BMO Nesbitt Burns faces class action suit for unpaid overtime in Ontario

Statement of claim accuses brokerage company of 80-hour work weeks and poor recordkeeping
||Last Updated: 02/11/2010

BMO Nesbitt Burns can be added to the list of Canadian financial companies who have been accused of failing to pay its employees for overtime.

A class action lawsuit has been filed in the Ontario Superior Court against the Bank of Montreal’s investment side accusing it of not paying overtime to its investment and financial advisors over a nine-year period, from 2002 to 2010. The suit also claims the company fostered a work environment that demanded employees work as many as 80 hours per week without keeping an accurate record of their work hours.

The suit was filed for one client with the objective of obtaining class action status on behalf of all BMO Nesbitt Burns employees who worked overtime but weren’t paid over the past nine years.

The allegations in the statement of claim haven’t been proven and though it seeks compensation for the affected employees, no dollar value was given.

The parent company of BMO Nesbitt Burns, BMO Financial Group, said it had proper overtime procedures in place and it would fight the claim.

However, Henry Juroviesky, the lawyer who filed the claim, said in a statement employers need to remember all non-management employees are entitled to overtime, regardless of how they are paid.

“It is important for employers to remember that being paid a salary or working on commission are not listed exemptions from overtime pay under applicable Ontario legislation,” said Juroviesky.

Other Canadian banks have faced class action suits for unpaid overtime, including one against the CIBC in 2009 that was dismissed by an Ontario judge and another against Scotiabank that is still before the Ontario courts.

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