CIBC has settled a 15-year-old class action lawsuit to pay employees who were not paid overtime a total of $153 million, plaintiffs’ attorneys said.
In 2007, former CIBC teller and class counsel Dara Fresco filed a lawsuit.
“It’s good news for the class that this case has finally been resolved,” Fresco said. statement The announcement was made by Goldblatt Partners LLP, the Ontario law firm representing CIBC employees involved in the class action lawsuit.
“We are very pleased that the case has been resolved. This settlement is a fair compromise and will provide meaningful compensation for thousands of our classmates.”
Last year, the Ontario Court of Appeals dismissed the bank’s attempt to overturn a lower court ruling upholding a class action lawsuit on behalf of about 31,000 retail bank employees.
CIBC spokesperson Tom Wallis said in an emailed statement to CBC News that the settlement would avoid further legal costs and allow the bank to put the matter on the back burner.
“We believe CIBC has clear, accessible and effective overtime policies and practices,” he wrote, noting that he is proud of the work environment the company has created. “If overtime is required or allowed for eligible team members, it will be paid.”
Approval of the Superior Court of Ontario is required for the contract to become binding.
‘The power of numbers,’ says law instructor
The settlement is a win for Canadian workers, said Daniel Tsai, a lecturer in business and law at Toronto Metropolitan University. The class action covers the period from 1993 to 2009.
“The decision itself is a very positive development for workers in the sense that reconciliation shows strength in numbers,” said Tsai. “Getting rewarded for the work done is also very important.”
Banks typically “have a culture of hard work and employees are expected to do more because they are profit-seeking,” he said.
“So I think this is an important settlement because it shows that the banks didn’t have the guts to continue fighting the class action lawsuit.”