Judge: Minor League Baseball Players Are Employees, not Apprentices

Major League Baseball is awash in cash.

The team’s average value is $2.2 billion. A typical player earns $4.17 million annually, and 45 earn minimum $20 million. Now that MLB as well as the MLB Players Association union have settled their disagreements and signed an agreement to collectively bargain The minimum salary for players is increased from $570,500 to $700,000.

The lower professional leagues are a different matter but. The majority of MLB teams have minor league teams that are designed to help develop players, and the players of those teams are paid between $8,000 to one-fourth of a million dollars annually. The last time they played, the players on team Baltimore Orioles’ Double-A team called known as the Bowie Baysox, contemplated sleeping in their cars since they had to spend 80percent of their earnings at the hotel of the team.

It’s an unfair system that is governed with MLB as well as its players which claim that minor leaguers are seasonal employees that look more like apprentices rather than workers. MLB is dependent on the minor leaguers’ acceptance of low wages and difficult conditions so that If they are successful in “The The Show” they will be rich.

MLB is Brushed Then, MLB Pays

However, on March 15 the federal judge made the ruling which could drastically transform the method by which professional baseball teams compensate minor leaguers. In a ruling of 181 pages, U.S. District Court Judge Joseph Spero concluded that minor leaguers were employees of the federal law of labor. The judge declared that MLB and minor-league franchises share the responsibility of hiring players and have to compensate their time for traveling and practice prior to the season.

Spero has ruled that MLB was in violation of Arizona law regarding minimum wages in the state and could be held at risk of being held accountable for damages in the triple range. The judge also found that MLB didn’t comply with California requirement for wage statements and handed out penalties of $1,882,650 for plaintiffs who filed a class action suit.

The judge ruled against MLB motions for summary judgement and permitted the plaintiffs’ claim of underpayment to be heard in the trial scheduled to begin on June 1. If the parties do not settle by the trial begins, it will decide on the amount of the damages MLB has to pay.

The decision is primarily aimed at minor league players from Arizona, California, and Florida However, it does raise questions about what the larger impact of the ruling could be. After a judge has decided that MLB has the right to recover unpaid wages for a set of players not paid What does that affect those who are currently playing in all minor leagues?

MLB Experiences Heat

The lawsuit, Senne v. MLB is going on since. Fourteen former players have filed the suit, alleging that MLB infringed on its federal Fair Labor Standards Act and the state’s minimum wage requirements and overtime rules in workweeks which were typically between 50 and 60 hours. Plaintiffs were granted the status of a class action in the year 2019 and fought off an attempt to MLB to disqualify this class after they were denied class status when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of the plaintiffs in the year following. The suit now encompasses thousands of active and former minor league players from Arizona, California, and Florida. These are the states in which MLB teams have their spring training. These teams generally don’t distribute paychecks at that time.

MLB is feeling the heat of the Sennelawsuit as well as the negative reviews about its minor-league rigidity for a long time. To counter the pressure, MLB turned to Congress for help and protection, and in 2018 , they were granted protection. The Save America’s pastime Act disqualified minor league players from federal minimum wage and overtime regulations the move was a decision that MLB as well as the owners claimed was essential to ensure that they did not cut the amount of minor-league teams.

In 2020, MLB decided to eliminate the minor league teams of 42 which left just 120. The league also started taking modest steps to raise the pay of, at most insignificantly, for minor leaguers. The minimum wage for players in Class A was increased from $290 (that does not mean it was a mistake) up to $500. The salary for Double-A athletes was increased from $350 to $600. For players who are Triple-A, and only have one stop to the big leagues, it was increased from $502 to $700.

Some are embarrassed by news stories such as that of Bowie Baysox players living out of their vehicles, MLB this year is requiring minor league teams to offer accommodation for players. (We’ll check to see how it goes.)

Fans Are Losing Interest

However, the sport could face greater issues than just how it plans to pay its minor leaguers. Its market share is declining.

In December of this year, Seton Hall University released a survey showing that 33% of baseball enthusiasts and 44% of all-time supporters said they’d be having “less curiosity” for the sport when the lockout comes to an end and games begin again. (The lockout was lifted on in March.)

The game has evolved into slow and boring. In 2021, the typical MLB game ran 3:10 which was the longest game ever. The game is lagging as well as too many pitches as well as a lot of dawdling from both hitters and pitchers. This game calls for major changes. Therefore, perhaps MLB could just be able to pay its minor leaguers properly and turn their efforts towards repairing their declining revenue.

It’s not necessary to solve this on your own – Seek the help of a lawyer

A consultation with a lawyer could aid you in understanding your options and help you defend your rights. Browse our lawyer directory to locate a lawyer close to you that can assist.

Minor league baseball players for years have been thought of as apprentices. However, an upcoming court decision says they’re employees and have a right to higher wages.