(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

BREAKING: Clearbook Library evacuated due to bomb threat

Abbotsford Police continuing to investigate for remainder of the day

‘Beauty amongst such tragedy:’ B.C. photographer captures nature’s trifecta

David Luggi’s photo from a beach in Fraser Lake shows Shovel Lake wildfire, Big Dipper and an aurora

Air quality advisory continues in the Lower Mainland

Smoke from Interior fires brings fine particulate

Plan to develop Fraser Valley Inn unveiled

Six-storey mixed-use building would recreate facade of existing structure and add public plaza

Cleaning up Abbotsford OK Tire after 2017 fire a ‘priority’ for company

Over a year after fire, rebuild delayed by environmental concerns, investigation, building requirements

‘We will not forget:’ Thousands attend funeral fallen Fredericton officers

Hundreds of officials marched in the parade, which included massed band, several police motorcycles

‘Hard on water:’ Smoke not the only long-range effect of wildfires

The project began more than 10 years ago after southern Alberta’s 2003 Lost Creek fire

B.C. VIEWS: Genuine aboriginal rights can be misused and discredited

Camp Cloud one of long line of protests falsely asserting title

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to march in Montreal’s Pride parade

Trudeau will end the day in his home riding of Papineau

Vancouver Whitecaps give up late goal in 2-2 draw with New York Red Bulls

Four of Vancouver’s next five games are at home

B.C. man designer behind Canucks’ retro jersey

Jeremie White was 20 years old when he told Canucks assistant GM Brian Burke he had a design

Lions give up late TD in 24-23 loss to Argos

B.C. falls to 3-5, fumbling away last-minute chance in Toronto

Most Read