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Montaque v. S-Trip

June 29, 2022

Employment Law Class Action

What the class action is about

This proposed class action is brought against four related companies – Handa Travel Student Trip Ltd. o/a I Love Travel, Campus Vacations Holdings Inc., 2504027 Ontario Inc. o/a Breakaway Tours, and 2417988 Ontario Inc. o/a S-Trip! (together “S-Trip”).

The statement of claim alleges, among other things, that S-Trip violated the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (the “ESA”) and its contracts of employment with Trip Leaders by misclassifying Trip Leaders as “volunteers” and failing to pay them wages, overtime, vacation pay and public holiday pay in accordance with the ESA. The claim seeks various damages, including for unpaid wages, overtime, and Canada Pension Plan and Employment Insurance Act premiums.

The claim has been filed on behalf of all Trip Leaders who worked for S-Trip on trips commencing in or departing from Ontario since May 18, 2016.

The proposed representative plaintiff is D’Andra Monteque, who worked as a Trip Leader for S-Trip in 2017. More details of the proposed class action are available at:
s-tripclassaction.com.

Updates

June 29, 2022: The settlement has been approved!

The settlement in this class action has been approved by the Ontario Superior Court. You can read the judge’s decision here. Stay tuned for more information.

June 21, 2022:  Attend the Settlement Approval Hearing

You can attend the Settlement Approval Hearing on June 27, 2022 at 10 a.m. here:

[Hearing complete; Zoom link deleted]

April 26, 2022:  A tentative settlement has been reached!

A tentative settlement has been reached in this class action. The settlement, which is subject to court approval, provides that the corporate defendants will pay $450,000 to the class members, inclusive of legal fees, disbursements, administrative expenses and an honorarium to the plaintiff.

The settlement also provides that the corporate defendants shall classify destination staff as employees pursuant to the Employment Standards Act, 2000, S.O. 2000, c. 41 (“ESA”), the Employment Insurance Act, S.C. 1996, c. 23, and the Canada Pension Plan, R.S.C., 1985, c. C-8 (“CPP”) on a go-forward basis following final approval of the settlement.  “Destination staff” includes Directors, Coordinators, Trip Leaders/Bus Captains and any future positions performing substantively similar duties or roles under different job titles.

In accordance with the classification of destination staff as employees pursuant to the ESA, the corporate defendants will be required to implement a system to track and record their hours of work for the purposes of compensating hours of work and overtime and maximum allowable hours of work, and any other obligations imposed by the ESA or subsequent amendments..

The settlement was reached following a mediation between the parties, which took place in May 2021. The Minutes of Settlement can be read here.

The settlement, which is subject to court approval, will fully and finally resolve this 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 the defendants.

The Notice of Certification and Settlement Approval Hearing has been sent to class members by email and SMS text. The Notice is also available here. Class members, please read the 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 Settlement Approval Hearing has been set for June 27, 2022, and provides more information about the hearing. Instructions for viewing the hearing remotely will be provided at a later date; 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 May 15, 2022. 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.

October 24, 2020:  Class action certified!

The Ontario Superior Court of Justice has certified this lawsuit, which allows it to continue as a class action. You can read the decision here.

October 20, 2020:  You can attend the certification hearing!

The hearing to decide whether this case can continue as a class action is scheduled for Thursday, October 22.  It will begin at 10:00 a.m.

You can watch the hearing by clicking on the Zoom video link below.

**Please join the hearing 10-15 minutes prior to 10 a.m., and remember to mute your microphone.

[link disabled]

September 29, 2020:  Statement of Claim amended and served; New certification date set

The motion for certification scheduled for April was postponed and has now been rescheduled for October 22, 2020.

The plaintiff has amended the statement of claim again, with leave of the court. You can read the Amended Amended Statement of Claim here.

October 2, 2019:  Motion for certification rescheduled

The motion for certification in the S-Trip class action has been rescheduled. Originally set to begin this month, the motion has now been scheduled for April 21 and 22, 2020.

March 1, 2019:  Motion Record and Amended Statement of Claim have been served

The plaintiff’s motion motion record and amended statement of claim have been served on the defendants.

The motion record sets out the plaintiff’s evidence supporting certification of the class action. The defendants must now prepare their responding motion record. After that, the parties may cross-examine the persons who submitted affidavits, and then the parties will prepare their written legal arguments.

Read the evidence in the plaintiff’s motion record here.

Lawyers

Charles Sinclair, Joshua Mandryk, Jody Brown

Practice Areas

Civil Litigation, Class Action Litigation, Employment Law