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Minor Leaguer’s Fight For Fairer Wages Enters Final Innings: A review of Senne v MLB

Baseball glove holding a ball and cash
Tuesday, 07 September 2021 By Alex Rahmanan

Since 2014, minor league baseball (MiLB) players have been playing hardball in court with their professional counterpart, Major League Baseball (MLB). In Senne, et al. v. Kansas City Royals Baseball, et al.,[1] thousands of current and former minor leaguers are suing MLB and all 30 MLB clubs for allegedly failing to pay them a fair wage, overtime pay, and compensation for other required activities.[2]

In this class action suit, the minor leaguers accuse MLB and the clubs of violating the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and other state wage and hour laws, and are seeking damages in the form of years of backpay.[3]

Now, after the U.S. Supreme Court declined to review the lower courts’ class certification,[4]Senne is headed for discovery and trial, with complex legal claims and lofty industry implications hanging in the balance.

This article summarizes the procedural history of the Senne case, particularly the battle over class certification, and examines the various legal issues at play, including federal and state wage and hour claims, the Save America’s Pastime Act (SAPA), and the larger relationship between the major and minor leagues.

The article also considers Senne’s broader industry implications, specifically the potential consequences of a settlement or court ruling in one side’s favor.

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Alex Rahmanan

Alex Rahmanan

Alex Rahmanan is a third-year law student at Brooklyn Law School where he currently serves as the Vice President of the Brooklyn Entertainment & Sports Law Society. 

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