CIBC Unpaid Overtime Class Action - Sotos Class Actions

CIBC Unpaid Overtime

The claims period is now closed.

This case alleges that CIBC unlawfully failed to pay its employees for overtime work that they were routinely required or permitted to perform to complete the common duties of their positions.

The defendant CIBC is a major Canadian bank.

The defendant’s overtime policy required employees to obtain management approval of overtime hours in advance. The plaintiff alleges that this policy served as an institutional barrier to claims for overtime that would otherwise have been compensable.

Ontario Superior Court of Justice Edward Belobaba ruled in favour of the plaintiff in rulings in 2020. CIBC has appealed the rulings and the Ontario Court of Appeal is expected to release its judgment sometime in the spring.

You are automatically included in the class if you are or were a full-time or part-time CSR, assistant branch manager, FSR, FSA, branch ambassador or other front-line customer service employee working in CIBC’s retail branches across Canada since 1993.

  • March 26, 2024: The claims period is now closed.
  • September 25, 2023:  Ricepoint Administration Inc, the Claims Administrator, circulated an email to class members, for whom they had addresses on file.  The Notice was in the form a letter which provided a Claim ID and Pin No.  Class members who did not receive the Notice can submit their claims by following this link:

    Please note that the class period for all claims is February 1, 1993 to June 18, 2009.  The claims portal will only accept these dates or any dates in between.

    All claims will be processed after March 25, 2024, which is the deadline for submitting claims.

    For information about the claims process, please click here to view the Amended Distribution Protocol.  If you have any questions regarding the claims process please contact Ricepoint Administration Inc. by email at or toll-free at 1-866-726-4057.

  • July 5, 2023: Following a hearing on March 3, 2023 Justice Belobaba approved this $153 million settlement as being fair, reasonable and in the best interests of the Class. To view a copy of the Court’s order approving the settlement, click here.  To view a copy of the Court’s order approving the distribution protocol, click here. Sadly, Justice Belobaba became ill and subsequently passed away.

    On April 24, 2023, Class Counsel’s fee approval motion was heard before another judge, Justice Perell of the Ontario Superior Court.

    On May 18, 2023, the Superior Court of Quebec released its judgment, recognizing the settlement in Quebec. A copy of the judgment in French is here and an unofficial translation in English is here.  As a result, the settlement is now final.

    On June 2, 2023, Justice Perell released his decision regarding Class Counsel fees and Class Counsel’s request to recognize Ms. Fresco’s fortitude and work on this case with an honorarium.  Justice Perell awarded Class Counsel 17% of the settlement (net of disbursements) which was slightly more than half of the 30% fee that was provided for in the retainer agreement and declined to award Ms. Fresco any honorarium. To read the Court’s reasons, click here.

    Given the significant risks in this case, the decade and a half required to bring it to a successful conclusion and the overall quality of the result, respectfully, Class Counsel disagrees with Justice Perell’s decision on fees and honorarium and has brought an appeal to the Court of Appeal for Ontario to review those two issues.  A copy of the notice of appeal is here. The appeal will likely be determined sometime next year.

    The distribution protocol approved by Justice Belobaba contemplated that the distribution of the net settlement funds available would proceed in two stages.  That will still take place, as approved by the Court in an amended distribution order. The first distribution will likely take place sometime this fall and will be based on 70% of the net settlement funds available, as provided for in the original distribution protocol.  The second distribution will take place after the resolution of the appeal and will include the remaining 30% of the net settlement funds, plus any additional money that is the subject of the appeal, that is not granted to Class Counsel. The appeal regarding fees will not delay the first distribution and is unlikely to delay the second distribution.

    Experts retained by Class Counsel are currently determining the relative share of Class Members to the net settlement funds, following which the claims process will begin. A detailed notice describing the claims process will be posted to this website and distributed in the next several weeks.

  • March 3, 2023: Justice Belobaba approved the settlement and the proposed distribution protocol today.  The Court asked for further written submissions in respect of Class Counsel’s motion for approval of fees and disbursements.
  • February 27, 2023: The hearing of the motions for settlement approval, distribution approval and fee approval will take place, via Zoom on March 3, 2023 at 11:00 a.m. (Eastern Standard Time).  There will be no in-person hearing.

    The Zoom coordinates for the hearing are set out below.

    Please note that, while the hearing is being conducted by Zoom, it is still an official proceeding in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice and regular courtroom decorum must be followed. To attend the hearing you must:

    1. log into the Zoom stream at least 15 minutes before the hearing (10:45 am EST);
    2. sign into the Zoom stream with your real first and last names;
    3. turn off your camera and mute your microphone; and,
    4. do not record the proceeding with any form of recording device.

    Meeting ID: 648 521 8389
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    Meeting ID: 648 521 8389
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    To read the materials filed in support of the motions, please click here.

