- Employers are legally obligated to pay judgments against them.
- If an employer doesn’t pay a judgment by the payment deadline, there are tools available to try to collect what an employee is owed.
- Employees have choices on how to collect judgments if an employer fails to pay. The choice made when submitting a complaint affects what happens during collection.
An Employment Standards judgment can be collected upon when either:
- an order of an officer or Director hasn’t been complied with and the 21-day appeal period has expired
- a decision of an appeal body hasn’t been complied with by the specified date
Employee choices for collections
To attempt collection, an employee may:
- request the services of Employment Standards Collections, at no cost
- attempt collection on their own, either directly or through a third-party collection agency
One of these options must be chosen when filing a complaint and an employee may wish to obtain advice from a lawyer, collection agency or civil enforcement agency at any time.
Employment Standards Collections
Employment Standards offers the service of attempting to collect a judgment on the employee’s behalf. The employee must provide consent on the complaint form.
When the employee provides consent
If the employee allows Employment Standards to collect on their behalf, collections will try to collect the judgment.
When collections is able to collect an amount from the employer that’s:
- full amount due – employee receives the full amount owed
- less than full amount due – employee receives what’s collected
The advantage of this choice is that Employment Standards Collections will manage collections on behalf of the employee and there are no fees paid by the employee.
When an employee chooses not to provide consent
If an employee doesn’t provide consent to Employment Standards Collections at the time of filing a complaint, they will be responsible for their own collection.
An employee may instead choose to pursue collections themselves.
An Employment Standards order is filed with the Court when the payment deadline passes. A filed order has the same legal status as a Court judgment and an employee has various ways of their choice to attempt collection:
- collection agency
- civil enforcement agency
These methods may have associated costs, which the employee would be responsible for.
A civil enforcement agency may be engaged if the employee knows of assets belonging to the employer. Seizure of assets involves several steps and has costs associated with it.
In the event of any discrepancy between this information and Alberta Employment Standards legislation, the legislation is considered correct.