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Author: vpayne

Court approves parties’ settlement!

The Ontario Superior Court of Justice has approved the parties’ settlement in this class action.

You can read the decision here.

There are a number of steps the parties must take before any of the settlement monies can be paid out.

The court will require notices to be sent to class members. If you are registered on this site, you will receive those notices. They will also be posted on this website.

A system for class members to claim their share of the settlement funds, and for those funds to be distributed, will also have to be established. This process will take some time, so please be patient. We will post the notices and instructions for you as soon as they are available.

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You can attend the settlement approval hearing

The Settlement Approval Hearing will take place via Zoom on November 9, 2020 at 10 a.m. before the Honourable Justice Belobaba.

Justice Belobaba will determine whether:

  • the class action will be certified
  • the settlement reached by the parties will be approved
  • the distribution protocol will be approved, and
  • the counsel fees and plaintiff honorarium will be approved

Members of the Class and public may attend the approval motion hearing, but are not required to.

ZOOM LINK UPDATED If you wish to attend the hearing on November 9, 2020 at 10 a.m., the Zoom details are as follows:

Join Zoom Meeting

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88484009546?pwd=dHZxUW5UVjNmM0t6NU15MU04ekx6dz09

Meeting ID: 884 8400 9546

Passcode: 788956

One tap mobile

+16699006833,,88484009546#,,,,,,0#,,788956# US (San Jose)

+19292056099,,88484009546#,,,,,,0#,,788956# US (New York)

Dial by your location

        +1 669 900 6833 US (San Jose)

        +1 929 205 6099 US (New York)

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        +1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)

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Meeting ID: 884 8400 9546

Passcode: 788956

Find your local number: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/keJdq6mjFGReplyReply allForward

You can read: The Plaintiff’s Factum; The Plaintiff’s Motion Record, Part 1; The Plaintiff’s Motion Record, Part 2; and The Plaintiff’s Supplementary Motion Record.

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Important information for class members about the settlement approval hearing

The Superior Court of Justice has approved the Notice of Certification, Settlement, Distribution Protocol and Fee Approval Hearing. This Notice of hearing will be sent to class members to ensure they know that a hearing will take place on November 9, 2020 to determine whether:

  • the class action will be certified
  • the settlement reached by the parties will be approved
  • the distribution protocol will be approved, and
  • the counsel fees will be approved

The court also approved the parties’ plan for sending the Notice to class members.

You can read the Notice of Certification and Settlement Approval, Distribution Approval, and Fee Approval Hearing here. It provides important information for all class members. La version française est disponible içi.

You can read the Distribution Protocol here.

Class members who wish to opt out of the class action should fill in and submit the Opt Out Form available here.

Read the court’s Order approving the Notice and the plan to disseminate the Notice here.

More information about the proposed settlement, claims procedure and opt-out process can be found at this website.

Update: You can attend the settlement approval hearing.

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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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The parties have reached a settlement!

Stephen Aps and Goldblatt Partners LLP are pleased to announce that the parties have reached a $7 million settlement in the proposed employment class action, Aps v. Flight Centre Travel Group (Canada) Inc

You can read the joint press release issued by the parties here.

Read the settlement agreement here.

The next step will be to get court approval for the settlement. Further details regarding the settlement approval hearing will be provided in due course.

NOTE: In the next day or two, we will post a Q&A page for current or former Flight Centre travel consultants who have questions about what they need to do next. Stay tuned!

Media inquiries? Contact Josh Mandryk.

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Read the Plaintiff’s evidence

Before a claim can proceed as a class action, it must be certified by the Superior Court. We have now served and filed the Plaintiff’s motion record, which contains evidence supporting the motion to certify this class action.

The motion to certify the class action is scheduled to be heard in November 2020.

In the meantime, the defendant will prepare its evidence, and the parties will have an opportunity to cross-examine each other’s witnesses. Counsel will then have to prepare their factums – the written arguments they will use to try to convince the court that the claim should or should not be certified as a class action. All these other documents will be posted here as we receive or prepare them.

You can read the plaintiff’s evidence here.

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Travel giant Flight Centre routinely failed to pay workers overtime, class action says

The Star reports on the proposed class action against Flight Centre today, and introduces the proposed representative plaintiff, Stephen Aps. The Star notes that the basis of the claim is that Flight Centre “regularly required” employees to work beyond their scheduled hours but instituted “unlawful” overtime policies that shortchanged them out of payment and overtime protections.

The Star spoke to Nadine Blum and Josh Mandryk:

Goldblatt lawyer Nadine Blum said the retail travel industry is a “high pressure” sector where employees are often expected to work as long as required to hit sales targets and support customers.

“The employers who reap the benefits of that work should be properly compensating employees for their time,” she said.

“We hope that this proposed class action serves as a powerful reminder that employees are not disentitled to overtime pay merely because they are paid on a salaried basis,” added co-counsel Josh Mandryk.

“There’s a misconception that employees who are on commission aren’t entitled to overtime and that’s not the case.”

Read the article here.

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