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Taxi Company Owner Sentenced to Jail for Failing to Comply With Orders to Pay Wages

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Taxi Company Owner Sentenced to Jail for Failing to Comply With Orders to Pay Wages

Ministry of Labour

Convicted: Hugger Inc., a taxi company known as Checker Cab, no longer in business, and Hugh Irwin, sole director of the company/Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario.

Location: Sault Ste. Marie

Description of Offence: The defendant failed to pay wages after being ordered to do so by a Ministry of Labour employment standards officer. There were 63 orders to pay, owed to more than 30 claimants totalling $74,854.24.

Date of Sentencing: October 24, 2017, by Justice of the Peace Paula J. Nichols in Sault Ste. Marie Provincial Offences Court/Ontario Court of Justice, Sault Ste. Marie; Crown Counsel Neil Gobardhan.

Penalty Imposed

  • The director of the company, Hugh Irwin, failed to pay wages owed, pleaded guilty and has been given a 15-day jail sentence for 32 of the counts.
  • The defendant was also ordered not to be involved in any capacity, other than being an employee, in a business for the period of one year.
  • A fine of $1,000 for each of 31 counts was imposed against the company.
  • The court also imposed a 25-per-cent victim fine surcharge as required by the Provincial Offences Act. The surcharge is credited to a special provincial government fund to assist victims of crime.

 Background

  • In April 2014 the Ministry of Labour responded to employee complaints of non-payment of wages at Checker Cab (corporate name Hugger Inc.). There are more than 30 unpaid workers and the money owed totals $74,854.24 plus applicable administrative fees.
  • A total of 63 orders to pay was served on the company  and on the sole director of the company, Hugh Irwin of Sault Ste. Marie. The orders were not complied with and an application to review the orders was not filed.
  • The company is no longer in business and the director has filed for bankruptcy.

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