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Author: vpayne

Scheduling update

The parties are currently exchanging productions and preparing for examinations for discovery. During these examinations, key witnesses will be questioned in advance of a trial.

Further updates will be provided regarding the schedule for discoveries.

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Parties have agreed to a schedule

The parties have agreed upon the following schedule for next steps in this action:

  • January 13, 2023: Exchange of Affidavits of Documents and Productions
  • May 31, 2023: Completion of Examinations for Discovery

For more information, contact one of the persons listed on the Contact page.

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Class action certified!

On February 17, 2022, Justice Belobaba of the Superior Court of Justice certified this class action. A copy of the Certification Order can be found here. A copy of the Notice of Certification can be found here.

The class action will proceed in accordance with the following court-approved timetable:

  • February 28, 2022: Publication of Notice of Certification (However, delivery of notices sent by mail may follow within a reasonable time thereafter)
  • March 31, 2022: Delivery of the Statement of Defence
  • April 15, 2022: Opt Out Deadline
  • May 31, 2022: Discovery Plan
  • September 16, 2022: Exchange of Affidavits of Documents and Productions
  • November 30, 2022: Completion of Examinations for Discovery
  • January 23, 2023: Completion of motions arising from the discovery process, if any
  • March 31, 2023: Set down trial of the common issues

For more information, contact one of these lawyers.

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Starbucks Canada store managers fight for overtime pay with $50-million class action

The Toronto Star has reported on this proposed class action against Starbucks for failing to pay its store managers for overtime.

As the Star explains, under Ontario’s Employment Standards Act, 2000, employees are entitled to time-and-a-half pay after a 44-hour work week. However, the Act exempts supervisors from this requirement, provided they perform non-managerial tasks only on an “irregular or exceptional basis.” This is apparently why Starbucks believes that it does not have to pay overtime to its store managers.

However, the lawsuit claims that Starbucks store managers perform non-managerial tasks on a regular basis. They are frequently and regularly required to serve customers, prepare food and drinks, wash dishes and clean several days a week.

The Star spoke to Josh Mandryk about the basis for the lawsuit:

… Josh Mandryk, a lawyer at Toronto-based Goldblatt Partners which is leading the class action, said store managers regularly do the same work as baristas and other employees — entitling them to the same overtime protections under the law.

“If you drink coffee from Starbucks then chances are you’ve been cashed out and had your drinks made by a store manager,” said Mandryk.

The Star article notes:

Regular Starbucks employees are entitled to overtime pay but it is company policy to schedule them so their hours rarely exceed provincial overtime thresholds, according to the class action. 

By contrast, [the plaintiff] regularly worked “additional coverage hours when employees called in sick, quit while still on the schedule, showed up late, or no-showed for their shifts,” sometimes working 12- to 18-hour days, the statement of claim adds.

…[T]he suit says Starbucks has failed to adequately monitor and record store managers’ hours, “dissuaded” them from reporting hours worked beyond their scheduled shifts, and effectively prevented them from “claiming or obtaining compensation for their unpaid hours worked.”

The Star also spoke to Geetha Philipupillai about how common it is for employers in the retail industry to misclassify their employees:

Geetha Philipupillai, co-counsel at Goldblatt Partners, called misclassification of working managers to exempt them from overtime pay a “systemic problem in the retail industry.”

“We hope this class action sends a strong message to retail employers about the importance of properly classifying their working managers as entitled to overtime pay.”

Read the article here.

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