In a win for minor league baseball players seeking to raise their wages, a federal court of appeals ordered today that a 2014 lawsuit brought by minor league baseball players seeking minimum wage and overtime pay could proceed as a class action. The case was originally brought by forty-five current and former minor league baseball players against MLB, MLB Commissioner Bud Selig, and a number of MLB franchises.
Minor league baseball players often make less than $7,500 per year, and their low wages regularly put them below the minimum rates required by law. In spring training, the players work without pay—usually working seven days per week for an entire month.
The players asked the Court to certify a class to adjudicate their minimum-wage and overtime claims for work performed in California, Arizona, and Florida. The Ninth Circuit agreed. As a result, thousands of current and former minor-league players will have their minimum-wage and overtime claims heard on the merits.
“It’s a great result for minor league players everywhere,” said Robert King, the Korein Tillery, LLC partner who argued the case before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals on behalf of the plaintiffs. “It was a determined effort by our team at Korein Tillery and our co-counsel at Pearson, Simon & Warshaw. We look forward to prosecuting the case to trial.”
Bobby Pouya of Pearson, Simon & Warshaw, LLP, stated that, “we are pleased with the Ninth Circuit’s decision today and believe it is not only important for the minor leaguers we represent in this case, but other employees who are fighting for fair wages. We look forward to proceeding to trial and proving that defendants’ pay practices for minor leaguers are illegal and woefully inadequate.”