“Pay us in cash, not tchotchkes!” – must be cried by the thousands of employees imported by the Major League Baseball (MLB) during their All-Star weekend in New York City last month according to a media source.
Recent news reports have it that approximately 2,000 employees are now suing the MLB after the league failed to pay them with actual wages.
The employees claimed that the league illegally paid them with giveaway items such as shirts, caps, backpack, free admission tickets to the big event, water bottle and a baseball.
In their lawsuit, the employees claimed that the concept of a “volunteer” labor force is a labor law violation and that the volunteers should also be paid with at least minimum wage. They affirmed that during the league’s FanFest, they performed everything from doing everything from stuffing flyers into bags, stamping wrists and filing paperwork. Apparently, they did all the jobs that would have to be done by paid workers.
Under the state law in New York, the minimum wage is $7.25 per hour.
Furthermore, the employees have claimed that MLB became too opportunistic during one event when it charged $35 per adult ticket, $5 for a bag of chips and $7.50 for a lemonade drink.
The complainants are seeking for a fair judgment in their lawsuit, aiming to end the “volunteer” work program as soon as possible. Also, they want the league to pay the volunteers who worked at FanFest events since 2007 All-Star Weekend.
So far, a spokesperson from MLB tells media sources that the league would not comment on any pending litigation.
On a related note, many Los Angeles employment lawyers always reminded that it is the duty of the employer to honor the employees’ rights to obtain the fair compensation they deserve.