Wednesday, January 06, 2016
Ryan Howard and Ryan Zimmerman have each sued Al Jazeera America, reporter Deborah Davies, and hurdler Liam James Collins today in federal court for Al Jazeera’s report on athletes and doping, which included both baseball players. In their lawsuits, Zimmerman and Howard both claim one count of libel and one count of false light invasion of privacy while laying out similar issues.
Tuesday, September 15, 2015
They should just play for the love of the game! Love of the game can pay the rent.
As I noted at the time the Miranda case was filed last year, the plaintiffs in the suit faced at least one major impediment in their attempt to challenge the minor league pay practices under the Sherman Act: baseball’s antitrust exemption. Indeed, soon after the case was filed, MLB filed a motion asking the court to dismiss the lawsuit in light of its antitrust immunity.
Given that precedent, it should come as little surprise that Judge Haywood Gilliam dismissed the Miranda suit on Monday, concluding that MLB was shielded from the plaintiffs’ claims by virtue of its antitrust exemption.
The plaintiffs’ attorneys in the Miranda suit had hoped to convince the court not to apply the antitrust exemption in the case by arguing that none of the U.S. Supreme Court’s prior decisions on the topic had ever considered the legality of the minor league pay scale. As one might expect, this argument failed to persuade Judge Gilliam.
Monday, August 31, 2015
The district court granted MLB an initial victory in the Chen case last year, determining that FanFest was not subject to the FLSA and therefore was immune from the federal minimum wage and overtime requirements. Now, in a recent decision issued earlier this month, MLB has scored yet another victory with the Second Circuit Court of Appeals affirming the trial court’s finding that the FLSA does not apply to FanFest.
However, while the Chen decision certainly represents an important decision with respect to the rights of FanFest volunteers, the appellate court’s recent opinion appears unlikely to have a significant impact on the other minimum-wage lawsuits pending against the league. Therefore, the various lawsuits challenging both MLB’s minor league and scout pay practices remain very much alive despite the recent rulings in the FanFest case.
The appellate court based its recent decision in the FanFest case on a relatively obscure provision in the FLSA, Section 213(a)(3), which states that seasonal “amusement or recreational establishments” — typically those that operate seven months or less per year — are not subject to the law’s minimum wage or overtime provisions.
In particular, MLB had argued that the 2013 FanFest at issue in the case qualified as a seasonal establishment under Section 213(a)(e) since it lasted five days, and clearly provided patrons with amusement or recreational services. Thus, MLB argued, FanFest was immune from the FLSA’s minimum wage and overtime requirements.
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