Employer fined $100,000, director $25,000 for failure to pay wages

Company ignored Ministry of Labour order to pay outstanding wages totalling $42,800 to former labourers

An Ontario clothing company has been fined $100,000 and one of its directors $25,000 for Employment Standards Act violations stemming from the company’s failure to pay wages it owed to former employees.

Etobicoke, Ont.-based North Star Textiles Inc. employed 22 labourers, most of them new immigrants to Canada, in 2003 and 2004. After their employment with the company ended, North Star still owed the workers unpaid wages totalling $42,800.

The Ontario Ministry of Labour issued an order on April 30, 2004, for the company to pay the workers their outstanding wages. In addition, North Star was given notices of contravention of the Act for $21,500. However, the workers didn’t receive their payments nor did the company acknowledge the notices of contravention.

In a decision reached on March 8, 2007, the Ontario Court of Justice found North Star failed to comply with the ministry order and levied a fine of $85,000. The court added a further $15,000 for not paying the notices of contravention fine.

The court also found Priscilla Pabi, a director of the company, liable for North Star’s employment standards violations. She was found to have contravened the Act by authorizing and acquiescing in the company’s transgressions and was personally fined a total of $25,000.

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