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August 28, 2021

Unpaid overtime: Are you being short changed?

In a class action lawsuit filed last week in California, disgruntled workers allege that United Parcel Service, the world's largest package delivery service, owes them as much as $100 million in unpaid overtime wages. And they’re not alone.

Short staffing, as well as problems recruiting and retaining good employees, are leading an increasing number of those who actually still have jobs to complain about excessive overtime and too many weekends being eaten up by work.

And the credit crunch is only making the situation worse, with many employees feeling they have to 'go the extra mile' to protect themselves from job loss. In fact, two-thirds of respondents to a recent Conference Board survey said overtime compensation concerns have been raised by employees (11 per cent), management (20 per cent), or both (33 per cent) over the past year.

In Canada, several companies – including accounting firm KPMG, CIBC, Scotiabank and CN – have been hit with their own unpaid overtime lawsuits. Click here if you a similar beef and would like to join in, keeping in mind that the CIBC suit has hit a bit of a roadblock recently thanks to an Ontario Superior Court ruling that it didn't meet the test to be a class-action lawsuit.

The other cases are ongoing, however.

Purportedly, employees at KPMG were given instructions from their managers that they were to charge more hours per week than they were permitted to work under applicable provincial legislation, reports the Bottom Line, a trade paper for accountants.

“Accordingly, when management at KPMG told employees to charge 50 and 60 hours per week, management was aware that such employees would be required to work between 65 and 90 hours to complete such charge requirements,” the suit alleges.

When it comes to overtime, what are things like where you work? 

By Gordon Powers, MSN Money



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

James HaversJames Havers

James is the senior editor of MSN Money living in Toronto. He has worked for the Nikkei Shimbun (Tokyo),,, Canadian Business and other publications. Havers turned to journalism after teaching overseas.

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...