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Bank of Montreal

Fernando Morales/Fernando Morales/The Globe and Mail

A class action lawsuit has been filed against BMO Nesbitt Burns Inc. on behalf of employees who are allegedly owed unpaid overtime.

The filing claims the brokerage wing of Bank of Montreal did not properly record employees' work hours and didn't pay overtime owed.

The lawsuit also claims BMO Nesbitt Burns created an environment where employees were expected to work up to 80 hours per week.

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The allegations haven't been proven.

The suit was filed in Ontario Superior Court by Juroviesky and Ricci LLP for one client with the intent of getting class-action status.

The claim seeks compensation on behalf of other BMO Nesbitt Burns employees or former employees who worked at the company as long ago as 2002.

A BMO spokesman says the bank has processes in place to deal with overtime claims and that it will defend itself vigorously.

Lawyer Henry Juroviesky said in a statement that workers paid on commission are also protected by provincial guidelines for overtime pay.

"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," Mr. Juroviesky said.

Several other Canadian banks have faced class-action lawsuits related to employee overtime compensation.

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Last year, a judge dismissed a suit filed against Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce by a teller alleging unpaid overtime to its customer service staff, while another case claiming overtime filed against Bank of Nova Scotia is still pending in the courts, with the judge reserving his decision on whether to grant it class-action status.

Juroviesky is also involved in a case filed against CIBC World Markets related to overtime for its investment bankers and financial advisers.

With a class action, a suit filed by one or more plaintiffs can be used to seek compensation for them and any other people who fit the criteria.

In the past, Juroviesky has been involved in class action suits with several banks over alleged slowness in crediting client accounts with funds from cheques and other transfers.

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