NEW YORK (AP) – Minor league and Major League Baseball players have reached a settlement in a lawsuit alleging teams violated minimum wage laws.
The terms of the hearing were not filed in court on Tuesday and details were not released.
“We are pleased to report that the parties have reached a settlement in principle in this more than eight-year case, subject to the court’s approval,” the players ’attorneys said in a statement. “We are looking forward to filing preliminary court approval papers and will not be able to comment further until then.”
The lawsuit was filed in 2014 by first baseman/outfielder Aaron Senne, a 10th-round Marlins pick in 2009 who retired in 2013, and two other retired players who became lower-round picks: Kansas City infielder Michael Liberto and San Francisco pitcher Oliver Odle. They admitted violations of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act and state minimum wage and overtime requirements for a work week they estimated to be 50 to 60 hours.
A trial is scheduled to begin June 1 in U.S. District Court in San Francisco.
A letter filed by the court by attorneys for both sides asked Chief Magistrate Judge Joseph C. Spero to postpone a conference scheduled for Tuesday and the trial.
“The parties are pleased to inform the court that they have reached a settlement of the matter in principle,” the letter states. “The parties have agreed to a confidential memorandum of understanding. The settlement is subject to ratification by each party, and we are in the process of preparing the settlement documents.”
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The letter was signed by Elise M. Bloom of Proskauer Rose for MLB and by Clifford H. Pearson of Pearson, Simon & Warshaw and Stephen M. Tillery of Korein Tillery for the players.
Spero wrote in a decision before the trial in March that minor league employees were year-round employees working during training and found that MLB violated the state minimum wage law in Arizona and is responsible for triple injury. Spero also ruled that MLB did not comply with the requirements of the California wage statement, which provides $ 1,882,650 penalties.
He said minor leagues should be paid for travel time to California League road games and to practice in Arizona and Florida.
“These are not students enrolling in a vocational school with the understanding that they will provide services, free of charge, as part of the practical training required to complete the training and obtain a license,” Spero wrote. .
The case was remanded in the District Court of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in 2019 after the players ’lawyers and MLB spent years arguing over whether it should accept class action status.
Spero ruled that MLB is a joint employer with groups of minor league players; that those players do “work” during spring training; that the travel time of team buses to long distance games shall be payable under FLSA, Florida and Arizona law and that the travel time of California League players to long distance games shall be payable under California law.
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