(The Canadian Press)

B.C. WHL team owners can be named in lawsuit over players’ wages: court

A class-action lawsuit is asking for back wages, overtime and vacation pay

Alberta’s highest court has ruled that a class-action lawsuit against the Western Hockey League can proceed with the players involved, and that owners and former owners of B.C. teams can be named in the suit as well.

The claim contends that players have been paid less than the minimum wage — as little as $35 per week for between 40 to 65 hours of work.

It is asking for back wages, overtime and vacation pay.

The Court of Appeal dismissed various appeals calling for changes, saying the judge who granted certification last June was right to exclude players from the league’s teams in the United States.

“Absent a material change of circumstances, or reversal on appeal, the order stands,” said the ruling released Tuesday in Calgary. “Certification does not forbid evolution of the action.”

The allegations have not been proven in court.

READ MORE: Hanlon gone as Vancouver Giants GM

The WHL, meanwhile, is arguing its players are “amateur student-athletes” and it can’t afford to pay them minimum wage on top of benefits they receive, including post-secondary scholarships.

It also alleges several teams would fold if forced to pay minimum wage.

It’s the second such court case against a major junior league in Canada. The Ontario Supreme Court approved an action against the Ontario Hockey League last April.

A similar suit against the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League is also pending.

The three major junior hockey leagues, featuring a combined 60 teams of players between the ages of 16 and 20, fall under the umbrella of the Canadian Hockey League.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Kootenays unemployment rate best in B.C.

In one year, the region has gone from highest unemployment rate to lowest, at 3.1 per cent

Giant rotating ice disk forms in Maine river

Ice disk that is roughly 100 yards wide has formed in the Presumpscot River

SPCA seeks help for Shelby the dog

Cranbrook branch seeks help with costs for a Shih Tzu suffering from a number of medical issues.

Razor burn: Gillette ad stirs online uproar

A Gillette ad for men invoking the #MeToo movement is sparking intense online backlash

Feds poised to bolster RCMP accountability with external committee

Long-anticipated move is the latest attempt at rebuilding the force following years of sagging morale

Canada needs a digital ID system, bankers association says

The Department of Finance last week officially launched its public consultation on the merits of open banking

Indigenous energy summit includes session on pipeline ownership options

Steven Saddleback of the Indian Resource Council says a session will feature presentations on financing models

Japanese grand champion Kisenosato retires from sumo

The 32-year-old Kisenosato was the first Japanese-born wrestler in 19 years to gain promotion to sumo’s highest rank

UPDATE: Accused B.C. high school killer found fit to stand trial

Gabriel Klein is accused in the 2016 stabbing death of Letisha Reimer at Abbotsford Senior Secondary

Right-wing, neo-Nazi, white supremacist groups an increasing concern: Goodale

Ten people died in April 2018 when Alek Minassian allegedly drove a rental van down the busy stretch in Toronto

Most Read