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Legal Ease
Legal Ease, Lawyer
Category: Canada Law
Satisfied Customers: 96413
Experience:  Lawyer
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I have assumed the contract may 1 of

Customer Question

hi. I have assumed the contract may 1 for distribution of newspapers in northern Ontario, the company I used to work for lost this contract to me. They owe the subcontract driver force 1 weeks pay and are not paying. What are the drivers options in this situation. it involves approximately 40 people.
The old company asked me to collect their final bills from the stores as a courtesy and I said I would help them out. I was not being paid any remuneration to do this, but began the process to ease the transition. The company has now indicated that it will not pay the one week's pay owed to the drivers until all collections have been submitted (including a substantial amount of delinquent accounts which had been written off over the past two years). The amount owed to the drivers and the bill collections are not financially connected, and the company has already received money from the newspaper company for the outstanding payroll. At this point, I do not believe the company has any intention of paying the drivers and simply wants me to continue depositing collections for them. Although I began this process acting in good faith, I now feel the situation has deteriorated to the point where I would like to advise the company that I will not be doing any further collections for them; return to our stores any further payments received which are owed to the company; and absolve myself of any more responsibility in this. I would also like to be able to tell the drivers, who are looking to me for some sort of resolution of this situations, what the best action is for them to take next.
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Canada Law
Expert:  Legal Ease replied 6 months ago.
Were the drivers employees or independent contractors?
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
independent contractors
Expert:  Legal Ease replied 6 months ago.
Because they are independent contractors they are not covered by the Employment Standards Act and so cannot get the help of the Employment Standards Branch to get their last paycheque. That means they each would have to sue in Small Claims Court. I suggest that each send a letter to the company giving them a deadline to pay them and telling them that if they fail to comply they will commence legal proceedings and will be seeking interest and their costs. They can each then sue in Small Claims Court and self-represent. The company cannot and will need a lawyer. The legal fees for each case will likely be more than what they owe the drivers and for sure in total will be ridiculous for them to have to pay as they will have to pay a lawyer to defend each and every lawsuit. This will put the drivers in a very advantageous position and I am sure they will pay rather than be dragged into court repeatedly. And if the drivers find they need some help as they go through the process they can always post on this site again and I can assist them further.
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
thankyou could you answer my question on whether to send a letter informing them I will no longer assist in their collections of store outlets and returning monies collected
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
as I indicated this was a courtesy and no remuneration was received.
Expert:  Legal Ease replied 6 months ago.
I cannot provide legal or other advice but just information. So I cannot tell you what you should do. What I can tell you is that you don't have to do favours for them.It is not clear that you can return the monies you collected for them. You collected this while under an agreement to do so and you were acting as their agent. You also don't have the right to harm their reputation or their business or they could sue you and giving back the money might be doing just that.
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
thankyou
Expert:  Legal Ease replied 6 months ago.
You are very welcome. I hope things work out for you and the drivers.

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