Unpaid overtime lawsuits move forward

Appeal court overturns CIBC class-action rejection, upholds Scotiabank certification
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 07/17/2012

Two class-action lawsuits started five years ago against Canadian banks for unpaid overtime have been given the green light by the Ontario Court of Appeal.

In one lawsuit, head teller Dara Fresco filed a claim against CIBC in 2007 on behalf of its employees, who claimed the bank’s pre-approval requirement for overtime prevented employees from being paid when working extra hours. In the other lawsuit, Cindy Fulawka, a personal banker, filed her claim against Scotiabank in 2007 on behalf of more than 5,000 current and former non-unionized employees. The claim alleged the employees were given work that couldn’t be completed during regular working hours and they were expected to be on call without being paid for the extra hours.

The Ontario Court of Appeal heard appeals of both claims together, as the issues were similar. It found both claims had enough merit to be certified as class actions. At the same time, the court refused to certify an overtime class-action lawsuit against CN Rail, citing a lack of common circumstances among employees.