Mom takes "pissed off" childcare worker to court over payment dispute

Apr 19 2023, 6:00 pm

A dispute about childcare made its way to a BC court, with a mom looking to reclaim money that the former childcare worker never earned.

The small claims court case was between the mom, Allison Halbgewachs, and Jodi Chambers, the childcare worker.

Halbgewachs says that Chambers stopped providing care for her two children on June 15, 2022, but that Chambers didn’t refund the balance of the fees paid for the whole month.

In response, Chambers says that she was only paid $200 plus the childcare subsidy for June, which covered the ten days she did provide childcare that month. Accordingly, chambers concluded that she owed nothing and provided no further arguments.

What is undisputed in this case is that both parties had a verbal agreement for Chambers to provide childcare to Halbgewachs’ two children.

In May 2022, it was determined that the pay rate would be $105 per day as of June 1.

On June 1, Chambers texted Halbgewachs that she owed $1,308.

The BC Tribunal record states that Halbgewachs responded that after accounting for three days that Chambers didn’t work, there were 19 days payable in June, equalling $1,995 minus $792, and the parent portion was $1,203.

The tribunal says that the $792 was likely Halbegwachs’ government childcare subsidy, which was paid to Chambers.

Chambers agreed with the calculations in a text exchange and asked if the cash could be delivered the following morning. The tribunal found Chambers was paid $1,000 on June 2, plus an additional $200.

Based on the text exchange, the tribunal did not accept Chambers’ allegation that Halbgewachs only paid $200 plus the childcare subsidy.

At some point in this partnership, things got heated and escalated.

Chambers said she had a medical emergency on June 15 and had to go to the hospital. Another text exchange shows that at around 1:30, Chambers texted that someone had to come to pick up the kids right away. Halbgewachs and her boyfriend responded that they were in appointments and unable to leave.

Then, Chambers texted that she was “pissed off” and said, “No more kids as [of] today. Sorry im done.”

Chambers claims the boyfriend verbally abused her over the phone but provided no evidence of what was said. As a result, the tribunal member overseeing the case didn’t think Chambers had sufficient grounds to end the contract.

Halbgewachs then asked for the remainder of the funds to be returned so she could find alternative childcare, but Chambers said she would not pay anything back, pointing to the boyfriend’s “mean words.”

Ultimately, the tribunal found that Halbgewachs was entitled to her refund.

The court ordered Chambers to pay $1,276.57, which included a refund of $1,152, $24.57 in pre-judgement interest, and $100 in CRT fees.

Amir AliAmir Ali

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