Home Truck News B.C. tribunal dismisses time theft cases against drivers - Truck News

B.C. tribunal dismisses time theft cases against drivers – Truck News

The small claims tribunal in British Columbia ruled that a trucking company accusing three former drivers of time theft, cannot claim wages back from any of them.

Sandhar Trucking sought $4,205.43 from Gurmeet Sandhu, $5,005.32 from Harjinder Gill and $4,406.08 from Jaskaran Singh, totaling $13,616.83 in three separate complaints to the Civil Resolution Tribunal. The carrier alleged the drivers added hours to their timesheets.

The drivers said this was being done in retaliation due to unpaid overtime complaints they filed with the Employment Standards Branch.

Driver holding steering wheel
(Photo: iStock)

Tribunal member Micah Carmody dismissed all three Sandhar Trucking’s complaints, ruling that the carrier failed to establish that the drivers had overstated their hours. Time theft is defined as accepting pay from an employer for hours not actually worked.

The company used Samsara, a GPS tracking system installed in its trucks, to record when engines were turned on and off, to calculate drivers’ working time. The carrier alleged the former drivers lied about starting earlier and finishing later than they did.

Sandhar compared those times to the hours Sandhu, Gill and Singh submitted on timesheets and looked for discrepancies, claiming that the GPS data verifies when a driver starts and ends their shifts.

Driver’s shift

Carmody ruled that a driver’s shift does not start when he starts the engine and does not finish when he turns off the engine. “The driver must report to the yard, receive and review their delivery assignments, plan their route and conduct a pre-trip inspection,” Carmody wrote in all three decisions.

And at the end of the shift drivers had to exit and secure their trucks, complete their timesheets and submit paperwork to the office.

He said Sandhar Trucking didn’t manage to establish that the workers breached the terms of their employment contract to report their hours worked honestly and with reasonably accuracy, as well as the amount the worker was overpaid.

The company fired Singh because he forged a doctor’s note. The driver acknowledged the forgery – telling the tribunal he had trouble getting a doctor’s appointment while sick, and had to satisfy the company’s “demand for a note to excuse his absence” – but still claimed his overtime complaint with the Employment Standards Branch was behind the company’s investigation.

Company reviewed timesheets

Carmody accepted that single incident of dishonesty was “at least part of the reason” Sandhar began scrutinizing Singh’s timesheets, but said it did not sway his decision.

Sandhar Trucking told the tribunal it began reviewing Gill and Sandhu’s hours after they resigned over disputes with the company, and not because they had filed overtime complaints. Carmody found each employee’s timesheets – which he said would previously have been reviewed by at least one Sandhar employee prior to being paid out – offered the best indication of the hours they worked.

In a fourth decision, Carmody dismissed a similar time theft allegation by Aaron Trucking of $1,473.75, filed against Gurmeet Sandhu.  

The driver argued that claim was also filed in retaliation for his same unpaid overtime complaint against Sandhar Trucking, describing Aaron Trucking as a “sister company.”


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