On December 29, 2022, the Ontario Superior Court certified a class proceeding against RBC Dominion Securities, which claims that this employer failed to pay vacation and public holiday pay to its financial and investment services employees, as required by provincial and territorial employment standards legislation.
The class action was initiated by Cavalluzzo LLP, Roy O’Connor LLP and Whitten & Lublin on behalf of employees such as investment advisors, wealth advisors, portfolio managers, Associates and Assistants, who are compensated either fully or partially based on commissions. The claim alleges that employment standards legislation requires that these employees' total earnings (including salaries and commissions) must be used to calculate vacation and public holiday pay and that RBC DS was not paying vacation or holiday pay on commission (non-salary) wages. The Court noted that it was not disputed that employers are statutorily required to pay employees not only earned commissions but also a prescribed separate and additional amount for vacation and holiday pay. The court also noted that it was not disputed by RBC DS that the legislation also required it to provide employees with a record of the vacation and holiday pay they received and how those amounts were calculated. RBC DS asserted that it satisfied the legislative requirements. Whether RBC DS does in fact comply with those legal requirements is yet to be determined, although the court's decision observes that RBC DS appeared to acknowledge that it may not have satisfied the legislative recording and reporting requirements.
This decision represents a critical first step in the litigation and allows the Plaintiff to subsequently test in court whether the RBC DS practices relating to vacation and holiday pay satisfy the legislative requirements. The Court will approve a formal notice of certification summarizing, among other things, the Class Members’ rights under the certification order.
Cavalluzzo LLP is very pleased with this decision. We note that it is not uncommon for employers in the financial services industry and in many other industries to pay commissions, bonuses, stock options, share units, and other compensation on their own without adding a separate and additional amount for vacation and holiday pay. Such additional pay can be significant for employees.
For more information on this class action, please click HERE.
For a copy of the certification decision, please click HERE.
Media coverage for these events include: