U.S. Court Says Yes To MLB Class Action

Jake Cooper - 07 Oct 2020

Several minor-league baseball players alleging that they’re being paid less than the minimum legal wage will now be able to proceed with a class-action lawsuit against the league if they so choose. This following a recent ruling by the United States Supreme Court – which ruling has granted permission for such a class action suit to proceed.

The news was confirmed on Twitter by Garret Broshuis, the intended attorney of class action record and a former minor-league baseball pitcher himself.

Court Says No To MLB

This is not the outcome the MLB will have hoped for as the league previously lodged a special request with the Supreme Court, asking to be allowed to handle the matter internally – i.e. without a formal court trial. The deciding justices did not offer any explanation or comment regarding the reason or reasons behind the Court’s denial of the MLB’s request.

According to a news story ran by the Associated Press, the lawsuit involves minor-league players hailing from California, Florida, and Arizona. This is also not the first motion in the direction of a court approach as far as the disgruntled players go. The group first sued the MLB back in February 2014 – claiming at the time that most minor league players earn less than $7,500 per year. Such an amount, if indeed accurately reported, violates an entire array of U.S. laws.

MLB Has Too Much Say

The issue of underpaid minor league players has been a bone of hot contention for many years – even prior to 2014. A turning point in the wrong direction – at least from the perspectives of the complainants – happened in 2018, when the MLB successfully moved to pay minor-league players far less than the prescribed minimum wage. The rally was at the time supported by the controversial Save America’s Pastime Act. The issue at hand however was that said act was tucked into the folds of a much bigger reality and content – that of a humungous federal spending bill.

The argument pushed by the MLB at the time was one of minor league players qualifying only as seasonal workers.  The fact that they played only 5 months of a 12-month annual period by law exempted them from the usual protection offered by minimum wage laws in the United States.

And since all ties have since then been severed between the MLB and minor league team owners in terms of previously proposed restructures, the MLB are practically free to do whatever it is they want as far as wages are concerned.

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