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Category: News and Updates

Press release: The parties have reached a settlement

Proposed Settlement in the GoodLife Fitness Unpaid Wages Class Action

TORONTO, April 9, 2018

Carrie Eklund and her counsel at Goldblatt Partners LLP are pleased to announce that, following a two-day mediation with the Honourable George W. Adams in February, 2018, the parties have reached a settlement in the proposed unpaid wages class action, Eklund v. GoodLife Fitness Centres Inc. Pursuant to the settlement, GoodLife will pay $7.5 million to the class members, plus the cost of mediation and $1 million for class counsel’s legal fees. The settlement is subject to court approval, with the judicial approval hearing scheduled for June 20, 2018.

The proposed class action was launched in October 2016 and expanded nation-wide in January 2017. Subsequent to the filing of the claim, GoodLife made significant changes to its payment policies and practices, including scheduling paid prospecting hours for personal trainers and removing the claw-back of their commission, payment for preparation and administrative tasks of personal trainers that were previously unpaid, providing lieu time at the required time and a half instead of straight time for club opening specialists (together with some retroactive compensation), and implementing a new record-keeping system.

“I’m proud of what this case and this settlement have achieved for GoodLife employees,” said representative plaintiff Carrie Eklund. “I started this class action because I believed GoodLife employees deserved to be paid for all of their hard work, and the changes this claim encouraged and the settlement money to be paid to the class go a long way towards that goal.”

“This settlement puts millions of dollars into the pockets of current and former GoodLife employees, and the changes encouraged by this class action will mean millions more in wages for current and future employees each year going forward,” said Josh Mandryk, one of the lawyers for the Plaintiff. “We believe this is a great outcome for the Class, and we look forward to the settlement approval motion.”

“This settlement sends a strong message to the employer community that all work must be paid,” added co-counsel Christine Davies. “We are proud of what Carrie and the class have achieved.”

The proposed class includes current and former non-managerial GoodLife employees in the provinces of Ontario, British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island, for the period dating October 12, 2014 to the date the certification is granted. It does not include those employed at Fit4Less or franchise clubs, or personal trainers at GoodLife clubs in Toronto, Ajax, and Peterborough for the period from December 5, 2017 and ongoing.

More details related to the proposed settlement are available at www.goodlifeclassaction.com

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For more information:

Joshua Mandryk
Goldblatt Partners LLP
(416)-979-6970
jmandryk@goldblattpartners.com

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Details of the Proposed Settlement

Read the tentative settlement

The parties have reached a settlement in the proposed unpaid wages class action, Eklund v. GoodLife Fitness Centres Inc.

Pursuant to the settlement, GoodLife will pay $7.5 million to the class members, plus the cost of mediation and $1 million for class counsel’s legal fees.

The settlement is subject to court approval. A judicial approval hearing has been scheduled for June 20, 2018.

You can read the proposed settlement here.

Further information for class members will be posted on this website in the next few days, so stay tuned!

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The parties’ motion records have been filed!

As we reported last June, the plaintiff’s motion record to certify the Goodlife class action was filed with the Superior Court.  You can read the plaintiff’s motion record here and here.

We have been served with Goodlife’s responding motion record. It consists of six volumes:

Goodlife – Volume 1

Goodlife – Volume  2

Goodlife – Volume 3

Goodlife – Volume 4

Goodlife – Volume 5

Goodlife – Volume 6

The plaintiff is preparing her reply evidence, and we will post it here when it has been filed with the court.

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The motion for certification has been filed

On June 22, 2017, the plaintiff, Carrie Eklund, served and filed her motion record seeking to have this class action certified.

The certification hearing has been scheduled to be heard from April 10-12, 2018 before Justice Belobaba of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice. This will allow time for Goodlife to put together its responding record, for the plaintiff to file a reply record, for cross examinations to take place, and for the parties to prepare factums (written legal arguments) for the court.

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Goodlife class action goes nationwide!

Goldblatt Partners LLP announces today the nationwide expansion of its proposed class action against Goodlife Fitness Centres Inc. for unpaid wages, including overtime.

The proposed class action was initially filed against Goodlife’s club locations in Ontario, but will now include its club locations in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland. Goodlife does not operate any clubs in Quebec or the Territories.

Goodlife is the largest fitness chain in Canada, with approximately 365 locations nationwide. The claim against Goodlife, for damages totalling $85 million, is brought on behalf of its current and former non-managerial employees who worked for Goodlife since October 2014. It is expected that the class will be comprised of thousands of current and former employees.

The class action does not seek to recover unpaid wages (including overtime) for personal trainers employed in the City of Toronto, Ontario at any time after July 7, 2016, or in the City of Ajax, Ontario at any time after October 31, 2016, at which time these personal trainers became represented by the Workers United Canada Council.

The proposed representative plaintiff, Carrie Eklund, worked for Goodlife as a personal trainer at Goodlife’s Bathurst and Richmond club in Toronto from November 2014 until August 2015.

The statement of claim alleges that Goodlife regularly required or permitted its employees to work many additional unpaid hours beyond those for which they were scheduled in order to meet their sales targets and complete the duties required of them by Goodlife. However, as alleged in the statement of claim, Goodlife does not compensate its employees for these additional unpaid hours worked.

“The expansion of the class action is in response to an outpouring of messages from Goodlife employees from across the country,” said Charles Sinclair, counsel to the plaintiff. Josh Mandryk, co-counsel, added “What we heard from Goodlife employees from outside of Ontario was that their experiences were the same as those set out in the Statement of Claim, and that they didn’t want to be left out of the class action.”

The next major step in this case will be the filing of affidavit material by the plaintiff in support of a motion to have this case certified as a class action. The date for the certification motion has not yet been set.

Read the Amended Statement of Claim.

If you are a member of the class and you have questions or comments, or would like to receive updates on the class action, please fill out the registration form.

Inquiries may be directed to Charles Sinclair (416-979-4234) or Josh Mandryk (416-979-6970).

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Radio Canada covers the Goodlife class action (French)

Demande de recours collectif de 60 M$ contre GoodLife Fitness.

Josh Mandryk, un des avocats qui représentent les demandeurs du recours collectif, affirme que les politiques de GoodLife empêchent ses employés d’être adéquatement rémunérés pour leur travail, par exemple, pour la préparation de cours d’entraînement et le recrutement de nouveaux clients.

Certaines tâches ne sont pas reconnues par GoodLife et les heures supplémentaires consacrées pour ces tâches ne sont tout simplement pas comptabilisées et donc pas payées.

La firme de Josh Mandryk se spécialise en droit du travail. Goldblatt Partners, s’est occupé de dizaines de cas semblables, notamment pour protéger des employés de banque qui n’étaient pas payés pour leurs heures supplémentaires.

« Pour les employés non syndiqués du secteur privé, c’est très difficile de contester les politiques d’un employeur et il y a souvent des pressions pour faire des heures supplémentaires sans être rémunéré », affirme-t-il.

Vous pouvez lire l’article ici.

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GoodLife Fitness faces $60M class-action lawsuit over wages

The Toronto Star is reporting on the proposed class action lawsuit brought against Goodlife Fitness for unpaid wages, including overtime.

Josh Mandryk comments on the importance of the action:

“These are precarious workers, these are young workers, these are in many cases part-time workers, workers who face precarious schedules,” said Josh Mandryk, co-counsel on the case. “It’s really crucial for workers in these situations who face challenges standing up to these sorts of policies alone to come together and defend that principle that they should be paid for all their hours of work.”

Read the entire article here.

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