Advisor-overtime lawsuit against BMO Nesbitt Burns certified

August 22, 2013 | Last updated on August 22, 2013
2 min read

The Ontario Superior Court of Justice has certified a class action against BMO Nesbitt Burns for unpaid overtime owed to investment advisors and associate investment advisors.

The class action covers approximately 1,500 current and former investment advisors, associate investment advisors and investment advisor trainees, employed by Nesbitt Burns since 2002, who may potentially be class members.

Read: Foster a better business culture

Justice Edward Belobaba found all three of the employee groups were “…excluded from overtime under the Nesbitt overtime policy because they are paid in whole or in part on commission.”

The plaintiff alleges that Nesbitt Burns breached their duties to the class members by systematically and improperly denying overtime. The allegations have not yet been proven. The certification decision will allow this case to proceed as a class action.

Read: Labour links, labour laws and HR advice

Yegal Rosen, a former investment advisor with Nesbitt Burns from 2002 to 2006, is the lead representative plaintiff in the action. Rosen claims he never received overtime compensation while working between 60 and 80 hours per week.

Koskie Minsky LLP and Eli Karp at Merchant Law represent the plaintiff in this action.

Read: Attract the best to build your team

Back in March, the Supreme Court of Canada cleared the way for a pair of class-action lawsuits against CIBC and Scotiabank seeking hundreds of millions of dollars for unpaid overtime to go ahead.

The banks had sought leave to appeal a lower court decision allowing the cases, but the Supreme Court dismissed the application.

The lawsuits allege thousands of workers were denied overtime pay even though they were assigned more work than could be completed within their standard hours.

A lower court had denied class action status to the CIBC case, while a different court had allowed class action status be granted to the Scotiabank lawsuit.

Read: Employment issues plague retail sector

However, the Ontario Court of Appeal felt both cases, which have not been proven in court, should be handled the same way and ruled they could go ahead.

In the CIBC case, teller Dara Fresco filed a lawsuit in June 2007. Fresco launched the case on behalf of more than 31,000 tellers and other front-line customer service employees working at more than 1,000 CIBC branches across Canada, including assistant branch managers, financial service representatives, financial service associates and branch ambassadors.

Read: Interns more than free labour

Cindy Fulawka, a personal banking representative at Scotiabank, filed her class-action lawsuit against the bank in December 2007 seeking to represent some 5,000 Scotiabank personal or senior bankers, financial advisers and small business account managers.