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Class Actions

BC court rules that employer permitted to reduce post-retirement group benefits, dismissses class action

Topics: - Benefits - Class Actions
Jurisdiction: - British Columbia

In Bennett v. British Columbia, 2009 BCSC 1358, the BC Supreme Court ruled that the employer  - the provincial government - was permitted to reduce post-retirement group benefits, and thus dismissed a class action.  There were approximately 27,000 people in the impacted class.

Law firm Heenan Blaikie has written a summary of the case: "Reduction in Retiree Benefits Sanctioned in British Columbia" (October 7, 2009).

CIBC class action overtime decision to be appealed

Jurisdiction: - Canada/Federal - Ontario

The Globe and Mail is reporting that the proposed representative plaintiff will be appealing the Ontario Superior Court of Justice's decision last month refusing to certify an unpaid overtime class action lawsuit against CIBC. You can read the article ("CIBC employee appeals judge's class-action denial", February 19, 2010) here.

More on the CIBC overtime decision

Jurisdiction: - Canada/Federal - Ontario

As I noted in my post two days ago, the Ontario Superior Court refused to certify an unpaid overtime class action lawsuit against CIBC by its employees. Fresco v. Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, 2009 CanLII 31177 (ON S.C.).

The claim for unpaid overtime alleged that CIBC's Overtime Policy (the "Policy") contravened the Canada Labour Code ("CLC') in two key ways:

  1. it required that employees receive approval in advance from a manager in order to be compensated for overtime hours worked, unless there were extenuating circumstances and approval was obtained as soon as possible afterwards; and
  2. it provided paid time off at the rate of 1.5 in lieu of monetary compensation, at the option of the employee.

Canada Labour Code overtime provisions  read more »

Scotiabank class action overtime lawsuit moving forward

Jurisdiction: - Canada/Federal

A day after the Ontario Superior Court refused to certify a class action overtime lawsuit against CIBC, the Financial Post has published an article stating that a similar class action lawsuit against Scotiabank is moving forward. The claim against Scotiabank, which is apparently for $350 million, is being handled by the same team of lawyers who are handling the CIBC action.

Ontario Superior Court of Justice refuses to certify overtime class action lawsuit against CIBC

Jurisdiction: - Canada/Federal - Ontario

As reported in the Globe and Mail, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice has refused to certify an unpaid overtime class action lawsuit brought by the employees of Canadian Imperial Bank Commerce (CIBC). The suit alleged that CIBC's overtime policy violated the overtime provisions in the Canada Labour Code.

According to the article, "...the Ontario Superior Court ruled that the facts surrounding overtime complaints at CIBC were too 'individualized' to qualify or be certified as a class action lawsuit."

The article further notes that similar overtime class action lawsuits have been filed by employees at Scotiabank and the Canadian National Railway Co., with the respective class action certification hearings pending.  read more »

Second class action overtime lawsuit - valued at $360 million - filed against CIBC

Jurisdiction: - Canada/Federal

Already facing a possible class action overtime lawsuit filed on behalf of its tellers, The Globe and Mail is reporting that CIBC - this time CIBC World Markets Inc. - is now also facing a second possible overtime class action lawsuit.

This one has been filed on behalf of CIBC World Markets' investment bankers, analysts and investment advisers. It is valued at $360 million. Law firm Juroviesky & Ricci LLP in Toronto is acting or the plaintiff.

The October 30, 2008 Globe article ("CIBC gets cuffed with second overtime lawsuit") can be found here.

Employees not entitled to enforce Employment Standards Act rights in court

Jurisdiction: - British Columbia

In Macaraeg v. E Care Contact Centers Ltd., 2008 BCCA 182, the BC Court of Appeal ruled that employees are not entitled to enforce Employment Standards Act rights in court. Rather, they must enforce these statutory rights through the employment standards complaint process.

The appeal court's decision overturned the decision of Madam Justice Wedge at the trial level (2006 BCSC 1851).

"Why Employee and Retiree Class Actions Get Started and What Happens When They Do?"

Lawyers at Cavalluzzo Hayes Shilton McIntyre & Cornish LLP had written a paper entitled. "Why Employee and Retiree Class Actions Get Started and What Happens When They Do?". Among other cases, it reviews the status of the Webb v. K-Mart wrongful dismissal class action that was certified in 1999.

"Important Pension Considerations for Employment Law Practitioners"

Dan Gleadle, at TevlinGleadle in Vancouver, has written a paper entitled, "Important Pension Considerations for Employment Law Practitioners" (April 2003).

The paper was written for the 2003 Employment Law Conference CLE in British Columbia. Mr. Gleadle has appended sample pension benefits statements to the paper.