Minor Leaguers Lose Appeal Over Wages; Hours Case Pending

A federal appeals court sided with Major League Baseball in one of two unfair wage lawsuits filed on behalf of minor league players. Both were seeking to raise the pay for minor leaguers..

Another group of players has taken to federal court with a 20l4 lawsuit that argues MLB’s low wages in the minor leagues violates minimum wage and overtime laws in Fair Labor Standards Act. That case—filed by 45 current or former minor league players—remains active at the U.S. District Court in San Francisco, although it’s currently on hold as the 9th Circuit rules whether to certify the lawsuit as a class action case. It was recertified in March but the scope narrowed to include only players who played at least seven days in California, Arizona or Florida, according to Baseball America.

The June decision issued by the 9th Cir­cuit Court of Appeals reaffirms a district court decision to dismiss the case two years ago. The lawsuit filed by four current or former minor league players (Sergio Miranda, Jeffrey Dominguez, Jorge Padilla and Cirilo Cruz) alleged their low wages in the minor leagues violated federal antitrust laws.

“Minor league baseball players are em­ployed and paid by MLB, and MLB employs minor league players with the hope that some of them will develop into major league players,” Chief Judge Thomas wrote in a unanimous opinion. “Therefore, the employment of minor league players is precisely the type of activity that falls within the antitrust ex­emption for the business of baseball.”