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Shift Change on Short Notice Not Grounds for Overtime

Date First Published on HR Insider: April 10th, 2008

A collective agreement set a ship oiler’s work schedule as 06:00 to 18:00 and required the employer to provide 48 hours’ notice of any changes. The employer told the employee to work 16:00 hours to 24:00 hours for two days without providing the required notice. An adjudicator ruled that the employer had violated the collective agreement and owed the oiler $160 in overtime. The court disagreed. Although the employer did violate the agreement, the oiler didn’t suffer any financial loss as a result. Moreover, the agreement didn’t provide for any monetary remedy for this type of violation. So, the court said that the decision to award overtime pay was “patently unreasonable” and overturned it [Canada (Attorney General) v. McKindsey, [2008] F.C.J. No. 92, Jan. 21, 2008].

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