Small Claims Court ordered my employer to pay me. How do I get the money?
2. Find out about the employer’s finances
It's hard to know the best way to try to collect the money unless you have information about the employer's finances.
If you don't have this information, you can ask the court to hold an “examination hearing“. The court will order your employer to come to the hearing and answer questions about their finances.
Asking for an examination hearing
On the Notice of Examination, you give the name of the person who will have to answer questions at the examination hearing. If the employer is a company, give the name of someone who knows about the company's finances. For example, this might be the owner of the company.
You have to file the forms at the court office and pay the filing fee. When you give forms and documents to the court, this is called “filing”.
The court staff will give you a date for the hearing
Serving the documents
Then, you have to the employer with the Notice of Examination at least 30 days before the hearing. If you're trying to collect from an employer who's an individual, rather than a company, you also have to serve them with a blank Financial Information Form [Form 20I].
“Serving” forms and documents means that you give them to someone by following the rules of Small Claims Court. Before you serve the documents, look at the Guide to Serving Documents to make sure that you follow all of the rules.
Next, you need a completed Affidavit of Service [Form 8A] to prove that you served the forms. You must file the Affidavit with the court at least 3 days before the examination hearing.
Going to the examination hearing
At the hearing, you get to ask questions about things like:
- the employer's income
- money that they have in the bank
- property that they own
- that people owe them and payments they get
- why they haven't paid you
- how and when they plan to pay you
If the employer is an individual, rather than a company, they're supposed to fill out a Financial Information Form [Form 20I] and serve you with a copy before the hearing. They're also supposed to bring a copy to the hearing along with documents that support the information in the form.
At an examination hearing, the judge can make a payment plan and order the employer to follow it.
If the employer does not obey the rules
The judge can order the employer to come to what's called a “contempt hearing”, if the employer:
- does not show up for the examination hearing
- refuses to answer questions at the examination hearing
- refuses to show documents about their finances
A contempt hearing is serious. The judge could sentence the employer to jail for up to 5 days.