Unpaid overtime a growing legal problem for many businesses
A 2012 Ontario Court of Appeal ruling may have more companies rethinking how they manage employee overtime.
The court decided that two major unpaid overtime lawsuits against CIBC and Scotiabank can proceed as class actions, alleging that bank employees were expected to work late regularly, but overtime policies made it difficult for staffers to get paid for their extra work.
The lawsuits could prove problematic for many employers — particularly small businesses, which often rely on workers to put in extra hours to get the job done, warns employment lawyer Laura Williams.
For details about these cases, go to www.unpaidovertime.ca.
Overtime pay is governed by different standards across Canada. In Ontario, for example, it must be paid for any work in excess of 44 hours per week.
While there are exceptions for managerial roles and those in professions like medicine and accounting, most employees are legally entitled to additional pay for excess work.
And they should fight to get it, labour activists argue, since regulators are generally inclined to side with workers:
"When an employee lodges a complaint with a provincial labour ministry alleging she's been forced to work overtime without pay—and has unofficial documentation tallying her hours such as her own notes—but you lack written evidence proving otherwise, recent decisions have sided with the worker on almost every occasion," Williams says.
Do you receive all the overtime pay you deserve? If not, what have you done about it?
By Gordon Powers, MSN Money
Posted by: Dave | Dec 28, 2021 12:24:59 PM
Do I receive all the overtime pay I deserve? Yes
The times where I haven't I have found different employment.
Why the semantics though? "Unpaid Overtime" AKA - theft- is just that, theft.
Employers rightly will not tolerate an employee taking something that is not paid for. The same rightly applies in the other direction as well. No?
What kind of a society have we become that we now glamorize theft from the weak?
Posted by: Dr. S. Linde | Dec 28, 2021 1:17:14 PM
I always work more hours than I am paid for. There are extenuating circumstances where my company will pay me overtime (partly), but this does not happen too often. I do not expect to get paid for overtime. Many people may think this is stupid, but these people probably make less than one tenth of my salary. My employer also gives me the freedom to work anywhere I choose. I also have complete flex time, so if I feel stressed and need to go for a swim for a few hours, I will, then work later into the evening. Sometimes, my employers pays for a night out with my family, and once even paid for my family vacation, when I worked long and hard on a huge project that delivered large profits. I also get huge bonuses and stock options, so I should be the LAST person to complain about working unpaid overtime. Now, on the other hand, if I were an electrician, pipefitter, welder, millwright etc, than I would not work 1 minute of overtime without pay.
Posted by: Mary | Dec 30, 2021 12:22:01 AM
I onced covered another employee's hrs at a different site and when i got my paycheck i was payed regular time for it, when asked why he said : I cant to pay for overtime: . I quit on the spot and reported him to the proper authority's and nothing happened. So why even bother to report it. I had the paystub showing pay for over 30 hrs that was put into a bonus section of the pay stub. I worked 70 hrs in one week and nothing for it. He said when i quit that with my attitude i wouldnt get another job, well i got one the next day and have been there for 4 yrs now and work ot every weekend and get paid for it.
Posted by: Alan | Dec 30, 2021 12:59:54 AM
I am a Supervisor with a municipal works dept.
Overtime is paid for every hour after 40 hours in a week.
I earn an extra $30,000 to $40,000 per year in overtime pay on top of a base salaryof $90,000.
Thank goodness for overtime pay.
Posted by: Craig | Dec 30, 2021 6:09:48 AM
I don't think the government needs to spend my tax dollars to hire lawyers and judges and bureaucrats to make such decisions. I stop working on the dot, but I'm a very efficient person, and my boss treats me really well. There are some "slower" staff that work with us too. The ones that put in more time get to stay, but the ones that quit on the dot like me get fired. To be frank, I would probably start slacking off if someone less competent and efficient than I am left at the same time, on the dot, and that isn't fair for the boss either. The fact is that if my boss asked me to work more unpaid, I'd quit. The fact is also that because my boss appreciates me, that would never happen. What is this? A communist country? I tell you what. Fire those lawyers, judges, and numerous bureaucrats that are "investigating" such matters and give the money to me. I'm sure I'll be one of the richest people in the country, and the country's economy would not suffer one bit, and perhaps it may even improve once the lackeys start to realize that they better pick up the slack.
