Ontario court rules against CIBC in overtime class-action lawsuit

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TORONTO — An Ontario Superior Court judge has ruled against the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce in an overtime class-action lawsuit filed more than a decade ago.

Judge Edward Belobaba found the bank liable for breaching its overtime obligations to a class of about 31,000 current and former tellers, personal bankers and other front-line workers in branches across Canada.

Plaintiff lawyers say Belobaba said in reasons released today that the Toronto-based bank was “careless and indifferent, indeed negligent” about its obligation to comply with the requirements of the Canada Labour Code.

He says the bank should have known better and has legal staff to advise it of requirements but the bank “dropped the ball.”

The case filed in 2007 was the first class-action brought in Canada against the overtime policies of a major Canadian corporation. The Court of Appeal for Ontario certified in 2012 the lawsuit as a class action.

Specific damages owing to employees have not yet been determined. CIBC didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.