News briefs

Scotiabank faces $350-million suit; Nova Scotia to give casual workers bargaining rights; Bills target workplace violence; Manitoba protects immigrant workers

Scotiabank faces $350-million suit

Toronto —Scotiabank is the latest financial institution to be hit with an unpaid overtime class-action suit. Cindy Fulawka, a long-time employee of the bank, is fronting the $350-million class-action suit on behalf of the bank’s non-management employees. The statement of claim alleges front-line customer service employees are given workloads that can’t be completed during normal working hours. As a result, they have to work overtime to meet the demands of their jobs, time for which they aren’t paid. Scotiabank denies its employees have been asked to work unpaid overtime and says its employee policies have been applied “fairly and consistently.” The suit comes on the heels of a $600-million class-action suit launched against CIBC in June and a $20-million suit launched against KPMG in September. To read about the $600-million suit that started it all, click here.

Nova Scotia to give casual workers bargaining rights

Halifax — New legislation would see about 2,000 seasonal and casual government workers in Nova Scotia receive collective bargaining rights, potentially ending a 20-year fight to unionize. Amendments to the Civil Service Collective Bargaining Act would allow workers to be considered civil-service employees after working more than 10 continuous weeks, at which time they would become members of the Nova Scotia Government and General Employees Union.

Bills target workplace violence

Toronto — Two private members’ bills to protect workers from violence and harassment have been introduced in the Ontario legislature. The bills, proposed by two NDP MPPs, include changes to the Occupational Health and Safety Act to require employers to protect workers from violence, sexual harassment and other abuse in the workplace, and changes to Ontario’s Health Facilities Act to specifically target such abuse in hospitals and other health facilities.

Manitoba protects immigrant workers

Winnipeg — The Manitoba government plans to make changes to the Employment Services Act, which prohibits employment agencies from charging jobseekers for help finding jobs, to protect immigrant workers from being fleeced by foreign recruiters. The province also plans to license modelling agencies to protect young immigrants from predators posing as talent scouts or modelling agents.

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