B.C. court certifies vacation pay class action

By James Langton | March 20, 2024 | Last updated on March 20, 2024
2 min read
Gavel and a law books on desk
AdobeStock / Tiko

Pending a couple of amendments to the plaintiffs’ pleadings, a British Columbia court has certified a proposed class action against Bank of Montreal (BMO) on behalf of its private wealth consultants and mortgage specialists over allegedly unpaid holiday and vacation pay.

The Supreme Court of B.C. has a certified a proposed class action against the bank on behalf of certain employees — non-unionized employees that were largely paid on commission and bonuses — subject to the plaintiffs in the case filing a couple of amendments to clarify issues previously raised by the court.

Back in August 2023, the court indicated that the proposed case met most of the criteria for certification as a class action, but that there were a couple of deficiencies in the plaintiffs’ filings seeking damages for alleged breach of contract and breach of the duty of good faith due to how the bank treated statutory vacation and holiday pay for certain employees.

The court indicated that the plaintiffs have a potentially viable claim, but that their case needed to be amended to meet the requirements for class-action certification.

Now the plaintiffs have proposed amendments that seek to establish that the bank told its private wealth consultants it would abide by federal labour standards on vacation pay. The amendments are also meant to establish that the bank made statements indicating that it correctly calculated vacation pay and statutory holiday pay for these employees, and that those calculations complied with federal standards.

While the bank opposed the proposed amendments, the court sided with the proposed plaintiffs in the case, saying, “In my view, there is sufficient basis upon which to conclude that these questions as currently framed, can and should be answered on a class-wide basis.”

The court granted leave to the plaintiffs to amend their claim, and certified the case as a class action, pending the filing of those amendments.

Subscribe to our newsletters

James Langton headshot

James Langton

James is a senior reporter for Advisor.ca and its sister publication, Investment Executive. He has been reporting on regulation, securities law, industry news and more since 1994.