MLB to pay minor leaguers $185 million to settle lawsuit

When Major League Baseball agreed to pay $185 million to settle a lawsuit alleging the league violated federal wage laws in compensating minor leagues, an advocacy group called the settlement a “first step.” to revise the minor league salary structure.

“We will not be satisfied until minor leagues have a seat at the table to negotiate fair wages and working conditions, as is customary in professional sports,” the nonprofit Advocates for Minor Leaguers said in a statement on Friday.

According to documents filed Friday in US District Court in San Francisco, the settlement provides $120 million for approximately 20,000 minor leagues who previously participated in the 2009 California League and spring training or extended spring training in Arizona. The exact number of eligible players and the amount each player would receive have not been determined.

MLB had argued that travel time and spring training time shouldn’t count towards pay for jobs the league says are comparable to seasonal work. In March, Judge Joseph Spero ruled that the minor leagues should be considered year-round employees.

As part of the settlement, MLB agreed to lift its ban on off-season minor league pay and to notify teams that during spring training and extended spring training they will “compensate minor league players in accordance with wage and hour laws.” have to”.

In 2018 — four years after filing the lawsuit — MLB persuaded Congress to pass legislation that required teams to pay the minor league minimum wage during the regular season but exempted them from paying overtime.

The minimum annual salary at Triple A is about $14,000, while the minimum salary at the top level of the smaller hockey leagues is $52,000. The Senate Judiciary Committee is investigating whether baseball’s antitrust exemption might explain some or all of these differences, proponents and their allies believe.

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred told the Times this week that the “really sensible” exercise of the antitrust exemption was to allow the league control over the relocation of franchises. He said he doesn’t think the exemption limits minor league pay.

“I really don’t,” he said. “We have made tremendous improvements in wages, hours and working conditions in minor league baseball over the past several years. we pay more Working conditions are significantly improved. Travel is less. The training facilities are better. And 90% of the minor leagues get housing.

“The other thing to keep in mind is that minor league baseball is the result of hundreds of millions of dollars in subsidies from major league baseball.”

The settlement dollars not shared among all eligible players will be split between legal fees, administrative costs and additional payments to players who provided their names to the lawsuit.

https://www.latimes.com/sports/story/2022-07-15/major-league-baseball-to-pay-minor-leaguers-185-million-settle-lawsuit MLB to pay minor leaguers $185 million to settle lawsuit

Emma Bowman

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