Split three-judge panel of Ontario Divisional Court upholds decision to not certify CIBC overtime class action
In a decision issued on September 10, 2010 - Fresco v. Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, 2010 ONSC 4724 - a split three-judge panel of the Ontario Divisional Court upheld the decision of an Ontario Superior Court motion judge to not certify an overtime class action against CIBC.
It looks like the Ontario Divisional Court's decision will now be further appealed to the Ontario Court of Appeal. See this case summary - "Ontario Court Affirms Decision Denying Certification in CIBC Overtime Action" (September 17, 2010) - by law firm Torys.
A class action overtime lawsuit against Scotiabank was certified by the Ontario Superior Court in Fulawka v. Bank of Nova Scotia, 2010 ONSC 1148. The case alleges that some 5,300 sales employees located across Canada are owed overtime going back to 2000. The claim is for $350 million ($250 million in general damages; $100 million in punitive damages).
(Update: A March 30, 2010 commentary on the decision by law firm Fasken Martineau ("The HR Space: BNS Overtime Class Action Certified - Did Employer Policy Create Unworkable "Catch-22"?) can be found here.
A third Canadian banking institution nows finds itself in the cross-hairs of Canadian class action lawyers on the basis of unpaid overtime allegations.
Filed on February 8, 2010, the Rosen v. BMO Nesbitt Burns lawsuit seeks compensation for unpaid overtime for Investment Advisors and Financial Advisers going back to 2002.
The suit was filed in the Ontario Superior Court by Juroviesky and Ricci LLP in Toronto. This firm appears to not be part group of law firms - led by Sack Goldblatt Mitchell LLP and Roy Elliott O'Connor LLP - that are acting for the plaintiffs in the high-profile overtime class actions that have been filed already against CIBC, Scotiabank and CNR.
The claim must be first certified by the court before it proceed as a class action.
The Ontario judge hearing the Scotiabank unpaid overtime class action certification application has reserved his decision, according to this Canadian Press article. (You can read the Statement of Claim here).
The Scotiabank case is the second of the "Big Three" unpaid overtime class action certification appplications to be brought by the same coalition of law firms. read more »
A lawyer in Ontario at Blaney McMurtry LLP has written a paper entitled "Class Action Lawsuits and Employment Law: What You Need to Know".
BC court rules that employer permitted to reduce post-retirement group benefits, dismissses class action
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).
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.
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:
- 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
- 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 »
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.
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 »