New York fans of what is often called the country's national pastime may be interested to learn about an ongoing wage and hour lawsuit filed by a group of minor league baseball players against 22 different Major League Baseball franchises in eight states. Recently, a California judge ruled that the case can proceed to the discovery stage.
The players claim that the MLB violated the Fair Labor Standards Act as well as various state wage and hour laws. They are arguing that they worked between 50 and 70 hours a week during the five-month long season and were required to practice during the off-season. Despite this, the players were only paid between $3,000 and $7,000 for the season and nothing for the practice sessions, which would be equivalent to much less than the applicable minimum wage.
The players are seeking back pay plus overtime for the hours they worked beyond 40 hours. It is unclear what defense the MLB will raise, although it is likely it will claim the players are exempt from the FLSA as being employed by a recreational, seasonal establishment. Workers who work seasonally are in general exempt from federal minimum wage and overtime requirements.
Overtime disputes are fairly common. While some positions are exempt from overtime requirements, many are not. People who believe they should have received overtime pay for working more than 40 hours in a work week but weren't may want to meet with an attorney who has experience in employment law matters. Legal counsel may help by reviewing the job in question to determine if the FLSA and state laws apply. In the event the client should have been paid overtime, the attorney may then first try to negotiate a settlement with the employer, and if that is not possible, the attorney may then prepare and file a lawsuit in order to seek recovery of the money owed.