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Minor league baseball players sue MLB for wage violations

A group of former minor league baseball players filed a class action lawsuit in California against 22 Major League Baseball franchises. The plaintiffs allege that they were paid less than minimum wage, denied overtime compensation and required to train without pay during the off-season. After denying the defendants' motion to dismiss the lawsuit against them, a federal district court judge decided on July 13 that the case could proceed to the class certification stage.

According to the former minor league players, the MLB violated the Fair Labor Standards Act and several different state wage and hour laws. The players allege that they were paid about $3,000 to $7,000 each for the five-month seasons that they worked. The plaintiffs say that they worked between 50 and 70 hours for the MLB each week.

Similar lawsuits have been filed against MLB teams in the past, and judges have often sided with the teams after the teams claimed a seasonal exemption. Employers who run a seasonal amusement or recreational establishment for less than seven months of the year are exempt from the minimum wage and overtime requirements set forth in the FLSA. The Sarasota White Sox and the Detroit Tigers were both successful in claiming the seasonal exemption after they were sued for violating the FLSA.

Not all companies that hire seasonal employees qualify for an exemption from the requirements in the FLSA. A seasonal worker who has been denied minimum wage and overtime pay may want to discuss their case with an employment law attorney. A person who has worked under these conditions may be entitled to claim financial compensation for the wage law violation.

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