Contract can impose fees but not wage deductions, court says

Trucking company deducted cost of retrieving truck from fired employee and issued final paycheque of $0
|Canadian Employment Law Today

A British Columbia trucking company should not have deducted money from a dismissed driver’s last paycheque to pay for the retrieval of a truck he took, the Federal Court has ruled.

Daryl Petersen was hired by MG Lund Trucking of Kamloops, B.C., on Feb. 21, 2006. When Lund offered Petersen the job, it advised him to read the employment agreements carefully and not to sign them until he understood them. Petersen signed the agreements without asking any questions.

The employment agreements stipulated Lund would deduct $100 from the driver’s pay for each document relating to a ticket, notice and order, roadside inspection or oversize permit that wasn’t turned into the company. They also said if the driver didn’t return his truck to the Kamloops depot upon his termination he would be charged $2 per mile for someone to retrieve it. Finally, it said the driver was obligated to return the keys to the company’s head office or else $300 would be deducted from the driver’s paycheque, which would be held until the keys were handed in.