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Grigoryev v. Russell Security Services Inc.

May 27, 2022

Unpaid Wages Class Action

What the class action is about:

This proposed class action is for unpaid wages. The lawsuit was filed against Russell Security Inc. on March 12, 2021.

The action is brought on behalf of all current and former security guards who worked for Russell Security in the Province of Ontario since January 1, 2017, excluding any shifts worked at sites that were subject to the terms of a collective agreement.

The statement of claim alleges, among other things, that Russell Security violated the Employment Standards Act, 2000 and its contracts of employment with Class Members by requiring the Class Members to show up for work at least fifteen minutes early, but failing to compensate them for this time.  You can read a copy of the Statement of Claim here.

 

Updates:

May 27, 2022 – Notification letters to be sent out

The Settlement Administrator will be sending individualized Notification Letters to class members on or about May 31, 2022.  The Notification Letter will set out the amount of the Class Member’s share of the Claim Fund based on the Defendant’s records.

Please contact Tanya Atherfold-Desilva at tatherfold@goldblattpartners.com if you do not receive a Notification Letter by mid-June and/or if you have an address update.

April 11, 2022 – Update regarding distribution of settlement funds

We anticipated that payment of the settlement funds would be made to class members in Spring 2022.  However, on April 5, 2022, we were made aware that individuals who fell within supervisory roles or managerial classifications (who are not a part of the class) had mistakenly been sent Notices of Certification and Settlement (the “Notice”).

The class definition and occupational classifications within the class are:

Class Definition: All Security Guards employed by Russell Security in the Province of Ontario, for the period from January 1, 2017 to August 13, 2021, save and except for those employed under a collective agreement.

Occupational Titles: Alarm Response Standdown Guards, Arnell Guards (Bay Adelaide Centre only), Communications Centre Guards, Concierges, Console Guards, Contractor Watch Guards, Corporate Hosts, Couriers, Dock Masters, Elevator Guards, Emergency Constables (North Bay Regional Health Centre only), Fire Watch Guards, Flagperson Guards, Forensic Constables (North Bay Regional Health Centre only), Forensic Operators (North Bay Regional Health Centre only), Gate Guards, Labour Dispute Guards, Loading Dock Guards, Loss Prevention Guards/Operatives, Main Operators (North Bay Regional Health Centre only), Mobile Guards, Parking guards, Passcard Administrators, Patient Watch Guards, Patrol Constables (North Bay Regional Health Centre only), Patrol Guards, Plainclothes Guards, Plant Guards, Probationary Guards, Reception Guards, Security Escorts, Security Guards, Security Operations Centre (SOC) Guards, Senior Guards, Special Events Guards, Traffic Signaller Guards, and Trailer Control Guards.

The list of classifications within the class does not include supervisory or managerial classifications. Individuals who worked in a supervisory or managerial classification during the class period do not fall within the class, even if they worked unpaid pre-shift time and are subject to the Defendant’s policies and code of conduct.

Accordingly, the distribution of the settlement funds will be delayed while we work with counsel for Russell Security and the Settlement Administrator in order to investigate and confirm the correct class list and employment data. Once this process is complete, we will notify those individuals who were mistakenly sent Notices but are not part of the class.

After that process is complete, the Settlement Administrator will be able to finalize the class list and send Notification Letters to class members outlining the amount of their share of the Claim Fund based on the Defendant’s records.  Once the time for any appeals has passed (as outlined in the Notice of Certification and Settlement Approval and Distribution Protocol, which can be found below or under the “Documents” tab of the Settlement Administrator’s website), the Settlement Administrator will then finalize the distribution of the settlement funds and send cheques to Class Members.

We anticipate the process of finalizing the Class List to take several weeks; however we are working to ensure the above steps are completed as quickly as possible so that class members can receive their payments under the settlement in a timely fashion.

Please continue to monitor this website and the Settlement Administrator’s website (http://www.russellsecuritysettlement.com/) for updates.

January 6, 2022 –  Settlement Orders issued

The Superior Court has now issued the Orders related to the certification and settlement approval hearing last month. You can read the Order Approving Certification and Settlement, the Order approving the Settlement Administrator and distribution protocol, and the Order approving counsel fees.

The Notice of Settlement Approval is here. This Notice contains information that will answer many of your questions and should be read by all class members.

December 20, 2021 –  Settlement approved!

The Grigoryev v. Russell Security Services Inc. class action has been certified and the settlement has been approved by the Ontario Superior Court of Justice. The Notice of Certification and Settlement Approval will be sent to class members in the new year. After that, the Settlement Administrator will administer the settlement, with settlement payments to be made in spring 2022. Further updates will be made available on http://www.russellsecuritysettlement.com/ in early 2022.

Until then have a safe holiday season and a happy New Year.

August 2021 – Proposed Settlement

A settlement has been reached in this proposed unpaid wages class action.

The settlement, which is subject to court approval, provides that Russell Security will consent to the certification of the class action, and will pay $725,000 to the class members, inclusive of legal fees, disbursements, administrative expenses and an honorarium to the plaintiff.

The settlement also provides that Russell Security will update the sections of its Security Guard Handbook regarding reporting for duty and the briefing process to stipulate that the Class Members are expected to report for duty at the commencement of their scheduled shift. The updated Security Guard Handbook will further stipulate that if additional time is required for the briefing process, the guard being relieved is expected to report the amount and reason for the additional time and, if Russell Security determines that the additional time was worked, then guards will be paid for the briefing time. These updates will address the issues raised concerning the impugned policy and alleged practice at the core of this proposed class action, and will therefore effectively resolve the plaintiff’s claim.

The settlement was reached following a mediation between the parties with experienced mediator William Kaplan.

The settlement, which is subject to court approval, will fully and finally resolve the Russell Security class action. Following court approval, the settlement funds will be distributed to the class members for the claims arising during the class period. Payment will be made based on records provided by Russell Security.

Class Members will receive the Notice of Certification and Settlement Approval Hearing by email and text shortly. Class Members, please read this Notice carefully.

Among other things, the Notice:

  • provides details of the proposed settlement;
  • defines which employees and former employees are Class Members;
  • notes that the Certification and Settlement Approval Hearing has been set for December 20, 2021, and provides more information about the hearing. Instructions for viewing the hearing remotely can be found below; and
  • describes the opt-out process for any Class Members who do not wish to be included in the settlement. The deadline for opting-out is December 17, 2021. Class Members who opt-out will not be entitled to share in the benefits of the settlement. The opt-out form can be found at the end of the Notice.

For more information contact Christine Davies or Joshua Mandryk (contact information below).

Lawyers

Christine Davies, Joshua Mandryk

Practice Areas

Civil Litigation, Class Action Litigation, Employment Law