Monday, December 10, 2007

Scotiabank Hit with Overtime Lawsuit

The Globe and Mail, Jacquie McNish, 10 December 2007

Bank of Nova Scotia is the latest bank to be targeted by a class action lawsuit which alleges that bank employees have been discouraged from claiming over time pay for extra work.

The lawsuit is separate from a class action that was launched against Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce in June after Toronto bank teller Dara Fresco said she and thousands of her colleagues at the bank were repeatedly not paid when they worked overtime. She and other CIBC employees are seeing $600-million from CIBC.

Two Canadian law firms, Roy Elliott Kim O'Connor LLP and Sack Goldblatt Mitchell LLP which represent Ms. Fresco are also behind the Scotiabank lawsuit, which will be unveiled at a press conference this morning.

The action covers thousands of current and former non-management, non-unionized employees of Scotiabank who are or were personal bankers or other front-line customer service employees working at Scotiabank retail branch offices across Canada.

Cindy Fulawka, a personal banking representative who has worked in several Scotiabank branches in Saskatchewan and Ontario for over 15 years, is the representative plaintiff in the new lawsuit. Based on her own experience, she claims the unpaid overtime situation is widespread at the bank among non management employees.

A spokesman for Bank of Nova Scotia was not available to comment,.

Douglas Elliott, partner at Roy Elliott Kim O'Connor, said that the law firm has heard from numerous bank employees across the country since it launched the CIBC lawsuit.

“We said then that we suspected that CIBC was not the only Canadian bank that was failing to pay its employees for the hours they actually worked. This second case demonstrates that the problem does not appear to be unique to one bank,” Mr. Elliott added.