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Month: September 2020

Class Action Q&A

In February 2019, a proposed class action was commenced against Flight Centre Canada, claiming that the company breached provincial employment standards legislation across the country by failing to track and properly compensate its travel consultants for the overtime hours they worked.

Flight Centre Canada denied these claims and has been defending this lawsuit. No determination has been made on the merits of the claims.

In July 2020, the parties entered into settlement discussions with the help of their respective counsel  (Goldblatt Partners LLP for the proposed representative plaintiff and Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP for Flight Centre Canada) and an agreed-upon mediator. Following a mediation, the parties reached a settlement, which is subject to court approval.

What settlement has been reached in this class action?

The parties have agreed to settle the class action and have executed minutes of settlement. Pursuant to the terms of the settlement, Flight Centre Canada will pay $7 million to the class. This amount includes legal fees, disbursements, administrative expenses, and an honorarium to the plaintiff. The funds will be distributed to class members, with each member’s respective portion to be calculated based on a number of factors, including their length of employment and province of work.

In addition, under the terms of the settlement, Flight Centre will implement a new timekeeping system for recording and tracking overtime hours.

The settlement is subject to approval by the Court.  The Court will hold a hearing to decide whether to approve the settlement in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice on a date to be determined.  The Court will decide if the settlement is fair, reasonable and in the best interests of the class members.

Who is affected by the settlement? And do I need to sign up?

You are affected by the class action and will be considered to be a “class member” if you meet the following definition:

All current or former Travel Consultants employed by Flight Centre in the Provinces of Ontario, British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland, for the period from December 2008 to the date certification is granted in this action.

You do not need to “sign up” to be a class member.  You are automatically a class member if you meet the definition referred to above.

However, we encourage class members to register here in order to receive further updates on this class action. But, again, you do not need to register in order to be included in the class.

Now that the parties have reached a settlement, what are the next steps?

The settlement is subject to approval by the Court.  The Court will hold a hearing to decide whether to approve the settlement in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice on a date to be determined.  The Court will decide if the settlement is fair, reasonable and in the best interests of the class members.

You do not have to attend the hearing (which may be held online). However, if you would like to attend, please contact our law clerk Tanya Atherfold-Desilva for details.

If you would like to make submissions in support of or against the proposed settlement, please send them in writing to Tanya Atherfold-Desilva.

What if I do not want to be part of this class action?

If you do not wish to be a part of this class action, you may opt out. Instructions on how to op out will be provided in due course.

By opting out of the class action:

  1. you are choosing to exclude yourself from the class action;
  2. you won’t be allowed to share or participate in any monetary settlement or judgment; and
  3. you will receive no further communications from class counsel.

How do I make a claim for compensation?

Details with regard to making a claim will be posted here and on the Flight Centre Class Action website once they become available.

What is the timeline for compensation to class members?

Details with regard to the timing of compensation will be posted here an on the Flight Centre Class Action website once they become available.

How will settlement funds be paid to class members?

Details with regard to the format of compensation will be posted here an on the Flight Centre Class Action website once they become available.

What criteria will be used to calculate my claim?

A class member’s respective portion to be calculated based on factors including their length of employment and province of work. 

Who are the lawyers working on this class action and how are they paid?

The law firm of Goldblatt Partners LLP represents members of this class action.

As an individual, you do not have to pay the lawyers working on this class action. The lawyers will be paid from the money collected in the class action. The Court will be asked to decide how much the lawyers will be paid.

The lawyers will be asking that the Court approve legal fees of up to 30% of the settlement funds, plus disbursements and applicable taxes. Any approved legal fees will be paid out of the settlement funds.

All amounts paid to class members will be subject to a required 10% statutory levy. This levy is paid into the Class Proceedings Fund, which assists plaintiffs in bringing and funding class actions.

Who can I contact if I have further questions regarding the settlement?

Class Members can contact:

Tanya Atherfold-Desilva
Email: tatherfold@goldblattpartners.com
Tel: 416-979-4233

For media inquiries:

Josh Mandryk
Email: jmandryk@goldblattpartners.com
Tel: 416-979-6970

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