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Class action lawsuit against RBC/Aviva

vacation and public holiday pay

According to an April 23, 2019, CNW press release, an $80-million class action lawsuit has been filed against RBC Insurance and Aviva General Insurance alleging that the company’s practice of calculating vacation and public holiday pay for commissioned salespeople violated the Ontario Employment Standards Act.

The class action was filed by Monkhouse Law in Toronto on behalf of plaintiff Kabir Singh, an RBC advisor from 2016 to April 2019. If this class action is certified, all employees who fall under the suit’s definition will be members unless they opt out. Former commissioned salespeople with either RBC or Aviva with information are asked to contact Monkhouse Law.

The suit alleges that commissioned salespeople were shortchanged by both companies (since 1993 when RBC was founded and continued when Aviva purchased the company in 2016) because the vacation and public holiday pay that was paid to employees was based solely on their base salary, rather than total compensation. As a result, those employees are owed substantial back pay. “This practice under compensates these employees and deprives them of having real vacations,” said Andrew Monkhouse, founder of Monkhouse Law.

In Ontario, vacation pay and public holiday pay entitlements for employees paid in whole or in part by commission-based pay, with exceptions, are calculated the same way as for other eligible employees. Exceptions include types of commission-based employees that are not covered under the vacation time and pay or public holiday pay standards under the Employment Standards Act. Vey Willetts LLP wrote an informative article on the topic of vacation pay and commission here that is still current and worth a read.

We will keep you informed on any new developments stemming from this case.

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Yosie Saint-Cyr, LL.B. Managing Editor

Managing Editor at First Reference Inc.
Yosie Saint-Cyr, LL.B., is a trained lawyer called to the Quebec bar in 1988 and is still a member in good standing. She practiced business, employment and labour law until 1999. For over 18 years, Yosie has been the Managing Editor of the following publications, Human Resources Advisor, Human Resources PolicyPro, HRinfodesk and Accessibility Standards PolicyPro from First Reference. Yosie is one of Canada’s best known and most respected HR authors, with an extensive background in employment and labour across the country. Read more
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