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I resigned from a large utility company in Ontario after being a manager there for just 21 months. I left because the verbal expectations for advancement and pay increases for me were not met. When I joined the company I signed an offer that included move benefits (I moved from BC). Part of the move benefits stated that if I left before two years, I need to pay back a pro-rated amount for those move benefits.

Shortly after giving my notice I was sent a letter saying they will withhold the pro-rated amount for the move benefits from my last pay cheque. Can they do that? When I review the legislation it looks like they cannot. Should I reply to the letter and say I do not authorize any deductions from my final pay cheque?

Hello Andrew,

You are right that the employer cannot deduct the moving expense from your last paycheck. If they do, you can make a complaint to the Ministry of Labour, who will investigate and will order the company to pay you the full amount of your last paycheck.

You may still then have a debt towards the company, but they will have to sue you in court, probably small claims court, to recuperate these amounts.

You are not required to advise the company to comply with the Employment Standards Act. However, you can let them know that you will proceed to the Ministry of Labour to enforce your employment rights if they do not comply with the legislation.

Regards,

Lluc Cerda
Lawyer
The Lawyers at Samfiru Tumarkin LLP
Direct Tel (Toll Free): 1-855-821-5900     Email: webquestions@stlawyers.ca     Web: www.stlawyers.ca
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