NEW YORK – Major League Baseball has agreed to pay minor league players $ 185 million to settle a federal lawsuit alleging violations of minimum wage laws, a case that went through the courts for eight years without reaching a trial.
An initial estimate is that perhaps 23,000 players could share the money with an average payout of between $ 5,000 and $ 5,500, according to a file from Brian Kriegler, an expert on player damage. No more accurate totals will be calculated until eligible players are notified.
The agreement, announced on May 10, was filed Friday in the U.S. District Court in San Francisco, where Chief Justice Joseph C. Spero is expected to grant its approval.
“This agreement is a monumental step for minor league players toward a fair and equitable compensation system,” Garrett Broshuis, the players ’lead attorney and former minor league pitcher, said in a statement. “I’ve seen first-hand the financial struggle players face as they earn poverty wages – or no wages – in pursuit of their big league dream.”
If approved, $ 120,197,300 will be distributed among players, $ 55.5 million will go to players ’lawyers and up to $ 5.5 million will cover the costs of reimbursing the lawsuit.
In addition, $ 450,000 will be for the administration costs of the deal, $ 637,000 will go to incentive prizes for players’ representatives in the suit, $ 400,000 for a contingency fund and $ 2,315,000 for a payment under the Private Attorney General’s Act of California, which allows sanctions for violating state labor code.
MLB told the court it did not oppose the approval of the agreement.
“We are only in the second year of a major overhaul of the 100-year player development system and we have made great strides in improving the quality of life of minor league players,” MLB said in a statement. “We are proud that minor league players are already receiving significant benefits, which include free housing, quality health care, several meals a day, college tuition assistance for those wishing to continue their education, and more than $ 450 million. in annual signing bonuses for first-year players.
“We are pleased to be able to reach a mutually agreed resolution, but we cannot comment on the details until the agreement is formally approved by the court.”
As part of the proposed deal, MLB agreed to rescind any ban on teams paying salaries to minor league players out of season.
“MLB will also issue a memorandum to clubs warning clubs that they must compensate minor league players in accordance with applicable wage and hour laws in Arizona and Florida during spring training, extended spring training, leagues of training and the championship. season in those states, including the applicable minimum wage laws, “the proposed agreement says.
The lawsuit was filed in 2014 by first baseman / gardener Aaron Senne, a pick in the tenth round of the Marlins in 2009 who retired in 2013, and two other retired players who had been selected in the bottom round: Kansas City infielder Michael Liberto and San Francisco. the pitcher Oliver Odle. They alleged violations of the Federal Equitable Labor Standards Act and state minimum wage and overtime requirements for a week of work that they estimated to be between 50 and 60 hours.
Spero wrote in a pre-trial ruling in March that minor league players are employed year-round working during training time and found that MLB violated Arizona state minimum wage law and was responsible for the triple damage. Spero also testified that MLB did not meet California payroll requirements, and awarded $ 1,882,650 in fines.
He said minor league players should be paid for travel time to road games in the California League and to practice in Arizona and Florida.
“For decades, the 30 Major League Baseball team owners have openly conspired to pay less to minor league players,” Advocates for Minor Leaguers executive director Harry Marino said in a statement. “Players are required to provide between six and nine months of free work each year. Today’s announcement of agreement is a recognition and an important first step in remedying that injustice.”
Minor league advocates have pressured Congress to investigate the treatment of minor league players and further limit baseball’s antitrust exemption. Congress passed a law in March 2018 that strips players of the protection of the federal minimum wage law.
In 2017, defendant players were defined as those with minor league contracts who played in the California League for at least seven consecutive days beginning February 7, 2010 or February 7, 2011, depending on state or federal claims; those who participated in the spring training, expanded the spring training instruction leagues in Arizona as of February 7, 2011; and those who participated in the spring training, expanded the spring training instruction leagues in Florida as of February 7, 2009.
The settlement explained how the legal fees were determined.
“A grant of fees of 30% of the common fund is reasonable given the lawyer of the risk class he assumed in presenting this new case of wages and hours, the effort they made to litigate the case for eight years through a lengthy appeal and even on the eve of the trial, and the excellent result achieved, “the agreement said.
More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, transmitted, rewritten or redistributed without permission.
MLB will pay minor league players $ 185 million to settle the lawsuit
Source link MLB will pay minor league players $ 185 million to settle the lawsuit