Three Minor League Baseball players filed a class action lawsuit against MLB on Feb. 7, 2014, claiming violations of state and federal minimum wage laws. The lawsuit was scheduled to begin June 1 in a U.S. District Court in San Francisco, Calif.
Lawyers representing MLB argued that Minor League players do not deserve to be paid during Spring Training, and many believed a trial would have been damaging to the league. However, in May it was reported the players and league reached a preliminary settlement that was pending court approval.
MLB agreed to settle at $185 million and it was filed with the court where it is expected to be approved, via Associated Press:
Major League Baseball agreed to pay minor leaguers $185 million to settle a federal lawsuit that has progressed through the courts for eight years without reaching a trial.
Roughly 65% of the settlement will go to the players who were affected with the rest of the money going toward paying the lawyers and funding of the case:
If approved, $120,197,300 will be split among the players, $55.5 million will go the the players’ lawyers, up to $5.5 million will be the reimbursement costs of the suit, $450,000 will be for the costs of administering the settlement, $637,000 will go to incentive awards for the player representatives in the suit, $400,000 for a contingency fund and $2,315,000 for a payment under the California Private Attorney General Act.
This is not the first lawsuit MLB has faced regarding their treatment of Minor League players. Last year, a lawsuit was filed against MLB and commissioner Rob Manfred over the league’s antitrust exemption stemming from their taking control of Minor League teams and it resulting in contraction.
A federal judge also previously ruled that Minor League players are MLB employees throughout the year and said the league was liable for nearly $2 million in damages.
Minor league players did receive a pay raise during the 2021 season, however, their salaries still ranged from $10,500 for Single-A players to $14,700 for Triple-A players despite it essentially being a full-time job with overtime.
For comparison, the minimum salary for the NBA G League is $35,000, while the NHL guarantees a minimum $52,000 for players in the AHL.
MiLB players also receive the smallest per diem while on the road, 50% less than what G-League players receive and more than 75% less than what AHL players receive.
Minor League players take step toward forming union
While Minor League players typically aren’t paid during Spring Training, some teams provide housing and meals for the players training in Arizona or Florida. Many around the sport are looking to change that as more than 1,000 Minor League players signed a petition asking MLB to compensate them for their work in Spring Training.
Several Minor Leaguers who spoke on the condition of anonymity said the petition is a step toward unionizing. The petition was organized by Advocates for Minor Leaguers, a group formed in 2020 to promote better working conditions for Minor League players.
Have you subscribed to the Dodger Blue YouTube channel? Be sure to ring the notification bell to watch player interviews, participate in shows and giveaways, and stay up to date on all Dodgers news and rumors!