WHL law­suit gets go-ahead from court

Ottawa Citizen - - SPORTS -

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.

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