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Former Minor League Players Say They Were Victims of Wage and Hour Law Abuse

Three former minor league players have named three MLB teams in a wage and hour lawsuit, says San Francisco employment lawyer Eric Grover.

SAN FRANCISCO, CA, USA, March 12, 2014 / -- Three Major League Baseball (MLB) teams are facing accusations of state and federal wage and hour violations after three minor league players came forward claiming that their contracts forced them to attend unpaid training events outside the regular season, as well as restricting their earning ability, reveals San Francisco employment lawyer Eric Grover of Keller Grover LLP.

The lawsuit, which was filed in California, claims that the salaries paid by the Kansas City Royals, Miami Marlins, and San Francisco Giants to their minor league players violate state and federal wage laws. Professional cheerleaders for several pro football teams have also raised wage and hour issues and complained of being paid less than minimum wage and no overtime pay.

According to the lawsuit, the players are only paid during the five-month season, but are required by their contracts, to be present at several spring training and conditioning events that are not included in their contracted compensation, reported UPI.

The players, depending on the division that they are playing in, receive a monthly payment of between $1,100 and $2,159.The three plaintiffs, Aaron Senne, Michael Liberto, and Oliver Odle are former players of the defendants. Senne played for the Marlins organization between 2010 and 2013, while Liberto played for a Kansas City Royal’s minor league team. Odle played for the San Francisco Giants farm system from 2007 to 2011.

The California-based wage and hour lawsuit also claimed that the minor league players were also restricted by their contracts, which impacted their earning ability. Their contracts allegedly required them to participate in the minor league draft, and once drafted, tied them to the drafting team exclusively for seven years. During these seven years, they were prohibited from leaving voluntarily to play on another team, whether in the United States or overseas. The players also do not have the power to renegotiate their salary during that entire time.

"Given that MLB carefully controls the entryway into the highest levels of baseball, and given the young minor leaguer's strong desire to enter the industry," the suit charges, "MLB and the defendants have exploited minor leaguers by paying salaries below minimum wage, by not paying overtime wages and by often paying no wages at all."

The wage and hour lawsuit is seeking class-action status in addition to seeking damages for the minimum wage and overtime violations.

“If the allegations are proven true, this is a clear example of a business taking advantage of the eagerness and dreams of young people trying to reach their goal of playing professional baseball by paying them low wages and trapping them in complex contracts,” says Grover, of Keller Grover, a top San Francisco law firm.”

The employment law firm of Keller Grover has been helping victims of wage and hour law violations since 1985. To find out if you are being cheated out of wages contact Keller Grover at 888.601.6939 for a free paycheck review.

Lyn Giguere
Keller Grover LLP
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