Posted by Social Science Research Network
Major League Baseball’s ‘Foul Ball’: Why Minor League Baseball Players Are Not Exempt Employees Under the Fair Labor Standards Act
Lucas J. Carney (University of Iowa)
Abstract: This Note examines the relationship between Major League Baseball’s (MLB) labor market, it’s archaic exemption from antitrust regulation, and it’s compensation practices of the Minor League Baseball (MiLB) players. The Note examines the structural deficiencies of MLB’s labor market, as strengthened by it’s antitrust exemption, and how MLB’s compensation of MiLB baseball players runs afoul of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). This Note argues that an ongoing lawsuit between MLB and the minor leaguers and their FLSA advocates provides adequate grounds for representatives of MLB and MiLB to begin discussions aimed towards easing market forces imposed upon the minor leaguers. I argue that MLB will be best served to settle the ongoing dispute because, among other reasons, their primary FLSA defenses will fail at the motion-to-dismiss stage of litigation. Ultimately, this Note concludes that a federal court hearing the dispute will be reluctant to dismiss the minor leaguers’ suit on the basis of MLB’s antitrust exemption given the novel claims made under FLSA.