Notice to Members: Nonpayment

The following notice was distributed to BCSRA members in the Summer 2021 Newsletter:

It has come to our attention that some BCSRA members are experiencing difficulties getting paid in a timely way or at all for court reporting or transcription services.

Sometimes reference is made to the COVID pandemic and its effects, including scheduling issues and the transition to greater use of video-conferencing technology for examinations and testimony. Sometimes reference is made to cash flow issues. In any case, court reporters should not have to bear the brunt of these challenges. Ensuring that the important service of court reporters continues without difficulties requires that prompt attention be given to payment for their services.

Most court reporters work as contractors to court reporting firms and are not employees. If they were employees, they would have rights under Employment Standards Act provisions. As contractors, however, their remedies for non-payment for their services may involve proceeding through debt collection tribunals and courts. They likely also have the right to refuse to provide further services until payment is made.

As contractors, their rights include the right to bring collection proceedings before:

  • the Civil Resolution Tribunal (for matters up to $5,000),
  • Small Claims Court (for matters up to $35,000), or
  • the BC Supreme Court (usually only for matters in excess of the jurisdiction of lower courts and tribunals).

The Civil Resolution Tribunal website provides a readily accessible means of learning about their process. The BC Small Claims Court is similar. In the event that a claim is greater than $35,000, it is likely preferable for a lawyer to be engaged to prepare a Notice of Civil Claim to be filed in the BC Supreme Court.

The BCSRA Board of Directors wishes to express its ongoing support for members and to encourage court reporting firms and lawyers to work diligently to ensure that payment for court reporting services is made in a timely manner. This is a matter of professional concern that deserves attention from all involved.

– BCSRA Board of Directors
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