(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

Alert Shuswap camper recognizes potential propane disaster

Salmon Arm resident lodges a complaint with Technical Safety BC.

Update: Fire at Tappen mill out, owner mopping up

Fire officials say owner will use heavy equipment to extinguish any remaining hot spots

Well-known busker finds happiness in the Shuswap

Friends and Neighbours by Leah Blain

Cyclist attempts to break Pan-America world record

German cyclist Jonas Deichmann is travelling through B.C. to Alaska. He plans to begin his attempt on Aug. 18.

Pulmonary fibrosis prompts cross-Canada ride

Cyclists stop in Shuswap to raise awareness and funds

France doubles up Croatia 4-2 to win World Cup

Played in Moscow Russia, latest Fifa World Cup marks the highest scoring final since 1966

Little girl from Alberta has uncertain encounter with goat

Friendly goat is a little intimidating to young visitor from Red Deer

Aerialists wow at the wharf

Musicians find large audience in popular summer concert series in Salmon Arm

Community concert and barbecue in Blind Bay a hit

Rain the Border Collie watches as a storm rolls in during Seal… Continue reading

Column: Catching kokanee in Shuswap Lake

Hank Shelley/Shuswap Outdoors

B.C. VIEWS: Making private health care illegal again

Adrian Dix battles to maintain Cuba-style medical monopoly

Almost every part of Canada’s largest national park deteriorating: federal study

Drawing on decades of research — the report lists 50 pages of citations

Activists protest outside Kinder Morgan terminal in kayaks, canoes

Tsleil-Waututh elder Ta’ah Amy George led the water ceremony from a traditional Coast Salish canoe

Most Read