RBC, Aviva face possible class action over vacation, holiday pay

$80-million lawsuit alleges insurance companies shortchanged employees
|payroll-reporter.com|Last Updated: 05/07/2019
The Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) logo is seen outside of a branch in Ottawa, on Feb. 14. REUTERS/Chris Wattie

A law firm has filed for certification of a class action lawsuit against RBC Insurance and Aviva General Insurance.

The $80-million lawsuit alleges the company’s practice of calculating vacation and public holiday pay for commissioned salespeople violated the Employment Standards Act.

The class action was filed by Monkhouse Law in Toronto on behalf of plaintiff Kabir Singh, an RBC advisor from 2016 to April 2019.

The suit alleges that commissioned salespeople were shortchanged because the vacation and public holiday pay that was paid to employees was based solely on their base salary, rather than total compensation. As a result, those employees are owed substantial back pay.

"This practice undercompensates these employees and deprives them of having real vacations," said Andrew Monkhouse, founder of Monkhouse Law.

“These actions undermine the rationale behind providing paid vacation pay in the first place.”

Allegations have not yet been proven in court.

The employee class action dates back to 1993, when RBC Insurance was founded, according to Monkhouse Law. Aviva purchased that company in January 2016.

If this class action is certified, all employees who fall under the suit’s definition will be members unless they opt out.

This story has been updated.

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Comments (1)

Look at transportation industry - Paul Taylor15/7/2019 9:02:00 AMOne need only look at the transportation industry to see how bad employers are when it comes to paying workers, especially for overtime pay. The drivers of Canada Cartage field a class-action lawsuit, which was certified. Then in a labour relations matter, Loblaws unionized drivers are also fighting to have back overtime pay paid to them. It is an unethical business practice to pay workers less by any means necessary, and is sadly consider a normal part of doing business.