Desjardins Negative Vacation Bank Class Action

Monkhouse Law has filed for an order to certify a class action lawsuit against Desjardins Financial Services Firm Inc., Desjardins Global Asset Management & The Personal Insurance Company (“Desjardins”) for their negative vacation bank policy and unauthorized deductions from wages at the end of employment.

The employee class action lawsuit alleges that Desjardins’ practice of making unauthorized deductions from wages as per the company’s negative vacation bank policy is in violation of employment standards.

The Statement of Claim was issued on June 9, 2021.
Here is the full Press Release on June 15, 2021.

IMPORTANT – No action is required by employees to join this class action. In Ontario, class action lawsuits are an “opt out” system, so if this class action lawsuit is certified, all employees who fall under the class action definition will be members of the class unless they opt out.

Negative vacation banks

In Ontario, employees accrue entitlement to vacation as they work and after one full year of work, an employee is entitled to two weeks of vacation. However, many employers allow employees to take vacation time during their first year, which is then banked in a “negative vacation bank”. This “negative vacation bank” can then be paid off with either overtime work or deducted from wages at the end of employment.

According to section 13 of the Employment Standards Act, 2000, the only way that an employer is legally able to deduct money from an employee’s wages is if the employee has signed a written statement authorizing the deduction. The authorization must either specify the amount to be deducted or provide a method to calculate the amount to be deducted.

It is alleged that Desjardins has potentially been deducting the negative vacation bank from employee’s wages at the end of their employment without a signed authorization to do so. If true, this would be a contravention of the Employment Standards Act, 2000, under which they are regulated. If it was shown in court that Desjardins made these deductions, employees may be entitled to compensation for same.

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Current or former employees of Desjardins who have worked for the Personal Insurance Company, Desjardins Financial Services Firm Inc. and Desjardins Global Asset Management within Canada (excluding Quebec) since the year 2011 who have been or are currently subject to Desjardins’ negative vacation bank policy, may be included in this class action.

If you would like to learn more about this potential class action against Desjardins, or are a former/current employee with Desjardins, please contact Lexa Cutler (416) 907-9249 x222 or by email at lexa.cutler@monkhouselaw.com

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