Berg v. Canadian Hockey League et al.
Employment Class Action
Update: June 13, 2017 – Defendants file appeal
The defendants have appealed the Superior Court’s decision certifying the class action against the Ontario teams.
Update: May 29, 2017 – Plaintiffs file appeal
The plaintiffs have appealed the Superior Court’s refusal to certify the class action against the American teams. The appeal will be heard by the Divisional Court.
Update: April 27, 2017 – Class action certified
The Ontario Superior Court of Justice has certified the class action in respect to the teams that are located in Ontario. The issues that have been certified are the plaintiffs’ claims for breach of employment law statutes and unjust enrichment.
The class action was not certified in respect to the American teams in the OHL. The Court held that players who are pursuing claims to enforce Michigan and Pennsylvania statutes can do so in Michigan and Pennsylvania.
What this class action is about
A proposed class action has been filed against the Canadian Hockey League, the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) and all of the teams in the OHL on behalf of former and current major junior hockey players. If you are a former or current player who played between 2010 – 2016 for Canadian teams, and between 2008 – 2016 for American teams, you can register for the class action.
Major junior hockey is big business, generating revenues for the teams, while the devoted young hockey players who work their hearts out do not get paid. The class action aims to change that.
The plaintiffs’ position is that the Standard Player Agreement is actually an employment contract where the players agreed to provide services to the club. If this class action is certified, the Court will decide whether hockey players are employees. If the Court concludes they are employees, eligible players would be entitled to receive minimum wage and overtime pay, just like other young people who work for businesses.
The class action was filed by Charney Lawyers PC, a firm specializing in class actions. Goldblatt Partners subsequently joined as co-counsel. A related class action was filed in Alberta in respect to the players and teams in the Western Hockey League.
The motion for certification is scheduled to be heard in Toronto from March 21 to 23, 2016.
The representative plaintiffs
The representative plaintiffs, Samuel Berg and Daniel Pachis, are former OHL members.
Class action website
More information about the proposed class action, including copies of many of the documents filed with the Court, is available at chlclassaction.com.
Frequently asked questions about class actions.