Employment Law

CDK cyberattack hits Canadian car dealerships: Employee rights

A blue car parked in front of glass windows, potentially at a car dealership in Canada.

What’s happening

Last Wednesday, CDK Global, a Chicago-based company providing software to thousands of auto dealers in Canada and the U.S., experienced consecutive cyberattacks. This led to a precautionary system shutdown, resulting in an ongoing outage that continues to impact operations.

Details and reaction

CDK Global is calling the cyberattack that took down its software platform for its auto dealership clients “a ransom event.”

  • In a memo to clients on Saturday, CDK said, “Thank you for your patience as we recover from the cyber ransom event that occurred on June 19th.”
  • Spokespersons for CDK Global have stated that they have begun the restoration process, but that clients should anticipate that it will take several days to complete.
  • CDK Global has also warned its customers against potential “bad actors” who may attempt to pose as CDK affiliates and contact customers in an attempt to gain system access.
  • The cybercriminals behind the CDK attack are linked to a group called BlackSuit, according to Bloomberg.

The impact on Canadian dealerships

According to numerous news outlets, the cyber attack at CDK has impacted multiple dealerships across Canada:

  • BMW Group Canada: Confirmed the outage has been impacting some retail locations, but they remain “open for business.”
  • Nissan Group: Acknowledged the situation and are continuing to determine the impact on business.
  • Honda Canada: Have stated that they are working to understand the ‘full scope” of the situation.

Representatives from Ford Motors, General Motors and Toyota have not commented at this time.

Issues are to be anticipated, however car sales intend to continue. Many car buyers have experienced delays at dealerships or in vehicle orders, and while there is no immediate solution, dealerships have assured that the safety of their customer information will remain a priority.

Potential impact on employees

As a result of the ongoing cyberattack, some car dealerships may reduce employees’ working hours or pay because they cannot operate as usual.

In Canada, it is illegal for an employer to make fundamental changes to an employee’s job without consent. Any significant changes to employment terms, such as hours or compensation, can be treated as a termination, entitling the employee to a full severance package. This is called a constructive dismissal.

Changes to your job in Ontario
Alberta employee rights when changes occur
Changes to your work in B.C.

If your hours have changed or your ability to earn income has been affected, you may have the option to consider these changes as constructive dismissal. However, you should not take any action without first seeking legal advice from an employment lawyer at Samfiru Tumarkin LLP.

Pocket Employment Lawyer

Questions about your employment rights? Use our interactive tool to find out what your options are.

Get Answers Now

Talk to an employment lawyer

Lost your job? Contact our team immediately.

The knowledgeable team of employment lawyers at Samfiru Tumarkin LLP has secured proper compensation for tens of thousands of non-unionized individuals across the country.

In addition to severance package negotiations, our lawyers have experience securing solutions for the following legal matters:


If you are a non-unionized employee in Ontario, Alberta, or B.C. who needs help with an employment issue, contact us or call 1-855-821-5900 to get the advice you need, and the compensation you deserve.

Get What You're Owed

Our employment lawyers are ready to help you solve your workplace issues.

Get Help Now

Advice You Need. Compensation You Deserve.

Consult with Samfiru Tumarkin LLP. We are one of Canada's most experienced and trusted employment, labour and disability law firms. Take advantage of our years of experience and success in the courtroom and at the negotiating table.

Get help now