The Ontario Superior Court of Justice has issued additional reasons for judgment in a long-running unpaid overtime class action lawsuit against Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce.
The court has followed up on its summary judgment decision from March 30, 2020, ruling the bank’s current overtime policy is illegal and unenforceable and that frontline employees who are members of the class are entitled to monetary damages for CIBC’s failure to pay overtime.
In the most recent decision, released on Aug. 10, Justice Edward Belobaba said CIBC’s overtime policy is illegal and that it breached employment contracts and the federal labour code. He concluded class members are entitled to damages arising out the bank’s breaches of the class members’ employment contracts.
In rejecting the arguments of CIBC’s lawyers, Justice Belobaba noted CIBC, “in violation of federal law, failed to make and keep records of the ‘hours worked'” and that having “failed to keep the required records, the defendant bank now says that every aggrieved class member should be required to prove their case — and if it takes some 30,000 or more individual trials, so be it.”
The court will now give CIBC the time to extract time-stamped computer data so the plaintiff’s expert can complete his aggregate damages report, which will summarize the compensation to be awarded. It will then decide whether to make an aggregate damages award.
“This is another important step towards finally getting the class members fair and meaningful compensation for their years of unpaid work performed for the benefit of the bank,” said lead class counsels David O’Connor, Louis Sokolov and Steven Barrett in a press release.
In a statement, the CIBC said it believes it has effective overtime policies and practices in place, including a clear overtime policy that’s easily accessible. “We’re reviewing this latest decision and assessing next steps, including whether to add to our existing appeal.”