Grow: Scout hiring and pay practices challenged in new lawsuit

From SABR member Nathaniel Grow at FanGraphs on July 7, 2015:

MLB’s pay practices have come under considerable scrutiny in recent years. In 2013 and 2014, the U.S. Department of Labor launched a series of investigations examining whether several MLB teams violated the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) by failing to pay their clubhouse attendants, administrative workers, and interns in accordance with the FLSA’s minimum wage and overtime requirements.

At the same time, MLB has also been hit with four different lawsuits over the last two years alleging that the league’s pay practices violate the FLSA and/or federal antitrust law. The most notable of these cases were two suits filed last year contending that MLB teams routinely fail to pay their minor-league players either the minimum wage or overtime. Those cases – which assert that minor leaguers often earn as little as $3,300 per year – currently remain pending against 22 MLB teams.

Now, yet another group of MLB employees is coming forward to challenge MLB’s pay practices. In a new class action lawsuit filed last week in New York federal court, former Kansas City Royals scout Jordan Wyckoff contends that MLB teams have unlawfully agreed not to compete with one another for the services of their amateur and professional scouts. As a result, the suit – Wyckoff v. Office of the Commissioner of Baseball – asserts that a number of MLB scouts currently make less than the minimum wage and are not paid overtime, even when working more than 40 hours in a given week.

Wyckoff alleges that these practices not only violate the FLSA, but that they fail to comply with both federal and state antitrust law as well.

Read the full article here:

Originally published: July 7, 2015. Last Updated: July 7, 2015.