Making sense of overtime class actions (Legal view)

CIBC, Scotiabank lawsuits similar – so why was one certified and one thrown out?
By Lisa Bolton
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 06/15/2010

The Ontario Superior Court of Justice’s February 2010 certification of a class-action lawsuit against Scotiabank for unpaid employee overtime in Fulawka v. Bank of Nova Scotia may have left some observers a little puzzled. It came less than one year after the same court refused to certify a similar class action against CIBC in Fresco v. Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce.

For employers, it raises the question: Why did one judge certify the class action while the other did not? The claims advanced and underlying facts in both cases were similar in a number of ways. In both actions the representative employees claimed:

• the overtime policies were unlawful and violated the overtime sections of the Canada Labour Code