Posted by: Palladini | Dec 30, 2021 8:25:50 AM
I worked for a trucking company for 22 years, They never paid time and a half. They used an hour bank for anything worked over 60 hours, hours went in there as hours and they were paid at straight time, not time and a half. Huge ripoff
Posted by: Robbed | Dec 30, 2021 9:16:19 AM
I work for a large telecommunications company and I am in a union. In the department I work in, overtime is not allowed although the management expect you to get the work done even if it means working extra hours and not getting paid for it. They allow you to use the "banked" time for appointments etc, but it goes against everything in our union books. Because we are a small department we slip under the radar and we are afraid to go to union in fear of losing our jobs if we say anything.
Posted by: Jon River | Dec 30, 2021 9:25:28 AM
I'm curious, how does this affect Police Officer's who obviously work shift work and work scheduals that are based either on a 4 week, 5-week or 6-week rotation. Their hours per week ( based on 10hr or 12hr shifts) always exceed the maximum 40 hr week limits. Should this affect them? I would really be interested in knowing
Posted by: Tammy | Dec 30, 2021 9:37:24 AM
I work in Health Care in Toronto and Health is the worst when it come to overtime. The nurses are often told that they will not get paid overtime, they are often asked to work doubles and never paid overtime for this. I work in the Admin part of the Organization and we often have to work overtime since I work load as increased since we have several buildings for this organization and we must do most of the mailing outs etc for all these buildings and they have their own support staff. We have been told that if we need to stay late we must palm out at our regular time and we can stay as late as we like but we are not getting paid for it they expect people to stay and get the work done without pay the thing is you almost have to because there is a deadline on the work. I have also palmed in early many times and started working because it was so busy and never got paid for it I never kept track but I would mention it when I didn't notice the extra on my pay and was told they adjusted the log in to reflect my correct hours. So they have ways. For the new year I'm going to document how many hours I worked overtime. I just wish someone would report them.
Posted by: amanda | Dec 30, 2021 10:28:22 AM
well tammy i dont where your nurses in toronto are getting there advice from and maybe they should be standing together on this issue because there is alot of nurses, but here in BC we do have overtime for our nurses all the time and they get paid every penny for it and are not expected to work otherwise. no one has ever said they will not get paid or made to work overtime either. it is offered and is totally your choice if you take it and if you do it is paid handsomely to you as well as your meal allowance. registered nurses and licenced practical nurses here in BC are definately not hurting on this issue.
Posted by: Chris | Dec 30, 2021 10:53:30 AM
I work for a bank. Good for these people. Companies now expet that you work extra hours and lots of them and will never pay. I am glad this issue is being made aware of. I personally do not have to work extra hours in my role but I see many employees working every night and every weekend with no compensation. And little pay to begin with.
Posted by: Dee | Dec 30, 2021 11:34:48 AM
In the banking industry, can comment on the retail sector, and working extra hours without
compensation is rampant.
If brought to the attention of the manager it is commented back....then perhaps you are not working up to par, that comment indicates you will be overlooked for a transfer/promotion, and will
have an effect of your end of year 'bonus' . If you have a high customer interaction that
day or picking up extra tasks due to absenteeism or others on vacation, fight for it and you
lose every time. Management may authorize leiu time.....but a day or half day off put you
in another time crunch situation , as well, if I work a full day overtime....why should I
take straight time, and not get leiu time in a 'time and half' manner.
This has been going on for years.
Meanwhile.......in the higher job posts...they receive.....oh lets not go there !!!
