Scotiabank becomes the newest class action defendant

Scotiabank has become the latest big Canadian bank to defend a class action lawsuit.

A claim of $350 million against Scotiabank was announced in a press conference yesterday morning. It claims employees were routinely given more work that could be completed during regular work day hours and that they were required or permitted to work overtime to complete their work. This resulted in billable overtime work that, as the litigants claim, they were not compensated for.

This is the second such action against a major Canadian bank in the past year. It was in June of this year that CIBC was hit with a $600 million claim from employees who were not paid for overtime work.

In a news release issued yesterday by Scotiabank, the company stated “We are confident that the Bank’s employee policies have been applied fairly and consistently”. Addressing the issue of unpaid overtime work, Scotiabank said that “the Bank’s policy is based on the Canada Labour Code”.

If you’re an employee of a large bank which has yet to be named in a class action, don’t expect the gravy train to be stopping at your station today. There are numerous legal hurdles for plaintiffs claiming unpaid overtime. For more information on the law governing these claims, see my September 12, 2007 post: Workers should be paid for overtime.

It will take some time for both cases to traverse through the courts. I will routinely post items on this story as it develops so keep checking in. In the mean time, you can read more about the matter by visiting the following links:

The Globe & Mail – Scotiabank hit with overtime lawsuit

The Financial Post – Scotiabank latest hit in OT class action barrage

The Toronto Star – Scotiabank second to face suit over overtime.

Daniel A. Lublin is a Toronto Employment Lawyer specializing in the law of wrongful dismissal.  He can be reached at [email protected] or visit