Firm that failed to pay translators 'aggressively targets' new immigrants, court says

February 13, 2018
Article Source
Toronto Star

A Brampton judge has blasted a Mississauga-based translations company for its repeated failure to pay contract workers and what she described as an "intentional, habitual and high-handed course of conduct" that is "clearly aimed at taking advantage of a vulnerable sector of society for commercial gain."

In a judgment against Able Translations, which has enjoyed contracts with the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board and University Health Network among others, judge Laura Oliver said the company "aggressively targets newly trained translators" who are "new to Canada and looking to start a new life in a new country."

"Thereafter, the defendant seems to then engage in a sort of vicious cycle in terms of continuing to offer work to these translators as an incentive to wait for payment," says the December judgment in the small claims case. "As well, translators are made to feel if they do not accept the work they will have to wait longer to get paid."

In an emailed statement to the Star, a spokesperson for Able said the company wasn't notified of the small claims case and was therefore unable to defend itself. Able said it will challenge the decision.

The Star first wrote about Able Translations alleged payment issues in 2015, and then again in 2017. Since last year, there have been more than 25 small claims cases initiated against Able at one GTA courthouse.

In its statement, the spokesperson said Able processes more than 40,000 interpreting appointments and that the claims made since 2017 "account for less than 0.07 per cent of the company's annual volume in one business unit."

"Disputes arise from time to time and for a number of reasons including, improper billing or record keeping, late submission of invoices, lateness, no-shows, non-compliance with standards of practice and ethical principles and other performance issues. In all circumstances, Able works with its providers to resolve all disputes."

The statement, which did not provide a name for attribution, added that the company had "8,000 providers in our roster and enjoy a positive, professional working relationship with them, who continue to provide services to our clients."

Read more: Firm that failed to pay translators 'aggressively targets' new immigrants, court says