Minor Leagues and Microscopic Paychecks

by Rachel Baker on April 1, 2014

This is a really interesting story, and one that bears some thought for baseball fans.  The question is should we really care that minor league ball players make as low as $1,100 a month?

In February, three former minor leaguers sued Major League Baseball for violation of wage and overtime laws, alleging that they’re “powerless” in the face of the “collusive power of the MLB cartel.” A month later, the suit was amended to include more former players from 17 different organizations, as well as one current minor leaguer. These men had the courage to put into writing what anybody who has spent time around a minor league team already knows: Players are wildly underpaid for the obscene amount of hours they work.

More specifically, the suit argues that minor league compensation violates the Fair Labor Standards Act, which requires that any employee’s pay not fall below minimum wage and that all employees receive time-and-a-half for work done beyond a standard 40-hour week. Michael McCann has a great legal analysis at Sports Illustrated, which notes that baseball franchises are not exempt from this federal law, and it “may therefore be difficult for baseball to convince a judge to swiftly dismiss the case.” He continues by suggesting that the “longer the case goes, the more willing baseball may be to settle and perhaps change the way minor leaguers are paid.”

Read the whole article here:

http://www.slate.com/articles/sports/sports_nut/2014/03/minor_league_baseball_lawsuit_should_we_care_that_low_level_ballplayers.html

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