Suit seeks overtime pay for CIBC tellers

CIBC has been hit with a $600-million lawsuit alleging the bank does not pay its tellers and front-line workers for overtime.

A $600-million lawsuit filedagainst the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce alleges the bank does not pay its tellers and some other front-line workers for overtime, lawyers said Tuesday.

Dara Fresco, a CIBC teller in the Toronto area for nearly 10 years,alleges she has been required to work an average of two to fivehours of overtime per week.

"Even though we complete time sheets, I am discouraged from recording the extra time I in fact worked," she said.

As a head teller at the bank, Fresco makes about $30,700a year.

Thelaw firmsRoy Elliot Kim O'Connor LLP and Sack Goldblatt Mitchell LLP are seeking to have the suit certified as a class-action case.

The firms said the suit covers thousands of current and former tellers,plus personal bankers, commercial bankers and account executives. The suit seeks $500 million in compensation plus $100 million in punitive damages.

"The law is very clear— non-management employees may not be compelled or volunteeer to work for free," said Louis Sokolow, a partner at Sack Goldblatt Mitchell.

The statement of claim alleges the bank workers are assigned heavier workloads than can be completed within their standard working hours.

None of the allegations have been proven in court.

"With respect to overtime, we have a clearly defined policy as to how we compensate our front-line retail branch employees that exceeds legislative requirements in Canada," CIBC said in a written statement.

"We have just received this lawsuit and will be reviewing it in detail prior to further response," the bank added.

Shares of CIBC finished down 50 cents at $100.40 on the TSX.