In June of 2007, lawyers from Roy O’Connor LLP and our co-counsel Sack Goldblatt Mitchell LLP (“SGM”) (and now including co-counsel Sotos LLP) launched, on behalf of the proposed representative plaintiff Dara Fresco, a proposed class action lawsuit against CIBC in respect of unpaid overtime. The action is brought on behalf of current and former non-management, non-unionized employees of CIBC in Canada who are or were tellers or other front-line customer service employees (limited to personal bankers, commercial bankers and account executives, working at CIBC retail branch offices across Canada).
Ms. Fresco’s statement of claim alleges that, among other things, CIBC failed to compensate her and the other Class Member for the overtime they were required or permitted to work in excess of their standard working hours. The allegations in the statement of claim have not yet been proven in Court.
Ms. Fresco’s action was certified as a class proceeding in June of 2012.
Summary Judgment Decision - CIBC Found Liable for Unpaid Overtime
The Plaintiff moved for summary judgment on the certified common issues in December 2019. In Reasons for Decision Released on March 30, 2020 the Ontario Superior Court of Justice ruled in favour of the Class Members.
In ruling in favour of the Plaintiff and the Class Members, Justice Edward Belobaba found that, among other things:
“…CIBC was careless and indifferent, indeed negligent, about its obligation to comply with the requirements of the [Canada Labour] Code. I can also find that the bank should have known better. It is a multi-billion-dollar financial institution with an able legal staff that can easily advise on the requirements of federal labour law. For some reason this didn’t happen. The bank dropped the ball, to be sure.“
Justice Belobaba found that the Bank’s overtime policies and hours-of-work recording practices were unlawful, were system-wide in nature and impeded class member overtime claims. His Honour also found that the Bank “must be found to have permitted (or not prevented) all uncompensated hours of the class members”.
While the decision finds that CIBC knew or should have known that it had failed to pay for overtime hours worked, the specific damages owing to any employees have not yet been determined and will be the subject of a further hearing.
New! Summary Judgment Decision – Part 2
In reasons for decision released on August 10, 2020 the Ontario Superior Court if Justice released its ruling on common issues 6-8 in respect of damages and other remedies. The Court certified an additional common issue concerning aggregate damages. This means that CIBC will be required to produce time-stamped data from its computer systems from which experts hired by the plaintiff will estimate that amount of uncompensated overtime that the class as a whole worked. The Court may then determine how much money to award to the class.
In addition, the Court has issued a declaration that says that CIBC’s overtime policy is contravenes the Canada Labour Code and can no longer be used as a basis to deny compensation.
The next stage of the case will take a number of additional months to complete.
Further updates will be posted on this website as the case develops.
Notice of Certification
To download the court-approved Notice Certification please click one of the links below. Please note that the Opt-Out period closed on May 20, 2014.
Certification Hearing & Appeals
Ms. Fresco moved to have her action certified as a class proceeding in December 2008. In reasons for decision released in June 2009, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice dismissed Ms. Fresco’s certification motion. Ms. Fresco appealed the Court’s decision and her appeal was argued before the Ontario Divisional Court on March 24 and 25, 2010. In reasons for decision released on September 10, 2010, The Divisional Court denied Ms. Fresco’s appeal.
Ms. Fresco appealed the Divisional Court’s decision to the Court of Appeal and in a unanimous decision released on June 26, 2012, the Court of Appeal allowed her appeal and certified her claim as a class proceeding. To view or download the Court of Appeals reasons please click here: Court of Appeal Certification Reasons for Decision Fresco v. CIBC.
In March 2013 the Supreme Court of Canada denied CIBC’s motion for leave to appeal the Court of Appeals Order certifying the action as a class action confirming that this action will proceed to trial as a class proceeding.
More Information/Register as a Class Member
For more information about this action (including to view or download a copy of the statement of claim and/or certification decision) or to register as a class member please visit us on the web at: www.cibcunpaidovertime.ca