  • January 9, 2023: The settlement approval hearing has now been scheduled for March 3 at 11:00 am.
  • January 5, 2023: Settlement Reached in CIBC Unpaid Overtime Class Action Lawsuits

    The parties have agreed to settle class actions, launched in 2007, by retail branch employees alleging systemic unpaid overtime.The settlement provides that CIBC will pay a total of $153 million, which will be used to compensate approximately 30,000 class members (current and former front-line retail staff) for unpaid overtime, and also used to pay for legal fees and for the cost of distributing the settlement funds. The settlement must be approved by the Ontario Superior Court before it will become binding. A motion will be brought in February 2023 for approval of the settlement, a plan to distribute the settlement funds and payment of legal fees.

    The settlement was reached after 15 years of contested litigation, and months of negotiation, which followed decisions on liability by the Ontario Superior Court and Court of Appeal. The Court left the calculation of compensation and CIBC’s related defences to a further hearing, which will no longer be necessary because of the negotiated settlement.Dara Fresco, the former CIBC Bank teller, who brought this case in 2007, stated that she is pleased with the settlement. “It is good news for the class to have this case finally resolved”, said Ms. Fresco.

    “I am very happy that the case is settling. This settlement is a fair compromise that will bring meaningful compensation to thousands of my fellow class members.”Class Counsel stressed that the settlement will provide for a simple and easy method for class members to be paid. “A big advantage of this settlement is that class members will not have to prove their claims, a task that could be challenging in cases where some claims may go back nearly 30 years.” “We believe that this settlement will put more money into more class members’ hands, a lot sooner, than would happen if the case continued to be fought.”

  • February 9, 2022: Court of Appeal affirms judgment!

    In a ruling today, Ontario’s Court of Appeal has affirmed the Superior Court’s decision that CIBC’s overtime policies are illegal and unenforceable and that the Bank’s deficient record-keeping systems were institutional impediments preventing employees from being properly compensated. The hearing for the determination of damages has been adjourned to February 7 and 8, 2023.

  • January 17, 2022: CIBC’s appeal was heard by the Court of Appeal in September 2021. While we do not know how long the Court of Appeal will take to reach its decision in this case, it is not at all unusual for it to take several months in a significant case. At this time, the case is still moving forward and we will shortly be presenting our proposed claim for financial damages to the court.
  • September 27, 2021: Zoom link for Court of Appeal hearing

    The Ontario Court of Appeal has provided a Zoom link for members of the public who wish to observe the hearing on September 28 and 29th. The hearing will start at 10 a.m. each day.Click on the link below to join the webinar. Please also make sure to read the caution below. 523490

    Or One tap mobile :Canada: +16475580588,,62260688590#,,,,*523490#  or +17789072071,,62260688590#,,,,*523490#

    Or Telephone:Dial (for higher quality, dial a number based on your current location):Canada: +1 647 558 0588  or +1 778 907 2071  or +1 204 272 7920  or +1 438 809 7799  or +1 587 328 1099  or +1 613 209 3054  or +1 647 374 4685  or 855 703 8985 (Toll Free)

    Webinar ID: 622 6068 8590Passcode: 523490*

    Please Note:  Unless permission is given by the court, it is an offence under s. 136 of the Courts of Justice Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. C.43, punishable by a fine of not more than $25,000 or imprisonment of up to six months, or both, to record any part of the hearing, including by way of screenshot/capture and photograph, as well as to publish, broadcast, reproduce or disseminate any such recording.

  • August 11, 2021: The appeal by CIBC is scheduled to be heard by the Ontario Court of Appeal on Sep 28-29, 2021.
  • December 8, 2020: CIBC has appealed the three decisions released by Justice Belobaba stemming from the Summary Judgment motion held in December 2019 and June 2020.  Justice Belobaba released a decision on March 30, 2020 – Liability Issues Order, a second decision on August 10, 2020 – Damages Issues Order, and a third decision on October 21, 2020 – Limitations Issue Order.  We will provide an update once a date is scheduled for the appeal.
  • August 10, 2020: The Court released its ruling on common issues 6-8 in respect of damages and other remedies. The Court certified an additional common issue concerning aggregate damages. This means that CIBC will be required to produce time-stamped data from its computer systems from which experts hired by the plaintiff will estimate that amount of uncompensated overtime that the class as a whole worked. The Court will then determine how much money to award to the class.

    In addition, the Court has issued a declaration that says that CIBC’s overtime policy is illegal and can no longer be used as a basis to deny compensation.

    The next stage of the case will take a number of additional months to complete.In addition, CIBC has indicated that it intends to appeal the Court’s ruling which may add further delay.

    We will continue to try and move this case forward as quickly as possible.

