Canadian employers continue to watch as class actions regarding employees’ claims for “overtime” compensation move forward. Although overtime class actions are relatively new to Canada, 2013 saw developments in the area.
Ontario’s Court of Appeal allowed the certification in two cases in 2012 (Fulawka and Fresco); and on March 21, 2013 the Supreme Court of Canada denied leave to appeal those decisions; meaning those class action claims may now proceed towards trial. The Ontario Court of Appeal granted leave to appeal a Superior Court’s decision to deny certification in the Brown v. CIBC overtime claim, which could lead to certification being granted in 2014. And in August 2013 the Ontario Superior Court granted certification in the Brown v. CIBCovertime claim; a decision that was confirmed when the Ontario Divisional Court denied leave to appeal that certification.
On November 8, 2013 another overtime class action suit was filed; this one against Canada Cartage (a trucking company) and its related companies. Similar to the Fulawka and Fresco claims, the Plaintiff is claiming improperly compensated overtime in addition to other claims related to hours and pay. The Plaintiff in this action is expected to bring a certification application in the near future.
While certification is a key step in any class proceeding, the actual merits of each claim have not yet been tested, nor has the value of any overtime claim been established.