Since 2007 there have been five significant overtime class action cases in Canada. Two of these cases have been labelled “off-the-clock” cases — cases in which employees allege they were expected to work overtime without being paid for it. Both off-the-clock class actions were eventually certified. One of those cases has now settled.
The remaining three overtime class actions are “misclassification” cases in which employees allege that their employer misclassified them as exempt from statutory overtime entitlements. Courts have been more reluctant to certify the misclassification cases because, in a majority of those cases, the proposed plaintiff class has not been sufficiently similar to justify a class action proceeding.
The Ontario Court of Appeal’s recent decision in Brown v. Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce confirms the prevailing view that employers are most vulnerable to issues that arise when their employees’ hours are not properly monitored, recorded, enforced or compensated. Employers continue to be liable to individual employees for misclassifying them as “overtime exempt”, but it is less likely that such misclassifications will give rise to the added liability that is associated with a class action.
Continue Reading Ontario Court of Appeal Refuses to Certify Another “Misclassification” Overtime Class Action