All persons who worked as Trip Leaders for the Defendants on trips under their Breakaway Tours and/or S-Trip brands commencing in or departing from Ontario at any time during the period from June 3, 2014 to the date of certification, being October 23, 2020. Members of the Class are bound by the terms of the Settlement unless they validly opted out by May 15, 2022.
Members of the Class are bound by the terms of the Settlement unless they validly opted out by May 15, 2022.Top
The detailed terms of the Approved Settlement are set out in the Settlement Agreement between the parties. A copy can be viewed on this class action settlement website under the Documents tab, www.s-tripclassaction.com, and www.goldblattpartners.com. This FAQ contains a summary of some of the key terms of the Settlement Agreement.
Pursuant to the Approved Settlement, the Corporate Defendants shall classify destination staff as employees pursuant to the Employment Standards Act, 2000, S.O. 2000, c. 41 (“ESA”), Employment Insurance Act, S.C. 1996, c. 23, and the Canada Pension Plan, R.S.C., 1985, c. C-8 (“CPP”) on a go-forward basis following Final Approval. For greater clarity, destination staff includes, Directors, Coordinators, Trip Leaders/Bus Captains and any future positions performing substantively similar duties or roles under different job titles.
In accordance with the classification of destination staff as employees pursuant to the ESA, the Corporate Defendants shall implement a system to track and record their hours of work for the purposes of compensating hours of work and overtime and maximum allowable hours of work, and any other obligations imposed by the ESA or subsequent amendments.
Pursuant to the Approved Settlement, the Defendants will also pay $450,000 (the “Settlement Fund”) to compensate for trips the Class Members took during the Class Period. Payments will be made from the Settlement Fund for Class Counsel fees, disbursements and a representative plaintiff honorarium. There will also be holdbacks for administrative expenses and taxes (approximately $94,213). The remaining amount (the “Claim Fund”) will be distributed to Class Members through a claims process overseen by a Claims Administrator, RicePoint Administration Inc. (the “Claims Administrator”), based on the number of S-Trip or Breakaway Tours trips worked by a Class Member as a Trip Leader during the Class Period (“Trips”). It is estimated that the Claim Fund will be approximately $210,700.83.
Class Members will make a claim to the Claims Administrator using a claim form pre-populated with data provided by the Defendants regarding the Trips worked by the Class Member during the Class Period. The Claims Administrator will determine how many Class Members have made a claim and will divide the amounts among Class Members based on the number of Trips worked, when they worked on Trips, and whether Trips worked on or after May 22, 2016 were for Breakaway Tours or S-Trip. Trips that occurred in the pre-limitation period (Trips worked prior to more than two years before the commencement of the Class Action, i.e. Trips prior to May 22, 2016) will be discounted for the fact that claims made more than two years before the losses occurred are usually subject to a “limitation period” and disallowed, subject to certain exceptions. Based on an estimated 50% take-up rate in each category, it is estimated that Class Members who submit an eligible claim will receive $100 for each Trip worked during the pre-limitation period, $324.78 for each Breakaway Tours Trip worked during the post-limitation period, and $668.30 for each S-Trip Trip worked during the post-limitation period. When factoring in their $150 honoraria and the deemed value of their room at board under the Employment Standards Act, 2000, this means that Class Members would be paid the equivalent of just over eight hours at the weighted average minimum wage during the Class Period for Trips during the post-limitation period. These payments are just estimates and may be higher or lower depending on the ultimate take-up rate.
Payments to Class Members are subject to income tax and statutory payroll deductions such as CPP/EI.Top
To receive a payment under the Settlement, you must complete an Administration Form and submit it to the Claims Administrator by December 29, 2022.
Class Members will be required to make a claim on the online claims portal on this class action settlement website: www.s-tripsettlement.com.
If your name is on the Class list provided by the Defendants, you will be considered a member of the Class. If your name is not on the Class list, you may be required to submit documents proving your membership in the Class. If the Claims Administrator determines you are not a Class Member, you may appeal to a referee, provided you pay a fee.Top
If you have a dispute regarding the Records used to calculate your entitlement as detailed on the Administration Form (“Dispute”), you must advise the Claims Administrator of the Dispute and provide documentation or reasons in support of an alternative calculation within the one hundred and twenty (120) days following distribution of the Notification Letters. Class Counsel shall review the information provided by any Class Member and, if necessary, seek input from the Defendants and Claims Administrator. Class Counsel shall then instruct the Claims Administrator on how compensation to the Class Member shall be calculated, and the Claims Administrator shall advise the Class Member of any new calculation or the reason for maintaining the original calculation within thirty (30) days of receiving the Dispute. If this Dispute is not resolved to your satisfaction, you may appeal the Claims Administrator’s determination to a referee, provided you pay a fee (“Dispute Appeal”).Top
The deadline to submit the Administrative Form is December 29, 2022.Top
Payments to Class Members who do not submit an Administration Form by the deadline are at the discretion of Class Counsel. Once a distribution of the Relative Shares has occurred, Class Members who submit a late Administration Form will only be eligible to receive a payment in the event surplus funds remaining after Distribution (e.g. due to stale-dated cheques). Such payments may be in an amount lesser than the Relative Share. Such amounts are final and not subject to any appeal. A decision that an Administration Form was not submitted by the deadline is final and not subject to any appeal.
An Administration Form will not be considered late solely because the Class Member is required to prove their membership in the Class, where the Class Member submitted their Administration Form to the Claims Administrator prior to the deadline and the Administration Form was otherwise complete.Top
You will receive payment by cheque. Class Members will need to ensure their updated address and contact information is provided to the Claims Administrator. The settlement payments are taxable and subject to employment-related deductions such as CPP/EI. Cheques not cashed within six months will be treated as stale, and any such amounts may be donated to charity in accordance with the terms of the Settlement.Top
Pursuant to the Approved Settlement, Class Counsel (the lawyers for the Class Members) will receive legal fees of $100,000, plus HST of $13,000, and disbursements of $22,199.49 plus HST of $2,885.93. This is consistent with the retainer agreement between the representative Plaintiff and Class Counsel. Pursuant to the Approved Settlement, the representative Plaintiff will receive $5,000 which recognizes her efforts and time in advancing this class proceeding.Top
The Settlement entirely resolves the issues in this Class Action. The Settlement represents a compromise of the disputed issues in the litigation. The Settlement takes into account a variety of factors including the risks inherent in continuing the litigation and the time that would be required to finally resolve the matter, including appeals.Top
For more information, or if you have any questions, please contact Class Counsel or the Claims Administrator at contact information below:
Goldblatt Partners LLP
Attention: Tanya Atherfold-Desilva
20 Dundas Street West, Suite 1039
Toronto, Ontario M5G 2C2
Tel: 416-979-4233 / Fax: 416-591-7333
Email: [email protected]
RicePoint Administration Inc.
S-Trip Class Action Administrator
P.O. Box 3355
London, Ontario N6A 4K3
Email: [email protected]