Labor Dept. Settles with 2 Major League Baseball Teams for Unfair Pay Practices and Investigates 2 More

Saturday, May 24, 2014
(graphic: Steve Straehley, AllGov)

Four professional baseball teams have run afoul of the U.S. Department of Labor over their low-balling wages for administrative and clubhouse workers.

 

According to a report by Myron Levin and Stuart Silverstein of FairWarning, federal regulators have reached settlements with two Major League Baseball clubs—the Miami Marlins and the San Francisco Giants—and are currently investigating two others: the Baltimore Orioles and Oakland A’s.

 

“Whether in America’s factories, fields or ball parks, a fair day’s work deserves a fair day’s pay,” David Weil, administrator for the Labor Department’s Wage and Hour Division, told FairWarning. “Unfortunately, in our recent investigations of Major League Baseball teams, we found employees not being paid the minimum wage and overtime to which they are legally entitled. That’s unacceptable and I am pleased that we have been able to secure back wages for those workers.”

 

Under a settlement reached with the Labor Department, the Marlins will pay $288,290 in back wages and damages to 39 team employees, including clubhouse and office staff.

Nearly two dozen clubhouse workers, who staff locker rooms before and after games, were paid $50 a day while working up to 11 hours instead of receiving minimum wage and overtime.

 

In the case of the Giants, the team has twice negotiated deals with the federal government to resolve violations of U.S. wage laws.

 

One settlement calls for the Giants to pay $220,793 in back wages and damages to 78 employees, most of whom were treated as interns receiving stipends. Regulators determined they should have been paid as minimum-wage employees eligible for overtime.

 

Last year, the Giants agreed to pay $544,715 in back wages and damages to 74 employees. Similar to the Marlins case, many of the workers worked in the clubhouse while being paid a flat daily wage of $55, when they should have been paid minimum wage and been eligible for overtime.

 

The investigations of the A’s and Orioles are ongoing, and reportedly involve allegations similar to those leveled against the Giants and Marlins.

-Noel Brinkerhoff

 

To Learn More:

Investigation of Pay Practices Targets Two More Major League Teams, the Orioles and A’s (by Myron Levin and Stuart Silverstein, FairWarning)

Labor Department Investigating Pay Practices of 2 Major League Baseball Teams (by Myron Levin and Stuart Silverstein, FairWarning)

FBI Investigates how Taxpayers Ended up Paying for Baseball Stadium They Voted Against (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)

Baseball Successfully Invokes Anti-Trust Exemption to Block Move by Oakland A’s (by Ken Broder, AllGov)

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