Class Action

CHL Class Action Lawsuit

Charney Lawyers PC has commenced a proposed class action (“the class action”) lawsuit against the CHL, OHL, WHL, QMJHL and all teams in those leagues. The lawsuit is brought on behalf of all current and many former CHL players. It seeks millions of dollars in outstanding wages, overtime pay, holiday pay and vacation pay.

Visit CHLClassAction.com for more information and updates on the litigation.

 

Participation in CHL Class Action

CHL players may click here to register their contact information with Charney Lawyers.

It is important to this class action that many current and former CHL players sign up. We need your help to understand how players were treated by the CHL, your roles and responsibilities on the team, and how much money you may be owed. We will also be able to update you with major developments in the case.

All information will be held by this law firm in confidence. There is no fee associated with signing up. Canadian and American players are included in this action.

If you have any questions, contact Brendan O'Grady, associate lawyer, at 416-964-7950 ext 246 or brendano@charneylawyers.com. All conversations will be held in confidence.

Introduction to the CHL Class Action

The CHL Class Action is actually three class actions: one in Toronto (against the CHL, OHL and OHL teams), one in Calgary (against the CHL, WHL and WHL teams) and one in Montreal (against the CHL, QMJHL and QMJHL teams).


The CHL oversees the three "major junior" hockey leagues in North America: the OHL, the WHL, the QMJHL. Most major junior hockey teams are "for profit" businesses.


Every CHL player must sign standard-form player agreements with his team, which is then approved by the league. Under these contracts, the players were remunerated as little as $35 per week. The players work on average 40 hours per week, and up to 65 hours per week during long road trips. This is well below minimum wage in every Canadian province and US state with a CHL team.

The class action claims that the players are employees. Therefore, the players are entitled to statutory minimum wages.

Updates on the CHL Class Action

March 2019 - Divisional Court of Ontario unanimously allowed the plaintiffs' appeal and certified claims in negligence and conspiracy. Read the Court's decision here.

October 2016 - Justice Hall of the Alberta Court of Queen's Bench has ordered the defendant leagues and clubs to produce their financial records. Read the Court's decision here.

 

October 2016 - Justice Hall of the Alberta Court of Queen's Bench has denied the defendants' application to strike the plaintiff's evidence. Read the Court's decision here.

 

October 2016 - Ted Charney appeared on the CBC to discuss players' entitlement to wages. Listen here.

September 2016 - The plaintiff has brought a Court application seeking to have the WHL and OHL clubs disclose their financial records and tax returns. The application is to be heard in Calgary on October 7, 2016. To learn more, read this article by TSN’s Rick Westhead and watch his interview on CTV here.

July 2016 - The Hockey News has published an article entitled, "Why it might be a good thing for junior teams to pay minimum wage – and be fewer of them" by Ken Campbell that supports paying major junior hockey players minimum wage. Read the article here.

December 2015 - The Walrus magazine has published a detailed article by Nicholas Hune-Brown on the CHL Class Actions entitled, "Hockey’s Puppy Mill: A former junior player takes the CHL to court." The article provides some background information and explains some of the key issues in the litigation. Read the article here.

November 2015 - The plaintiffs have updated their pleadings in the class actions against the OHL and WHL. The pleadings lay out the key allegations laid against the defendants. Read the OHL pleadings here. Read the WHL pleadings here.

August 13, 2015 - Washington state legislators passed a law in May that gives Western Hockey League teams the legal right to avoid paying players minimum wage. According to government case files, this law was passed against the legal advice of the state's assistant attorney general who advised that players should probably be considered as employees, and thus receive protection under minimum wage laws. Read the report of TSN's Rick Westhead here.

February 24, 2015 - The Plaintiff's Motion Record for Certification can be found here.

