Surrey trucking company ordered to pay $350,000 after underpaying foreign workers

Surrey trucking company ordered to pay $350,000 after underpaying foreign workers

Canada Border Services Agency said 29 temporary foreign workers were underpaid at Harlens Trucking Ltd.

SURREY — A Surrey trucking company has been fined $10,000 and ordered to pay back $350,000 for underpaying 29 temporary foreign workers, the Canada Border Services Agency said.

On Tuesday in Surrey Provincial Court, Jatinder Kang of Harlens Trucking received a two-year suspended sentence with probation conditions, including the completion of 240 hours of community service within the first 18 months of the order. Harlens Trucking Ltd. received a two-year suspended sentence and a $10,000 fine, and was ordered to pay $352,001.83 in restitution to 29 temporary foreign workers (TFWs).

Harlens Trucking, based in Surrey, was granted positive Labour Market Impact Assessments (LMIAs) by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC), which permitted the company to use TFWs based on information included in the LMIA applications. With Kang responsible for the company’s operations and hiring, the company hired 30 TFWs through the Temporary Foreign Worker Program between 2011 and 2014.

The CBSA investigated after the Pacific Region Criminal Investigations Section received information two TFWs were not being paid the amount specified in their offers of employment. The employees were originally offered an hourly wage but the CBSA said once they began working, the pay rate was reduced significantly.

Further investigation revealed 29 TFWs were underpaid for work at Harlens Trucking Ltd. and the net amount of underpayment was calculated at $352,001.83.

On June 26, 2017, Kang and Harlens Trucking Ltd. pleaded guilty to two counts under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) in contravention of section 127(a) – misrepresentation and section 124(1)(a) – failing to comply with a condition or obligation of the Act – specifically, the requirement to provide TFWs with working conditions that are the same as, but not less favourable than, those set out in the contract.