A few months ago, I witnessed a case in a Small Claims Court which left me very upset and since then I have mulled over law and justice and the loopholes that can leave a person quite vulnerable. Even when the law is followed, justice can be compromised.
The simplicity of the case that I witnessed was of an person who had worked for a company which did not pay him for a the last few weeks of work. He filed his case against the company but no one from the company showed up on the day of the hearing. The judge passed a judgement which requested that the company pay him the money owed to him. Instead of paying, the company filed a motion to request another hearing so that they could present their case. (Bear in mind they had the opportunity to do that before, did not show up!!!). The judge (very unprepared by the way – fumbled through papers and could not get the right papers) listened to both sides and decided to give the company more time to present their case in the coming two weeks while the current judgement remains as is until the hearing. According to the law – this is the correct protocol. However, since I have privy to this person’s circumstances, I got quite upset about several things:
– This vulnerable person who has worked and not been paid remains unpaid for several more weeks. Who compensates for this time loss? Who compensates for not paying for rent on time and her bills on time? Who support the emotional distraught?
– If a person works and the employer does not pay him/her, how much of a case does the employer need to provide to a judge to determine whether to overrule the motion? To me, who is an obvious novice to some aspects of the law, the questions are simple:
a) Did the person work for you?
b) Did you pay him for this period? If the answer is no, then there are no more questions. Pay up.
I left the Court room left feeling so disheartened, broken and angered – that vulnerable people do not have the time or money or understanding of the law to fight for their cases. Fighting for this case has already taken so much energy and time and now it is prolonged again. Chances are that he will give up perhaps not turn up at the next court hearing.
Two years ago, I saw pain that my son experienced when he worked with his heart and soul for a contractor who did not pay him at the end of the job. They only had a verbal agreement and even though I had warned my son that he should get his contract in writing, he trusted this man so much that he did not heed to my advice. The case was investigated by the labour department and this contractor was ordered to pay my son. At the time, he owed my son about $3000.00 (By the way, my son was only 17 then, just beginning to explore the career world when this happened to him). He received only one cheque for $200 from the contractor. No more cheques came through! This experience put such a damper on this boy and I felt devastated that a grown-up could take advantage of a young person, just stepping out into the world. My son had worked so hard on this job and was looking forward to this money to pay for his college tuition. The emotional distraught from this case, significantly affected his ability to trust others and slowed him from getting another job for several months not to mention having to find other funds to pay for his tuition. Although the law intervened, justice was still not served.
We can look at each of these cases and almost predict that the offenders will pay a price for their actions eventually. What is the truth? We can use the law to protect us and help to decrease the offences that we commit (even when our actions are horrible) but our minds and hearts never really forget what we do, think or say. I believe that we carry these burdens and through our karmic energies (of both of past lives and present lives), we do eventually experience exactly what we have done to others.
Let us TuneIn today about how we think about law and justice. Let us StepUp to enlighten our own soul by respecting the law but also taking care that our actions support justice and that we don’t hurt others maliciously under the protection of the law.