A former SoulCycle spinning instructor filed a class action lawsuit on May 2, 2013 alleging that the company violated wage and hour laws. In the complaint, former instructor Nick Oram alleges that SoulCycle failed to compensate him for the 15 to 25 hours per week that he spent preparing for class.
“It is my goal in this lawsuit to ensure that SoulCycle pays all the hard working and dedicated instructors what they deserve and compensates them fairly for all hours.”
Specifically, Mr. Oram claims that SoulCycle should have paid him for the time he spent developing routines, compiling playlists, and communicating with customers. Moreover, the complaint alleges that SoulCycle failed to reimburse him for the costs of MP3 players and business-related travel expenses. Mr. Oram, who recently appeared on Nightline on behalf of the company, also claims he was wrongly denied pay for marketing activities he engaged in to promote the SoulCycle brand.
SoulCycle’s popular spinning classes have legions of loyal fans who happily hand over $34 per 45 minute class. According to the company’s website, SoulCycle combines “inspirational coaching with high energy music.” SoulCycle’s spinning classes are located in posh neighborhoods in New York, Los Angeles, and the Hamptons. Celebrities such as Lady Gaga, Jake Gyllenhaal, Anderson Cooper, and Kelly Ripa are often spotted in the company’s classes.
According to the complaint, SoulCycle willfully and knowingly violated the New York Labor Law, the California Labor Code, and the Unfair Competition and Business Practice Act.
In a prepared statement, Mr. Oram said, “It is my goal in this lawsuit to ensure that SoulCycle pays all the hard working and dedicated instructors what they deserve and compensates them fairly for all hours.”
Mr. Oram’s attorney, Douglas Wigdor, a partner with the firm ThompsonWigdor, stated that SoulCycle “is yet another example of a company so focused on profits that it disregards the wage and hour laws that are designed to protect hard working and dedicated employees such as Mr. Oram and his colleagues.”
For its part, SoulCycle believes that the lawsuit, like a stationary bike, is going nowhere fast. The company denies all liability and has told reporters that it is in full compliance with wage and hour laws.
It’s now up to a federal court to decide if Mr. Oram is spinning his wheels or if he will ride off into the sunset with a large damages award.