CN hit with class-action lawsuit on unpaid overtime

Suit alleges supervisors were misclassified, denied overtime pay

Canadian National Railway (CN) is the latest firm to face a class-action lawsuit over unpaid overtime, joining the ranks of CIBC, Scotiabank and KPMG.

Michael McCracken, a CN first-line supervisor, is leading the suit on behalf of more than 1,000 present and former CN first-line supervisors across Canada, according to law firms Sack Goldblastt Mitchell LLP and Roy Elliot O’Connor LLP, which are also co-lead counsel on the CIBC and Scotiabank unpaid overtime class actions.

In a press release, the law firms said the lawsuit alleges CN misclassified first line supervisors as management employees in order to escape its obligations to pay overtime under the Canada Labour Code.

The lawsuit further alleges that CN first line supervisors across Canada are routinely required to work hundreds of hours of overtime annually for which they are not paid.

The allegations in the statement of claim have not been proven in Court. No statement of defence has been filed by CN, according to the law firms.

"The Canada Labour Code requires federally regulated corporations,
including CN, to pay overtime to their non-management employees," said Louis Sokolov, partner, Sack Goldblatt Mitchell LLP. "Employers are not permitted to simply call someone a manager to avoid their obligations under the code."

"This is the third major unpaid overtime national class action against a federally regulated company that has been brought in Canada in nine months," said Douglas Elliott, partner, Roy Elliott O'Connor. "Unlike the others, this one alleges misclassification of employees as management, a common feature in U.S. cases but a new development in Canada."

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