TORONTO — An Ontario court has granted class-action status to a lawsuit against Scotiabank (TSX:BNS) over unpaid overtime in one of the largest employment-related class actions ever undertaken in Canada.
Cindy Fulawka, the lead plaintiff in the lawsuit against the bank, will represent about 5,000 people who were employed as personal or senior bankers, financial advisers and small-business account managers since Jan. 1, 2000.
“We’re obviously very pleased by this decision,” said Louis Sokolov, a lawyer representing the plaintiffs. “These employees will now have the opportunity to have the merit of their claims addressed on a class-wide basis and will enjoy the access to justice and efficiency that a class action can provide,” lawyer David O’Connor added.
Sokolov had argued the bank was loose with its record-keeping when it came to extra work hours, resulting in many employees working time they weren’t being paid for. None of the allegations have been proven in court.
Scotiabank spokeswoman Ann DeRabbie said the bank was “disappointed” with the lawsuit’s certification as a class action. She said Scotiabank had not yet decided whether to appeal.
“We’re going to take some time, we’re going to look at the judge’s comments . . . .”