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Lawsuit Newsbeat

Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Scout Hiring and Pay Practices Challenged in New Lawsuit

Who would ever believe teams would collude to suppress pay?

In a new class action lawsuit filed last week in New York federal court, former Kansas City Royals scout Jordan Wyckoff contends that MLB teams have unlawfully agreed not to compete with one another for the services of their amateur and professional scouts. As a result, the suit – Wyckoff v. Office of the Commissioner of Baseball – asserts that a number of MLB scouts currently make less than the minimum wage and are not paid overtime, even when working more than 40 hours in a given week.

Wyckoff alleges that these practices not only violate the FLSA, but that they fail to comply with both federal and state antitrust law as well.

Wyckoff’s complaint (available here) begins by accusing MLB and its teams of forming an illegal conspiracy to decrease the competition for scouts. In particular, the lawsuit contends that MLB prevents its teams from negotiating with or hiring away any scout currently under contract with another franchise, unless that team has expressly granted the scout permission to talk with other clubs. Wyckoff asserts that teams will typically only grant permission in cases where the new franchise would be giving the scout a promotion (such as by hiring another team’s area scout as one of its cross-checkers), and alleges that even then teams have been known to fire a scout simply for requesting permission to talk to another club.

Similarly, the lawsuit also notes that whenever a high-level executive is hired away from one franchise by another — such as when the Padres hired A.J. Preller from Texas last year — the two teams will often agree that the departing executive will not bring other employees (including scouts) with him from his former employer.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 07, 2015 at 03:01 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: labor, lawsuit, legal, scouting

 

 

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