RBC, Aviva face possible class action over vacation, holiday pay

$80-million lawsuit alleges insurance companies shortchanged employees

RBC, Aviva face possible class action over vacation, holiday pay
The Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) logo is seen outside of a branch in Ottawa, on Feb. 14. REUTERS/Chris Wattie

A law firm has filed for certification of a class action lawsuit against RBC Insurance and Aviva General Insurance.

The $80-million lawsuit alleges the company’s practice of calculating vacation and public holiday pay for commissioned salespeople violated the Employment Standards Act.

The class action was filed by Monkhouse Law in Toronto on behalf of plaintiff Kabir Singh, an RBC advisor from 2016 to April 2019.

The suit alleges that commissioned salespeople were shortchanged because the vacation and public holiday pay that was paid to employees was based solely on their base salary, rather than total compensation. As a result, those employees are owed substantial back pay.

"This practice undercompensates these employees and deprives them of having real vacations," said Andrew Monkhouse, founder of Monkhouse Law.

“These actions undermine the rationale behind providing paid vacation pay in the first place.”

Allegations have not yet been proven in court.

The employee class action dates back to 1993, when RBC Insurance was founded, according to Monkhouse Law. Aviva purchased that company in January 2016.

If this class action is certified, all employees who fall under the suit’s definition will be members unless they opt out.

This story has been updated.

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