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Report/Press release

$10 million class action lawsuit launched in Canada on behalf of current and former Denny’s Restaurant Temporary Foreign Workers

Date

2011-01-10

Authors

Fiorillo Glavin Gordon & Kestrel Workplace Legal Counsel

Abstract

Vancouver – A $10 million class action lawsuit has been filed against Denny’s Restaurants in BC by law firms acting on behalf of more than 50 foreign workers who allege their employment contracts have been breached.
Lawyers Charles Gordon and Christopher Foy filed the lawsuit in B.C. Supreme Court against Northland Properties Corporation - doing business as Denny’s Restaurants – and Dencan Restaurants Inc., the companies that run Denny’s Restaurants in British Columbia for breach of contract, unjust enrichment, breach of good faith and fair dealing and breach of fiduciary duty with respect to their employees hired through the Canadian Temporary Foreign Worker Program.
“More than 50 Filipino foreign workers came to Canada, mainly as cooks and servers, to take jobs at Denny’s Restaurants in BC but were required to pay approximately $6000.00 each to an agency that was recruiting employees for the Defendants and they have not received the hours of work, overtime pay, air travel and other conditions they were promised,” says Gordon. “As a result, the Defendants are in breach of contract and will be held to account in court.”
Gordon says a representative plaintiff, Herminia Vergara Dominguez, is bringing this employment related class action on behalf of a class of over 50 Filipino foreign workers who came to Canada under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program and were employed in Denny’s restaurants from December 1, 2006 to the present.
Foy says that while lost wages, travel, recruitment costs and punitive damages have led to a claim that could cost Denny’s more than $10 million, the case is a simple one.

“These workers were encouraged to come to Canada with a set of promises that have never been met – they have done their part but the Defendants have not lived up to their end of the deal.” Foy said.

The Notice of Civil Claim alleges, among other things, that the Defendants have breached the class members’ contracts of employment in the following manner:
• failing to provide the promised 40 hours of work per week;
• failing to correctly calculate and provide overtime pay;
• failing to pay the costs for air travel between the Philippines and Canada; and
• in addition, the class members paid approximately $6,000.00 each to a recruiter which the Plaintiff claims is:

• contrary to the contracts of employment;

• contrary to Human Resources and Skills Development Canada policy and guidelines of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program;
• contrary to a Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the Government of British Columbia; and

• contrary to s. 10(1) of the British Columbia Employment Standards Act
Foy said a class action case management judge will be assigned in the coming weeks and a case conference will be held to establish a timetable for the conduct of the action.

For more information and copies of the Notice of Civil Claim contact: Charles Gordon at 604-734-8001 or Christopher Foy at 604-736-6010 or Bill Tieleman, West Star Communications at 604-844-7827 or cell 778-896-0964

Series title

Fiorillo Glavin Gordon & Kestrel Workplace Legal Counsel

File Attachments

Economic sectors

Sales and service occupations - general

Content types

Policy analysis and Documented cases of abuse

Target groups

(Im)migrants workers, Policymakers, Journalists, Public awareness, Employers, agencies and their representatives, Researchers, Unions, and NGOs/community groups/solidarity networks

Regulation domains

Labour standards, Legal aid, Employment insurance, Migration expenses reimbursement mechanisms, and Determination fair wages and labour shortage

Geographical focuses

British Columbia

Languages

English