Sports Illustrated had an interesting story recently about three minor league baseball players who have filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California over alleged violations of wage and overtime laws.
The magazine reported that three former minor league players, Aaron Senne, Michael Liberto and Oliver Odle have sued Major League Baseball, Commissioner Bud Selig, the Kansas City Royals, Miami Marlins and San Francisco Giants. The former players are hoping to expand the lawsuit to class action status on behalf of thousands of minor league players they say are/were illegally paid.
In the lawsuit, the players claim that most minor league players earn between $3,000 and $7,500 for a five-month season. According to Sports Illustrated, by comparison, fast food workers typically earn between $15,000 and $18,000 a year, or about two or three times what minor league players make.
Because of this, many minor league players have to hold other jobs during the offseason, while some even work part-time during the season. Many minor league players earn less than the federal poverty level, which is $11,490 for a single person and $23,550 for a family of four.
According to the lawsuit, while major league player salaries have risen by more than 2,000 percent since 1976, minor league salaries have increased by just 75 percent during that time. Sports Illustrated reported that when inflation is taken into account, minor league players actually earn less than they made in 1976.
The players say that their pay violated the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and state laws guaranteeing minimum wage and overtime pay. The act requires that an employees’ pay cannot fall below the minimum wage and that employees are owed overtime pay of one-and-a-half times the regular pay rate when working in excess of 40 hours per week.
The players contend that they worked between 60 and 70 hours per week, and were undercompensated based on their earnings.
How Do I Know If I Am Owed Wages?
Employees can attempt to file a class action lawsuit if their wages are in dispute. The FLSA exists to ensure that employees are given fair and just compensation for the work they perform.
If you have experienced a wage or overtime dispute, you may be able to file a lawsuit to obtain compensation. Our Los Angeles employment attorneys can help you decide whether to move forward with your case. Call our office today to schedule a consultation at (310) 273-3180.
Kesluk, Silverstein & Jacob—Los Angeles discrimination attorneys
Did You Know? The minimum salary for a Major League Baseball player is $500,000 per season.