Grow: Minor leaguers secure class-action status in wage suit

From SABR member Nathaniel Grow at FanGraphs on October 22, 2015:

Minor league players scored an important victory in their minimum wage lawsuit against Major League Baseball on Tuesday, with a federal court agreeing to allow the players’ case to proceed as a class action lawsuit. As a result, Tuesday’s decision paves the way for potentially hundreds of additional current and former minor league players to join the lawsuit, dramatically increasing the scope of MLB’s possible liability in the case.

MLB’s minor league pay practices have been the subject of several different lawsuits over the past two years. One of those cases – asserting that MLB’s league-wide, uniform minor league wage scale violates federal antitrust law – was dismissed by the trial court last month.

Tuesday’s decision came in an earlier and more promising lawsuit, one that challenges MLB’s minor league pay practices under federal and state minimum wage and overtime laws. In Senne v. Office of the Commissioner of Baseball, a number of former minor league players contend that MLB routinely violates these legal requirements by paying minor league players as little as $3,300 per year – without overtime – for what is, in many respects, a year-round job.

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Originally published: October 23, 2015. Last Updated: October 23, 2015.