Habitat for Humanity Upper Fraser Valley has denied all claims filed against it by former ReStore general manager Paul Redekopp, including that he is owed money and that he was terminated without “reasonable notice.”
The agency filed its response Aug. 17 to a civil claim from Paul Redekopp, who was GM of the Abbotsford and Chilliwack ReStore locations before they were shut down on May 12 after the branch’s membership was terminated by the national organization.
The ReStores sold donated and used building materials and furniture.
Redekopp, the second former employee to sue the Habitat affiliate, alleged in his notice of civil claim in June that he was wrongfully terminated while he was on stress leave; that he has not been paid money he is owed, including $2,500 in expenses; and that some of his personal belongings went missing.
Redekopp stated that when he began the job in July 2016, Habitat agreed to pay him an annual salary of $45,000, which was to be increased to $55,000 on Jan. 1, 2017 and to $60,000 on Jan. 1, 2018.
The only increase he received was a bump to $51,000 in August 2017, he stated.
He also said he routinely worked 70 to 80 hours a week, but was not adequately paid for his overtime.
Redekopp went on stress leave, which he says was job-related, in March 2018.
He says that during that time, Habitat removed his access to his work email account, removed his access codes to the ReStores, ended his vacation pay without notice, and closed down the stores without giving him advance notice.
Redekopp also said that when he went to obtain his personal items from the Abbotsford ReStore on June 1, a number of them were missing.
In its response, Habitat states that it had no contractual obligation to increase Redekopp’s salary and denies that Redekopp worked up to 80 hours a week and was entitled to bankable overtime pay.
The affiliate also states that Redekopp has been reimbursed for all his expenses and vacation pay.
Habitat also says that Redekopp was told on “numerous occasions” that the Fraser Valley affiliate was on probation and he was aware that, if the branch were to close, his employment would come to an end.
The agency also alleges that Redekopp’s medical leave was not authorized by Habitat and he failed to respond to requests for documentation to prove the basis for the leave.
Habitat also denies that it has failed to return any of Redekopp’s personal belongings.
Doug Rempel, the former CEO of the local branch, previously filed a civil lawsuit for wrongful dismissal from the Upper Fraser Valley branch. That suit is also still before the courts.
Habitat for Humanity Upper Fraser Valley was based in Abbotsford, but also served Mission, Chilliwack and Hope.