Ontario Court begins considering argument to certify overtime class action law suit launched on behalf of current and former CIBC non-management employees



    TORONTO, Nov. 19 /CNW/ - Lawyers representing Dara Fresco, the lead
plaintiff in a multi million unpaid overtime class action law suit against
CIBC, have filed documents in Ontario's Superior Court of Justice which they
believe should persuade judges to certify the case as a class action.
    Douglas Elliott, Partner, Roy Elliott Kim O'Connor LLP and Louis Sokolov,
Partner, Sack Goldblatt Mitchell LLP, filed testimony from current and former
CIBC employees across Canada describing their unpaid overtime work for CIBC,
which is similar to Dara Fresco's complaint.
    This is the largest unpaid overtime class action ever launched in Canada.
It is being brought on behalf of current and former non-management,
non-unionized employees of CIBC in Canada who are or were tellers or other
front-line customer service employees (limited to personal bankers, commercial
bankers and account executives) working at CIBC retail branch offices across
Canada.
    "We have learned, through interviews with hundreds of current and former
CIBC employees that Dara's experience regularly working overtime without pay
is a common one across Canada," said Douglas Elliott. "We will argue that this
strongly supports certifying this case as a class action."
    "I am grateful to my colleagues from across Canada who have had the
courage to come forward to testify in support of this case," said Dara Fresco,
the representative plaintiff.
    In addition to employee testimony, lawyers also filed evidence from three
experts who speak to the prevalence of unpaid overtime in the Canadian banking
industry, the lack of effective enforcement of Canada's federal labour laws,
and methods that have been used for proving similar cases in the United
States.
    "The evidence is overwhelming that unpaid overtime is common among
Canadian bank employees and CIBC non-management employees in particular. We
will argue that a class action is the preferred practical means to compensate
the thousands of class members for their unpaid overtime and to prevent these
practices in the future," said Louis Sokolov.
    The statement of claim alleges that class members are assigned heavier
workloads than can be completed within their standard working hours. They are
required or permitted to work overtime to meet the demands of their jobs and
CIBC fails to pay for the overtime work in direct contravention of the
Canadian Labour Code under which they are regulated.
    In order to facilitate affected CIBC employees across Canada joining this
class action, REKO and SGM are working with Camp Fiorante Matthews in British
Columbia, Chivers Carpenter Lawyers in Alberta, Kapoor Selnes in Saskatchewan,
Myers Weinberg LLP in Manitoba, Melançon, Marceau, Grenier et Sciortino in
Quebec and Pink Breen Larkin in Atlantic Canada. Employees will have access to
local counsel to determine whether they qualify to be a member of the class.
    All lawyers now have current and former CIBC employees who have asked to
join the class action suit. CIBC is required to answer the evidence now in the
hands of the court by the end of March 2008.

    The law firms have a web site www.unpaidovertime.ca and phone number
1-888-687-2431 which allow other class members to register in strict
confidence to obtain more information about the class action.




For further information:

For further information: Alanna Banks, (416) 504-8464,
alanna@mediaprofile.com; Rachel Thexton, (604) 609-6153,
rachel@mediaprofile.com

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