In the latest chapter in the long-running unpaid overtime class action lawsuit against Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, Ontario’s Court of Appeal has affirmed that CIBC’s overtime policies contravened the Canada Labour Code and other aspects of the Bank’s overtime practices and system were institutional impediments to employees being properly compensated for all hours worked. The Court of Appeal found that CIBC breached its duties to the class on a systemic level and was liable to the class as a whole.
David O’Connor and Adam Dewar (partners at Roy O’Connor LLP), who have been acting for the successful class members throughout the case, welcomed the decision and an opportunity now to proceed to the damages phase of the case
Dara Fresco, a former CIBC Bank teller, and class counsel brought this case in 2007. For the past 15 years, the Bank has vigorously opposed the claims by the employee class, first by arguing that the case should not proceed as a class action and then by arguing that the case should be dismissed on the merits.
In a series of judgments in 2020, Justice Belobaba decided in favour of a class of approximately 35,000 retail bank employees, and ruled that the Bank’s overtime policies and hours-of-work recording practices were unlawful and systemic impediments to compensable claims for overtime pay. In extensive reasons, released today, a unanimous panel of the Court of Appeal agreed with Justice Belobaba. A further hearing is scheduled before Justice Belobaba on September 28, 2022 to determine the question of damages for unpaid hours.
“I’m gratified by the Court’s decision today,” said Ms. Fresco. “CIBC has made enormous profits off the labour of hard-working retail bank employees. Fifteen years is a very long time to wait to be paid what we are owed. My hope is that the Bank’s executives take the Court’s decision to heart and pay what it owes without further delay.”
The Class is represented by Roy O’Connor LLP, Goldblatt Partners LLP, and Sotos LLP.