Posted by: Retail Sector | Dec 30, 2021 12:10:21 PM
I work within a large corporate retail franchise. I am an hourly paid worker, and I am regularly cheated out of money. Before I had kids, I was a salaried worker. There is a huge difference in what I am being paid for, and what I expect to be paid for between the two environments. As a manegerial salaried worker, I was prepared to put in extra hours - it was just part of the job - I was paid well, and I didn't mind. As an hourly paid retail worker, I am there for one reason only - to work for the hours that I am being paid for - but I work extra time with no pay almost every day. It is rampant throughout poorly paid/ hourly paid jobs, and it is time it was STOPPED! I am frequently made to work on my own in my department, reliant on other people to "cover my breaks". If the store is too busy to release them to cover me, I don't get a break. I have worked 8 hours straight on one 5 minute pee break - but I am still docked pay the 1/2 hour pay for my "lunch" that I don't get to take, and written company policy requries that I be given "rest breaks" of 15 minutes paid for working a prescribed number of hours, which I frequently don't get - so on an average day, I am working an extra hour that I am not paid for - every day. Now I'm not working because there are opportunities to advance, or to earn commission, or to better myself in any way. I am working for the money - to help support my family - and it is being stolen from me wholesale. Complain? I need my job. It's time that the Government realized that these abuses are happening daily to the most poorly-paid people in the country. Is it any wonder that families can't meet their bills and end up needing assistance? In the old days, unions fought for "A fair days' wage for a fair days' work" nowadays the union workers in Canada are GROSSLY overpriviledged, and the people who really need protection from their employers have no-one to speak for them, because they aren't unionized. The next time the unionized employees want to go on strike for better pay (than their current $30+ an hour), better benefits (which we "part-time" workers are entitled to), and shorter working hours (yep, I may get paid for a 30 hour week, but I'm really working 35, so we are really the shadow full-timers in this country) - they should consider this: would the Tollpuddle Martyrs - the first men who started the union movement by dragging themselves out of the mud, standing up for their rights and dying for it - be proud of them? Or would they turn in their graves?!?!
Posted by: Retail Sector | Dec 30, 2021 12:43:29 PM
As a footnote to my comments - the general public should note that in large corporate retail franchises, because the "owner" of the store differs between locations, they are considered seperate employers under the law despite the fact that they carry the same corporate flag, and the employees are often shared between locations. You are trained to do a job, not to work for a particular master - thus the "hourly paid" workers who need the money are often working between several locations just to make-ends-meet, because each location keeps their hours below the threshold for having to treat them as full-time staff with benefits. Thus you can (as I do) work a 12 hour day over two locations of the same company and not be paid overtime. You can also work 7 days a week and not be paid overtime. You can work a 60/ 70 hour week - doing the same job, wearing the same uniform - just split between locations - and not be paid overtime. And does it happen? When you are working for lowly wages and you have a family to support, you do what you have to in order to pay the bills. Different locations of the same company are very prepared to co-operate to share staff and scheduling because it means that they can avoid having full-time workers. It is the workers who suffer from the arrangement, because they aren't being paid what the law would suggest they should. Just because Joe signs the paycheck at one location, and Bill signs it as another, doesn't mean that the uniform or the job differ, and so employees of large corporate franchises are routinely abused in this way to flout the Employment Laws. Let's face it - if these employers were to ask me to keep myself available 7 days a week, 24 hours a day, for the 4 hours per week that they might need me to work in Depatment X would I do it? Who would?!? You'd tell them to get stuffed. So I am paid for 4 hours on Monday by Department X in Location Y, and 2- 6 hour shifts on a Tuesday and Wednesday in Department A in Location B, plus taking on piecemeal work in other Departments at other Locations just to make-ends-meet for the times when they are lean (January through June for instance!), and then suddenly they need me 30 hours per week each