TORONTO — Scotiabank (TSX:BNS) denied allegations Tuesday of a systemic problem with the way the bank logs and pays overtime, arguing that an Ontario court should not allow a class action lawsuit over allegedly unpaid work to go ahead.
And even if some employees do have legitimate claims for overtime, their experience varies, indicating that the issue isn’t consistent across the major bank’s operations, bank lawyer Robert Armstrong said during a hearing at which a group of employees is seeking class-action certification for their suit.
During the second day of hearings, Armstrong told the judge he needs to consider “is this a credible situation I’m being asked to certify? You are not a rubber stamp.”
Cindy Fulawka is the lead plaintiff representing about 5,000 employees working as personal or senior bankers, financial advisers and account managers for small businesses at the bank’s retail operations.
Scotiabank, the country’s most international bank, has more than 69,000 employees and operations across Canada, Latin America and the Caribbean.
Fulawka, who has worked for the bank since 1986 but is currently on medical leave, claims the bank was loose with its record keeping when it came to extra work hours, resulting in employees working extra time they weren’t being paid for.
None of the allegations have been proven in court.
On Monday Fulawka’s lawyer, Louis Sokolov, told the court that Scotiabank has a duty to record and monitor all of the hours worked by its employees, and compensate them properly.
However, in documents filed with the court, Scotiabank said evidence shows that each employees claim is unique and would require an individual investigation and consideration.