The BC Employment Standards Tribunal recently upheld a decision finding two directors of a forestry company personally liable for more than $21,000 in unpaid wages and interest.
In a 1999 decision, the Employment Standards Branch found that Emerald Coast Timber failed to pay four employees all of their wages. The company was ordered to pay the employees the outstanding amount. However, the wages were not paid and in 2004 the Branch held that two directors of Emerald at the time the wages were earned were liable to pay the amount owing. Section 96 of the Employment Standards Act provides that directors of a company are personally liable for up to two months’ unpaid wages for each employee.
The directors appealed to the Employment Standards Tribunal, partly on the basis that two of the employees were not actually employed by Emerald. The Tribunal dismissed the appeal, noting that once the liability of the company was established in 1999, the directors could not re-argue the issue of Emerald’s (and, by extension, their own) liability.