  • June 29, 2020: The Court held a further hearing today regarding the remedies the Class Members may be entitled to. A further hearing will be held in August, after which the Court’s decision will follow. This will likely be subject to an appeal which will be heard later this year, or early next year.
  • March 30, 2020: The decision of Justice Belobaba relating to the Summary Judgment Motion heard on December 12, 2019 has been released. Another hearing will be scheduled to determine damages. Click here to see the Decision.
  • December 12, 2019: The summary judgment motion was heard on December 12, 2019.  Justice Belobaba reserved his judgment and his decision will be released in the new year.
  • May 8, 2019: The summary judgment motion is rescheduled for December 12-13, 2019.
  • March 8, 2019: Summary judgement motion is scheduled for September 17-20, 2019.
  • November 30, 2017: The Superior Court adjourned the plaintiff’s motion until after she has cross-examined CIBC’s affiant on his affidavit of documents
  • November 7, 2017: The Ontario Superior Court is scheduled to hear a motion on November 30, 2017, to decide if CIBC has failed to produce relevant documents and if CIBC should produce those documents.
  • October 23, 2017: The Plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment has been adjourned to a later date, to be determined, pending the resolution of certain issues regarding CIBC’s non-production of relevant documents.
  • March 7, 2017: A motion for Summary Judgment to decide some or all of the common issues will be heard on August 29 to September 1, 2017 at Osgoode Hall, 130 Queen Street West, Toronto, Ontario.
  • February 6, 2014: The Ontario Superior Court of Justice has ordered that members of the CIBC class be given notice of certification. Copies of the short form notice and the long form notice can be seen here. Any member of the class who wishes to opt out of the class action must do so before May 30, 2014. A copy of the opt-out form can be found at the end of the long form notice.
  • March 21, 2013: Supreme Court denies CIBC and Scotiabank leave to appeal.
  • June 26, 2012: Ontario Court of Appeal holds bank class actions may proceed.

Louis Sokolov

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Jean-Marc Leclerc

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Mohsen Seddigh

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Maria Arabella Robles

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Karen Whibley

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Have questions about this case?

What is a class action?

A class action is a special form of lawsuit in which one plaintiff brings a claim against one or more defendants based on allegations which are common to a group, or class, of people. In order for the action to become a class action, it must proceed through a stage known as “certification”.

Who brings a class action lawsuit forward?

A statement of claim is issued on behalf of a “representative plaintiff”. The representative plaintiff’s role is to work with class counsel to bring the action forward and to represent the class members in court.

What is certification?

In order for an action to proceed on behalf of the entire class, a judge must decide (among other things) whether the members of the proposed class have common issues, and whether a class action is the preferred way to resolve the issues. The process to decide these issues is known as the “certification motion”. If the judge is satisfied that the case meets all of the requirements for certification, he or she will issue an order which certifies the action as a class action.

Do I have to do anything to “join” the lawsuit?

No. If the lawsuit is certified, and you are included in the class as defined, you are automatically included in the lawsuit.

Once I am part of the class do I have to do anything?

No. We will work primarily with the class representative.

What if I do not want to be included in the lawsuit?

Those who do not wish to remain in the class will be given the option to opt-out by sending an opt-out form at the appropriate time to us.

What are the benefits of proceeding as a class action?

Certification as a class action will enable us to prove the facts in a single lawsuit rather than in numerous individual lawsuits. This has obvious benefits to the class members and to the courts.

How long does it take for a class action to be resolved?

There is no timeframe. We will move the case forward diligently but it can take a considerable period of time to reach trial.

Can a class action lawsuit be settled without going to trial?

Many class actions settle and thereby remove the need for a trial. However, we cannot predict with any certainty whether or not there will be a settlement in a given action.

What are the chances of winning the action?

The chances of “winning” can never be accurately predicted.

Will be liable for any costs or legal fees?

Class action lawsuits are typically brought on a contingency fee basis. This means that the lawyers will only be paid if the action is successful at trial or results in a settlement in favour of the plaintiffs. Legal fees would then be paid out of the settlement or judgment proceeds as approved by a judge.

Disbursements (i.e. out-of-pocket expenses, including expert reports) may be dealt with in one of two ways.

Most commonly, the lawyers will absorb the cost of disbursements. The lawyers may seek funding assistance from the Class Proceeding Fund, which may provide funding for disbursements if granted.

In some cases, disbursements may be funded by the class members, including the class representative. This typically occurs in smaller class actions brought on behalf of an organization or network of individuals where each member of the class is easily identifiable and known to the representative plaintiff. If the class action is successful, amounts advanced for disbursements are re-paid from the proceeds of any judgment or settlement to class members (and others).

Will I be liable for costs of the action if it is unsuccessful?

Only the class representative may be liable for costs of the common issues portion of the action if it is unsuccessful.

When can I expect to receive a payout from this class action?

A “payout” or an award for damages is never certain.

The action may settle or it may proceed to trial, at which time a judge will determine the amount of damages, if any, to which the class members are entitled to. Regardless, the amount of “payout” cannot be predicted, and we cannot predict when the action may settle or when the trial will conclude.

How will counsel keep me updated on the progress of the case?

If the lawsuit is certified as a class action, you will receive a formal notice from the court explaining the nature of the case and providing you with the opportunity to opt out if you wish. General information about the lawsuit will be posted on Sotos LLP’s website at

Where can I send any documents that I have that may be relevant to a class action?

We ask that you keep a copy of any documents, correspondences, records, invoices, receipts, etc. that you feel might be relevant to your individual claim in the class action. If there is a “payout,” this documentation may be required in order to support your claim for compensation.

It is not required that you send any documents to us at this time.