May 04, 2013 6:50pm PT by Aaron Couch, Erik Hayden
Lawsuit: SoulCycle Underpaying its Instructors
Things could spin out of control for SoulCycle if an ex-instructor has his say.
Former SoulCycle instructor Nick Oram filed a class action lawsuit Friday alleging his former employer did not provide pay consistent with the laws of New York and California.
According to the complaint, SoulCycle pays its trainers only for the time they spend teaching classes and does not compensate them for training, developing routines, attending meetings and creating playlists. Thompson Wigdor LLP is representing the instructors.
"This is a company that was growing extremely fast and is still growing very fast -- opening up new stores around the country -- and rather than focusing on compliance on wage and hour laws they've disregarded those and focused on the bottom line instead," Douglas H. Wigdor, a partner at Thompson Wigdor LLP, tells The Hollywood Reporter.
"The fact of the matter is that the instructors are paid for only the 45 minutes for which they teach and not the many additional hours that they are required to work," Wigdor says.
In addition to work in New York, Oram also held SoulCycle classes at West Hollywood and Santa Monica branches. "It is my goal in this lawsuit to ensure that SoulCycle pays all of the hard working and dedicated instructors what they deserve and compensates them fairly for all hours worked,” Oram said in a statement.
In a statement to THR, SoulCycle defended its compensation package. "We strongly believe that the compensation and benefits we provide to our team are amongst the best in the industry and that we are in full compliance with the law," a SoulCycle spokesperson said.
SoulCycle has a number of notable devotees, including Kelly Ripa, Anderson Cooper, Chelsea Clinton and Brooke Shields. In addition to 11 New York locations, the company has spots in Brentwood, Santa Monica and West Hollywood.
SoulCycle, which was founded in 2006 by Julie Rice and Elizabeth Cutler, is known for its cardio-heavy 45-minute classes.