly compensated in a timely manner.
PooranLaw will continue to monitor the ongoing legal developments related to cases like these. In the meantime, if you require legal assistance, we encourage you to reach out to your regular PooranLaw lawyer, or any member of our team.
Note: This article provides general information only and does not constitute, and should not be relied upon as, legal advice or opinion. PooranLaw Professional Corporation holds the copyright to this article and its contents may not be copied or reproduced in any form, in whole or in part, without the express permission of PooranLaw Professional Corporation.