Moreau files class action against TV production company
By Mia Clarke, Associate Editor
A $45-million lawsuit has been launched against the production company that makes a number of popular TV programs — including Property Brothers — alleging wages and other benefits were unpaid to hundreds of contract production workers. Read CBC, CTV, Global
The statement of claim for the proposed class action, filed by Toronto employment lawyer Stephen Moreau, partner with Cavalluzzo LLP, alleges the company violated terms of the Employment Standards Act (ESA).
It is further claimed that the "defendants are liable for any adverse tax liability sustained by the class members resulting from a determination that the class members are/were employees ... and must reimburse the class members, for any Canada Pension Plan ('CPP') or Employment Insurance Act ('EI') contributions which may have been paid or are owed ..."
The allegations have not been proven in court.
The suit is seeking $35 million in general and $10 million in punitive damages, plus costs and interest, says the statement of claim.
“As vulnerable employees under the direct control and supervision of the defendants, the class members relied on the defendants to advise them properly regarding their employee status and eligibility for minimum wage, overtime pay, vacation pay, public holiday and premium pay and to fulfil their contractual and statutory employment responsibilities to keep track of and pay” them accordingly, says the statement of claim.
The document goes on to claim that the company “is/was in a position of power and direct control over the class members and the class members were and are in a vulnerable position vis-a-vis the defendants.”
It also alleges that the company “systemically classified many class members as 'independent contractors' and required class members to incorporate their own companies in order to obtain employment ..."