Legends On Deck

Minor Leaguers Sue MLB Teams For Failure To Pay Proper Wages


Photo by: Gabe Rodriguez

On Tuesday, ESPN.com reported that a federal judge in California granted conditional class certification to minor league baseball players who have filed a law suit against major league teams for not paying them minimum wage.

Under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), employees have the right to bring civil actions against their employers to recover unpaid minimum wages, back compensation for overtime not paid, and liquidated damages. Section 216(b) of the FLSA allows employees to bring a collective or class action on behalf of themselves and other similarly situated employees. Class actions under § 216(b) are not true class actions within the meaning of Rule 23 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Instead of having an opt-out procedure as in a Rule 23 class action (in which employees are part of the suit unless they take action to get out of it), there is a opt-in procedure under § 216(b) (in which employees have to affirmatively state that they want to be part of the lawsuit).

According to ESPN:

The suit was filed in February 2014 claiming that players are required to work long hours during the season and perform other duties required by their MLB bosses in the offseason without adequate compensation.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Joseph C. Spero on Tuesday granted a motion asking the court to certify a proposed Minor League Collective under the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Minor Leaguers that are included in the suit, are players who worked for any MLB franchise since February 7, 2011 and had not spent any time in the major leagues during that time.

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