Supreme Court allows class-action overtime lawsuits against CIBC, Scotiabank

Thousands of workers allegedly denied pay

The Supreme Court of Canada is allowing the class-action lawsuits against CIBC and Scotiabank for hundreds of millions of dollars for unpaid overtime to go ahead.

The Supreme Court dismissed an application by both banks to appeal the decision of the Ontario Court of Appeal allowing the cases.

The lawsuits allege thousands of workers were denied overtime pay even though they were assigned more work than could be completed within their standard hours.

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 one and one-half times their regular wages when working extra hours, as required by legislation. Fresco claimed many employees were routinely required or allowed to work overtime without official approval, allowing the bank to avoid paying overtime pay.

In the other lawsuit against Scotiabank — also launched in 2007 — Cindy Fulawka, a long-time personal banker, filed her claim on behalf of more than 5,000 current and former non-unionized employees who were or had been personal bankers or other front-line customer service employees at Scotiabank locations across Canada. 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. Fulawka demanded $350 million in unpaid overtime for the employees.

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