|Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) President and CEO Gerald McCaughey prepares for the annual general meeting at the World Trade and Convention Centre in Halifax, Nova Scotia, April 26, 2012. (REUTERS/Paul Darrow)
Class action lawsuits by employees of CIBC and Scotiabank seeking hundreds of millions of dollars in unpaid overtime can go ahead, the Ontario Court of Appeal ruled Tuesday.
The suits allege the banks breached their obligation under the Canada Labour Code, which requires them to pay at least 1.5 times an employee's normal hourly rate for overtime hours an employee is "required or permitted" to work. They also claim the banks' policy of making employees get pre-approval for overtime work is illegal and contrary to the code.
Five thousand current and former Scotiabank employees who worked at Canadian branches from Jan. 1, 2000, to the present, are seeking $350 million.
Some 31,000 current and former employees of CIBC's approximately 1,000 Canadian branches are seeking $600 million.
This is one of several proposed class action suits by employees of federally regulated companies, which are governed by the labour code. The court also ruled Tuesday that an employee class action suit against CN Rail can proceed.