February 17, 2015 - The Washington State Senate Committee on Commerce and Labor and the House Committee on Labor are considering amendments to labor legislation that would exclude the WHL teams in the State of Washington from minimum wage laws.  You can read the proposed Bills here and here. Charney Lawyers, on behalf of its clients, has made written submissions to the Senate Committee voicing opposition to the Bills. You can read Charney Lawyers' submissions to Washington State's Senate Committee on Commerce and Labor here.

October 20, 2014 - Click here to read the Press Release, dated October 20, 2014.

Am I Eligible to Participate in the CHL Class Action?

You are eligible to participate if any of the following apply to you:

  • Played for a team in Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island after October 2012
  • Played for a team in British Columbia, New Brunswick or Nova Scotia after October 2011 at age 18, after October 2010 at age 17, or after October 2009 at age 16
  • Played for a team in Ontario, Alberta, Manitoba or Prince Edward Island after October 2011 at age 18 or after October 2010 at age 17
  • Played for a team in Saskatchewan between October 2012 and January 2015
  • Played for a team in Saskatchewan between October 2011 and January 2015 at age 17 , or between October 2010 and January 2015 at age 16
  • Played for a team in Quebec after October 2011
  • Played for a team in Quebec after October 2010 at age 17, or after October 2009 at age 16
  • Played for a team in Pennsylvania after October 2010
  • Played for a team in Pennsylvania after October 2009 and age 17, or after October 2008 at age 16
  • Played for a team in Michigan, Oregon, Washington or Maine after October 2008
  • Played for a team in Michigan, Oregon, Washington or Maine after October 2007 at age 17, or after October 2006 at age 16

Important Note:

The site is not designed to answer questions about your individual situation or entitlement. Do not rely upon the information provided on this website as legal advice in respect of your individual situation nor use it as substitute for individual legal advice.

The information collected about potential class members will assist counsel in prosecuting the class action and assessing what damages were suffered by the class as a whole. Providing the information requested does not make you the client of Charney Lawyers. The court will ultimately decide who will be included as a class member.

 

MEDIA

 

"Hockey Fight in Ontario"

-TVO, The Agenda with Steve Paikin, March 11, 2019

 

Watch video here

 

"Chiarello: an offside move by the Ontario government"

- London Free Press, November 23, 2018

 

Read the article here

 

"Union alleges intimidation after minister orders OHL examination"

-The Sports Network, April 22, 2015

Read the article here

 

"Cracks in the Ice under Proposed Labor Law Exemption for Hockey"
- nw news network, March 18, 2015

Read the article here

 

"J.P. Barry, NHL agent, calls for better compensation for CHL players"
- CBC, March 10, 2015

Read the Article and Listen to the Interview here

 

"CHL should pay $187 for 'illegal' conspiracy, former players say"
- TSN.com, February 24, 2015

Read the article here

 

"Child Labor, Lawsuits, and How Junior Hockey Exploits Its Players for Profit"
- Vice Sports, January 29, 2015

Read the article here

 

"Lawsuit seeks to have junior players paid minimum wage"
- ESPN.com, January 29, 2015

Read the article here

 

"Westhead: State attorney recommends further labour probe of junior hockey"
- TSN, December 4, 2014

Read the article here

 

"Can junior hockey lawsuit change amateur sports?" Ted Charney appeared on the MSNBC program Sports Matters to discuss the CHL Class Action on December 22, 2014

Watch the video here.

 

"Washington L&I to Move Ahead with WHL Investigation"
- KVEWTV.com, December 4, 2014

Read the article here

 

"Washington expands probe of WHL, hockey franchises"
- King 5 News, December 4, 2014

Read the article here

 

 

"Investigation into Washington's WHL teams expands"
- Heraldnet.com, December 9, 2014

Read the article here

 

"Scott Stinson: Spectre of junior hockey litigation hangs over world tournament"
- Windsor Star, December 2, 2014

Read the article here

 

"Junior hockey players deserve to be paid decently: Editorial"
- The Toronto Star, October 26, 2014

Read the article here

"Star Investigation: Document contradict CHL stance on junior players amid lawsuit"
- Toronto Star, October 31, 2014

