Emerald Taxi appealing decision on wages owed

Emerald Taxi is appealing a B.C. Employment Standards Branch decision awarding a former driver more than $19,000 in unpaid wages.

Company president Balraj Bhangoo said Monday that any wages owed to Lloyd Pedersen should be paid by Rajender Parmer who owns the car Pederson was driving, not Emerald which only provided dispatching service in that case. Whether Pedersen is actually owed any money is also in dispute, Bhangoo said.

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He said Emerald has until Oct. 5 to complete its submission for an appeal.

In a decision issued in August, an ESB delegate found Pedersen had been working for less than minimum wage and was shortchanged on pay for vacations and statutory holidays. Drivers receive 45 per cent of the fares they take in but Pedersen maintained there were times he worked for as little as $8 an hour because he was not being assigned trips.

Bhangoo said the $3,070 in pay the ESB awarded to six other employees is not being disputed and attributed the misstep to clerical error related to the increase in minimum wage in June.

Emerald was also hit with $5,00 in fines.

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