Skip to Main Content

Ontario class action settlement reclassifies volunteers as employees, setting new precedent

August 11, 2022

S-Trip class action settles; employer to change its practices

Update:  You can watch the interview here and here:

The CBC has reported the settlement in the S-Trip class action, which alleged that the travel employer misclassified trip leaders as “volunteers” and failed to pay them wages, overtime, vacation pay and public holiday pay in accordance with the Employment Standards Act, 2000.

What’s special about this settlement? The employer has agreed to reclassify staff on future trips as employees rather than volunteers.  Josh Mandryk explains:

According to Montaque’s lawyer, Joshua Mandryk with Goldblatt Partners LLP in Toronto, there are 1,170 class members on record. A notice will go out to them; anyone who led a trip between June 3, 2014, and Oct. 23, 2020, will be eligible to file a claim for compensation.

The amount of money trip leaders will be entitled to depends on a number of factors, including how many former staff put in a claim for compensation and how many trips they took. Mandryk said it’s estimated that the compensation should cover the equivalent of eight hours of work a day for each trip a claimant took.

As a labour lawyer, Mandryk said he handles many of these types of cases, but what stands out about this one is that the company actually agreed to change its policies.

“I thought it was really significant and a really positive development to be able to get a class action settlement that actually results in people being reclassified on a go forward basis.”

Mandryk believes the case will send a message to workers and employers that there is recourse for employment misclassifications. He acknowledged it’s not always easy for workers to push back.

“It takes a lot of courage. And that’s especially the case like in D’Andra’s situation, where she was a young worker, she was just starting her career off just finishing school when this class action was launched in 2018,” said Mandryk.

“To come forward in those circumstances and to achieve what she was able to achieve — we’re just tremendously proud of what’s happened here.”

Read the entire article here.


Joshua Mandryk

Practice Areas

Class Action Litigation, Employment Law