The class action lawsuit by former and current Canadian Hockey League players against the CHL for failing to pay players minimum wage received a boost this week. TSN’s Rick Westhead reports that the lawyers for the players obtained the standard player contract for the QMJHL prior to 2013 that supports the contention that players were employees rather than amateurs.
The language used in the QMJHL SPC refers to “employment” and “supervision and control of the club,” which usually indicates employment rather than amateurism. The contract also states that players receive weekly salaries, and that certain clauses detail how a player may lose salary due to a suspension. The argument is that this language is more indicative of an employee-employer relationship than an amateur relationship.
The basic premise of the lawsuit is that players should have been paid at least minimum wage while playing for the junior clubs. The clubs’ counterargument is that players were merely amateur students and not employees. The crux of the issue will be whether the players were treated like employees, regardless of what titles they were given.