Labor & Employment

Major League Baseball faces suit over unpaid volunteer workers


Add Major League Baseball to a growing list of major employers facing wage-and-hour class action litigation over the use of unpaid volunteer workers, including but not limited to interns.

The governing body of the sport has been sued in Manhattan federal court by a man who says MLB violated New York and federal minimum-wage laws by using him and 2,000 other volunteers to staff its 2013 All-Star FanFest last month, reports the Associated Press.

Plaintiff John Chen, who said he worked 17 hours over four days at the New York City event last month, is seeking payment of wages and a court order requiring MLB to stop using unpaid workers.

He is represented by Outten & Golden, which has also filed suit on behalf of plaintiffs in some other high-profile cases, according to Courthouse News.

“I very much enjoyed working at FanFest, but the minimum wage laws are important. People who cannot afford to work for free should be able to have the same experience I had,” said Chen in a statement provided to TMZ.

A spokesman for the league did not immediately respond to an AP request for comment.

See also:

ABAJournal.com: “Federal judge rules unpaid interns were misclassified employees, certifies class action”

ABAJournal.com: “Winning, so far, in trial court, Hearst wants 2nd Circuit to clarify intern issue after new ruling”

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