Although many people may suggest that Major League Baseball (MLB) players possibly make too much money, the opposite is true for their Minor League counterparts. In the wake of a growing lawsuit against MLB, research has come to light indicating that many minor league players earn below the hourly minimum wage of $7.25 per hour.
However, the MLB’s antitrust exemption — which is unique to the MLB and no other major sports organizations — virtually exempts it from standards of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
An MLB spokesperson made a statement in October on the situation:
“MLB believes that the compensation paid by its Clubs to Minor League players is in full compliance with the law. The minimum wage and overtime provisions of federal and state wage and hour laws were not intended to apply to professional athletes such as Minor League baseball players…”
According to plaintiffs in the lawsuit, many minor leaguers only make $1,100 per month for the length of the season, and they are expected to work many unpaid hours per work week. Spring training, for example, is unpaid.
“Even though clocked hours are considered game-time hours, there are still a lot more things that go into work,” explained Mets’ union representative Curtis Granderson to USAToday. “If you are only working between the start of the game and the end of the game, you’re probably going to end up without a job.”
The plaintiffs in the lawsuit against MLB, ex-commissioner Bud Selig, and every big-league team hope to raise paying standards to a more livable wage.
Are you confused about your rights in the workplace? Call Joseph & Kirschenbaum, LLP right now at (212) 688-5640, or email the team at firstname.lastname@example.org, to explore what you can do about an employer whom you suspect has violated the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), New York Labor Laws (NYLL) or other labor laws.