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Yoga Studios Alert – Are Your Instructors Paid By The Hour?

November 7, 2017

A group of spinning, aerobics and yoga instructors in Minnesota have sued Life Time Fitness, Inc., LTF Yoga Company, LLC and other affiliated entities, claiming that they were not properly paid for time spent preparing for class, cleaning up after fitness classes and attending required Life Time events.

Life Time Fitness, Inc., LTF Yoga Company, LLC and other affiliated entities classify their yoga instructors as independent contractors and pay their instructors by the hour for their work. This case is somewhat unique because most studios do not pay their independent contractors by the hour, but instead pay them per class. Because of the uncommon way they were paid, the Plaintiffs were able to argue that as independent contractors paid on an hourly basis, they should have been paid by the hour for time spent preparing for class and cleaning classrooms. Since the instructors were not paid for this time, they allege that the Defedants were “unjustly enriched” by the value of this work. Although the Defendants tried to argue that the claims should be dismissed, the unjust enrichment claims were allowed to go forward, and the case is now in the most expensive phase of a lawsuit—discovery.

It is not common for yoga studios to pay their independent contractor yoga instructors by the hour—and this case shows why. Determining how best to pay yoga instructors under the law can be a difficult process.  If you would like to discuss the particular employment concerns affecting the yoga industry and what Shulman Rogers could do to help your yoga studio, please feel free to give me a call at 301-945-9250 or email

The contents of this Alert are for informational purposes only, and do not constitute legal advice. If you have any questions about this Alert, please contact the Shulman Rogers attorney with whom you regularly work or a member of the Shulman Rogers Employment and Labor Law Group.


Joy C. Einstein