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2009

Canadian companies concerned about overtime compensation

The Conference Board of Canada has issued a report - Working 9 to 9: Overtime Practices in Canadian Organizations - in which two-thirds of the 130 respondents said that staff and management had highlighted overtime compensation concerns in the past year.

The report comes on the heels of overtime lawsuits and/or settlements in the last 18
months involving five high profile companies (CIBC, Scotiabank, CNR, KMPG LLP, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP).

You can read this article in today's Toronto Star for more information about the report.

"Canadian Privacy Legislation and the Cross Border Transfer of Employee Data"

Candice Teitlebaum has written a paper on "Canadian Privacy Legislation and the Cross Border Transfer of Employee Data" (undated). Ms. Teitlebaum is a lawyer at Aird & Berlis LLP in Ontario.

WorkSafeBC imposes administrative penalties totaling over $315,000 in relation to death of crane operator on Canada Line

Topics: - WorkSafeBC
Jurisdiction: - British Columbia

WorkSafeBC announced today that it has imposed administrative penalties totaling $315,343.71 against two firms involved in construction of the Canada Line rapid transit route. The penalties are associated with the death of a crane operator who was killed while working on a bridge. The news release is here.

"The Law of Trade Secrets in Quebec and Canada: A Pragmatic Approach"

Jurisdiction: - Quebec

Quebec lawyers Julie Desrosiers & Marc-André Nadon have written a paper entitled, "The Law of Trade Secrets in Quebec and Canada: A Pragmatic Approach" (undated). The paper is undated, but based on the citations was written in 2008 or later.

The subject matter of the paper is described as follows:  read more »

CIBC class action overtime decision to be appealed

Jurisdiction: - Canada/Federal - Ontario

The Globe and Mail is reporting that the proposed representative plaintiff will be appealing the Ontario Superior Court of Justice's decision last month refusing to certify an unpaid overtime class action lawsuit against CIBC. You can read the article ("CIBC employee appeals judge's class-action denial", February 19, 2010) here.

"Restrictive Covenants and Non-Competition Clauses in the Employment Context"

"Restrictive Covenants and Non-Competition Clauses in the Employment Context" (June 2009) is the title of a paper prepared by Simon Margolis, with the assistance of Emily Lapper.  Mr. Margolis is a lawyer at Bull Housser Tupper in Vancouver.

Notice period reduced on basis employee might find new employment after trial but before end of notice period

Jurisdiction: - British Columbia
Sector: - Manufacturing

In the Jamieson v. Finning International Inc. 2009 BCSC 861 wrongful dismissal case, the 53 year old former employee had 20 years of service and had been the Millyard Systems Manager when his employment was terminated due to 'economic events". The company offered him a severance package based on a 12 month notice period, which he rejected.

The BC Supreme Court awarded him a notice period of 19 months, but reduced it by one month in consideration of the fact that the legal action had been pursued by way of a summary trial just 6.5 months after the employee had been dismissed and the employee might find new employment before the end of the 19 month notice period

Damages

The parties were in agreement that the employee's compensation over the notice period should be based, among other entitlements, on $84,000 in base salary and a $10,920 annual bonus.  read more »

"Director and Officer Liability in Insolvent Circumstances"

Vancouver lawyer Aaron B. Singer has written a paper on, "Director and Officer Liability in Insolvent Circumstances".

The paper addresses, "the potential liabilities of directors and officers, examine director and officer liability insurance, and discuss possible ways that directors can limit their potential personal liability during insolvency." Of particular note, it reviews the applicable employment law statutes and pension and employment insurance law statutes.

CLE BC's "Labour Law Conference 2009"

Jurisdiction: - British Columbia - United States

I attended the BC CLE "Labour Law Conference 2009" today at UBC Robson Square. Topics covered included:

  1. Issues Arising in an Economic Downturn
  2. Prima Facie Discrimination—From Complaint to Completion
  3. The New US Regime—How Does It Affect Us?
  4. Labour Law Update

More on the CIBC overtime decision

Jurisdiction: - Canada/Federal - Ontario

As I noted in my post two days ago, the Ontario Superior Court refused to certify an unpaid overtime class action lawsuit against CIBC by its employees. Fresco v. Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, 2009 CanLII 31177 (ON S.C.).

The claim for unpaid overtime alleged that CIBC's Overtime Policy (the "Policy") contravened the Canada Labour Code ("CLC') in two key ways:

  1. it required that employees receive approval in advance from a manager in order to be compensated for overtime hours worked, unless there were extenuating circumstances and approval was obtained as soon as possible afterwards; and
  2. it provided paid time off at the rate of 1.5 in lieu of monetary compensation, at the option of the employee.

Canada Labour Code overtime provisions  read more »

Scotiabank class action overtime lawsuit moving forward

Jurisdiction: - Canada/Federal

A day after the Ontario Superior Court refused to certify a class action overtime lawsuit against CIBC, the Financial Post has published an article stating that a similar class action lawsuit against Scotiabank is moving forward. The claim against Scotiabank, which is apparently for $350 million, is being handled by the same team of lawyers who are handling the CIBC action.

Ontario Superior Court of Justice refuses to certify overtime class action lawsuit against CIBC

Jurisdiction: - Canada/Federal - Ontario

As reported in the Globe and Mail, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice has refused to certify an unpaid overtime class action lawsuit brought by the employees of Canadian Imperial Bank Commerce (CIBC). The suit alleged that CIBC's overtime policy violated the overtime provisions in the Canada Labour Code.

According to the article, "...the Ontario Superior Court ruled that the facts surrounding overtime complaints at CIBC were too 'individualized' to qualify or be certified as a class action lawsuit."

The article further notes that similar overtime class action lawsuits have been filed by employees at Scotiabank and the Canadian National Railway Co., with the respective class action certification hearings pending.  read more »

"Employment in Tough Times - Interplay Between Employment and Insolvency"

Richard Press, a lawyer at Davis LLP co-authored a paper entitled "Employment in Tough Times - Interplay Between Employment and Insolvency" for the Employment Law Conference - 2009 CLE in Vancouver.