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McCracken v. Canadian National Railway Company

June 26, 2012

Unpaid Overtime Class Action

What this class action is about

On March 25, 2008, Goldblatt Partners and Roy O’Connor LLP commenced an unpaid overtime class action against the Canadian National Railway Company (“CN”).

The lawsuit alleges that CN misclassified first line supervisors as management employees in order to escape its obligations to pay overtime under the Canada Labour Code. The lawsuit further alleges that CN first line supervisors across Canada are routinely required to work hundreds of hours of overtime annually for which they are not paid.

We are working with Chivers Carpenter lawyers in Alberta and Melançon Marceau Grenier Sciortino in Quebec to ensure that employees in Western Canada, Ontario, and Quebec/Eastern Canada have access to local counsel to determine whether they qualify to be a member of the class.

The proposed representative plaintiff is Michael McCracken, a CN “first line supervisor”, who brings the case on behalf of over one thousand present and former CN first line supervisors across Canada.


June 26, 2012 – The class action has been dismissed

The Ontario Court of Appeal has granted the CN’s appeal of the decision to certify the class action. The Court held that the class action should not have been certified since there was not sufficient commonality between the individuals in the proposed class.

The threshold issue in the case was whether the supervisors in the proposed class had been misclassified (since supervisors are not entitled to overtime under the Canada Labour Code). The Court found that the members of the proposed class worked in many different positions with different job duties, and therefore the question of misclassification required an individualized assessment and could not be determined on a class-wide basis. Accordingly, the decision certifying the class action was overturned.

The Court of Appeal’s decision brought an end to this class action.

Read the Court of Appeal’s decision 

Tuesday, August 17, 2010: The class action has been certified

Justice Perell of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice has certified the class action.

Read the Superior Court of Justice’s decision


Steven Barrett, Christine Davies

Practice Areas

Civil Litigation, Class Action Litigation, Employment Law