Minor league players and MLB reach minimum wage deal – New York Daily News
Minor league players and Major League Baseball have reached a settlement in a lawsuit alleging the teams violated minimum wage laws.
Terms of the settlement were not filed with the court on Tuesday and details have not been released. Two people familiar with the negotiations, speaking to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the release of details was not authorized, said the parties had discussed in recent weeks a possible settlement of the order of 200 million dollars.
“We are pleased to announce that the parties have reached an agreement in principle in this more than eight-year-old case, subject to court approval,” the players’ attorneys said in a statement. “We look forward to filing preliminary approval documents with the court and cannot comment further until then.”
Both parties have asked the court for permission to file before July 11 for approval of the settlement.
The lawsuit was filed in 2014 by first baseman/outfielder Aaron Senne, a 2009 Marlins 10th-round pick who retired in 2013, and two other retired players who had been lower-round picks : Kansas City infielder Michael Liberto and San Francisco pitcher Oliver Odle. They alleged violations of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act and state minimum wage and overtime requirements for a workweek they estimated at 50 to 60 hours.
A trial was scheduled to begin June 1 in U.S. District Court in San Francisco. Several categories of actors are part of a case involving laws in different states.
A letter filed with the court by attorneys for both sides asked Chief Justice Joseph C. Spero to postpone a conference scheduled for Tuesday and the trial.
“The parties are pleased to advise the court that they have reached a settlement in principle of the matter,” the letter reads. “The parties have agreed to a confidential memorandum of understanding. The settlement is subject to ratification by the respective parties, and we are in the process of preparing the settlement documents.
The Pinstripe Express
Daily News sportswriters select the best Yankees stories of the week from our award-winning columnists and beat writers. Delivered to your inbox every Wednesday.
The letter was signed by Elise M. Bloom of Proskauer Rose on behalf of MLB and by Clifford H. Pearson of Pearson, Simon & Warshaw and Stephen M. Tillery of Korein Tillery on behalf of the players.
Spero wrote in a pretrial ruling in March that minor leaguers are year-round employees who work training time and found MLB violated state minimum wage law. Arizona and was liable for treble damages. Spero also ruled that MLB failed to comply with California’s wage statement requirements, awarding $1,882,650 in penalties.
He said minor leaguers should be paid for travel time to California League road games and for training in Arizona and Florida.
“These are not students who enrolled in a vocational school on the understanding that they would render services, without remuneration, in the practical training necessary to complete the training and obtain a license,” Spero wrote.
The case was returned to district court by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in 2019 after attorneys for the players and MLB spent years debating whether it should be given class action status.
Spero ruled that MLB is a joint employer with teams of minor league players; that these players are doing “work” during spring training; that travel time on team buses to away games is compensable under FLSA, Florida and Arizona laws and that travel time for California League players to away games is compensable under California law.
In 2017, prosecuting players were defined as those with minor league contracts who played in the California League for at least seven consecutive days beginning on February 7, 2010, or February 7, 2011, depending on state or federal claims; those who participated in spring training, extended the spring training instructional leagues in Arizona beginning February 7, 2011; and those who participated in spring training, extended the spring training instructional leagues in Florida beginning February 7, 2009.