WHL lawsuit gets go-ahead from court
Alberta’s highest court has ruled that a class-action lawsuit against the junior Western Hockey League can proceed with the players involved. The suit contends 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 to the suit. The WHL is arguing its players are “amateur studentathletes” and it can’t afford to pay them minimum wage on top of benefits they receive, including post-secondary scholarships. 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 pending.