in Department X in Location Y , and Department A in Location B when things are busy (60 hours total spread over 7 days per week in November/ December), so I couldn't really hold down another job outside their organization, and still work for them, because I couldn't hold my hours open to suit their needs! There needs to be some recognition of the plight of workers in this sector. It's not that we won't work as and when we're needed - it's not that we don't want to be co-operative, and helpful to our employers - it's not that we don't want to take the work when we can get it - but we see systematic abuse of our rights as workers to be paid correctly. If you worked for the Federal Government in the Canada Revenue Agency on the desk receiving income tax returns from private individuals on Monday - Friday mornings from 7-1pm, and on the desk receiving corporate tax returns on Monday - Friday afternoons from 1pm- 7pm, would you be agrieved if the CRA called you a "part-time worker" and paid you no benefits or overtime?!?!?! Oh wait - you'd go on strike! Well, we don't have that luxury, and we never will. That's why we need to Government to actually look closely at this sector and realize what is happening. Oh, and by the way.... even working all those extra hours leading up to Christmas - standing on my head to be helpful to my employer and working myself into the ground, not being properly compensated for my time, and not even getting breaks (that I'm having wages docked for).... In January I'll be lucky if I can get 12 hours of paid work per week between my locations - because I'm an hourly paid worker, and not on a "full-time" contract, they don't have to pay me at all in January if they don't feel like it. They can keep me on the books for months at their beck and call and expect me to keep myself available for their odd shift. And I have no rights to expect otherwise. Sure, I can get myself another job, but all retail sector workers are in the same boat, and there are no jobs to be found... until they get busy again. It literally is feast or famine.
Posted by: binderdundat | Dec 30, 2021 1:56:39 PM
If you dont get paid ot then dont work ot hours, if everyone stepped up and took action instead of complaining then this would never be an issue, employers will push the envelope as far as they can until you don't allow it anymore.
Posted by: off our backs | Dec 30, 2021 3:17:51 PM
The glaring insult here is IT"S the BANKS being sued. Having suffered such 'hardships' through the tough economic times of late YET able to post RECORD profits for the the past how many quarters. Like take for example BMO getting an additional 2 billion more in profit than they had predicted.. They had predicted a record profit but were over that by 2 billion.. Well done! The CEO's will get a whopping bonus and snicker away at once again duping us all. To ever have such a grievance of unpaid overtime against them is criminal. Not to have paid the staff for the work they have done in making these record profits is what is wrong with the whole system. This is off our backs and enough is enough!
Posted by: jon | Dec 30, 2021 6:29:49 PM
i work as a landscaper,and come under the agricultural act,which requires me to work 120 hours over a 2 week period ,before being qualified for overtime,however,it is still never paid,because the employer,cant afford it,,,ahem,,,sure buddy sure,,secondly,i am paid every hour i work at regular rate and these hours go into the payroll each week and are sent to the goverment departments who deal with ei,ccp and so forth,however,no one ever questions the huge amount of hours per employee,with no overtime???,,Asleep at the wheel or what? No one will speak up for fear of losing ones job,and ive been with the same employer for 12 years,,Its thief,and its has no other name,,i hope this will be pushed to the limit,because as far as i can see here,on this forum,there have been a lot of replys
Posted by: ithink | Dec 30, 2021 7:28:07 PM
Fair pay for your work. Not an unpaid minute over - not a paid minute less. That's why contract work should be the norm: full employment is just wrong.
Posted by: Jane | Dec 30, 2021 7:31:38 PM
Re:Posted by: amanda | Dec 30, 2021 10:28:22 AM
Actually my mother in law is a nurse and she worked overtime and was told it would all be banked and when she wanted to take time off she would have that overtime pay and hours she could use. When it came time for her to make use of it all (after 2 years) there was nothing! She continually worked overtime and was told oh yeah sign this form and you will be guarenteed your hours and pay for overtime when you want to use it. So to say that's it's different here in BC is not so sorry to say!
To the others who say well demand it, it's difficult too especially in this economy it's hard to keep that job.