Read the article here

 

"Westhead: Lawsuit charges QMJHL rewrote player contracts to avoid paying minimum wage"
- TSN, October 31, 2014

Read the article here

"Poursuit de 50 millions contre la LMJHQ"
- La Presse, October 31, 2014

Read the article here

"Employee vs. Contractor - the CHL Lawsuit"
- Hockeyland Canada, October 23, 2014

Read the article here

"Class action lawsuit filed against Canadian Hockey League over wages"
- The Toronto Star, October 20, 2014

Read the article here

"Duff: Toronto lawyer says CHL lawsuit is a cut-and-dried issue"
- The Windsor Star, October 20, 2014

Read the article here

"Junior hockey lawsuit could change amateur sports"
- Welland Tribune, October 20, 2014

Read the article here

 

"Players file class action lawsuit against the CHL"
- The Canadian Press, October 20, 2014

Read the article here

"Toronto Lawyer files $180-million class action lawsuit seeking minimum wage compensation for CHL players"
- The London Free Press, October 20, 2014

Read the article here

"'We believe that our players are amateur student athletes' - Canadian Hockey League insists"
- The Province, October 20, 2014

Read the article here

"Westhead: CHL players who join $180M lawsuit can stay anonymous"
- TSN, October 20, 2014

Read the article here

 

Ted Charney interviewed on AM 1150 Kelowna
- October 21, 2014

Listen to the interview here

"Charney: Why I'm suing the CHL"
- Ted Charney interviewed on Offside, TSN 1200 in Ottawa, October 21, 2014

Listen to the interview here

Ted Charney interviewed on the Jeff Blair Show
- Sportsnet 590 the Fan, October 21, 2014 (interview begins at the 33 minute mark)

Listend to the interview here

David Branch, President of the CHL, interviewed by Bob McGowan
- Prime Time Sports, Sportsnet 590 the Fan, October 21, 2014 (interview begins at the 22 minute mark)

Listen to the interview here

David Branch interviewed on Metro Morning
- CBC Radio, October 21, 2014

Listen to the interview here

 

 

CASE LAW

 

McCrimmon v. Canada, [2000] T.C.J. No. 823

 

Judicial Endorsements

 

“I find that the plaintiff’s counsel presented a well prepared, organized and efficient case… The medical issues were complex. It involved evidence of psychiatrists, physiatrists, orthopaedic surgeons, occupational therapists, future care specialists, vocational alternatives, forensic accounting and quantification of damages. The jury had to be presented with present valuations of past and future loss of income and projections of future care costs."

 

-Giordano v. Li [Ontario Superior Court of Justice, 2015]

Ted Charney represented the plaintiff in this three week personal injury jury trial securing a $900,000 verdict for chronic pain syndrome.


"Charney... is unquestionably qualified to act as counsel."

 

-Ison T Auto Sales v. Zurich Insurance [Ontario Court of Appeal, 2011]

Ted Charney acted for Ison T Auto Sales i.e. Toronto Honda on the appeal.


"The Whiting Group Counsel Team consists of 11 law firms from 7 provinces across Canada and includes some of the most experienced class action firms in Canada with a broad range of experience in class actions with particular expertise in product liability class actions and personal injury. Four of these law firms are in Ontario where the action will be based and includes counsel who are very experienced in class action litigation and have the resources and experience to advance this claim in Ontario or on a national scale. This fact favours the Whiting Group."

 

-Whiting et al v. Menu Foods Income Fund [Ontario Superior Court of Justice, 2007]

Charney Lawyers was a member of the Whiting Group and appeared as counsel on the motion to decide carriage.


"Mr. Charney conducted the Applicant's case in an exemplary and efficient manner, which was to the benefit of all concerned, his clients, the insurer and myself alike."

 

-Amoa-Williams v. Allstate Insurance Co. of Canada [Financial Services Commission of Ontario, 2001]

Ted Charney acted for the insured.


 

 

Who you gonna call - Ted Charney
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