The most recent lawsuit was filed by a former member of the Los Angeles Temptation, a team in the all-female Legends Football League (some might remember it as the Lingerie Football League). The lawsuit, filed by Melissa Margulies on June 30, alleges players in the league are improperly classified as independent contractors and, as such, are not paid overtime, according to Westside Today (7/2/14).
The lawsuit claims employees should not have been classed as independent contractors because the league has significant control over the players’ job duties. Those duties reportedly include being ordered to be at practices, attend promotional events and give publicity rights to the league. Players who violated the rules faced possible termination. Furthermore, according to the lawsuit, players were not given reimbursement for expenses related to work and were not given wage statements.
Margulies alleges players’ pay was based not on a wage but on ticket sales and team performance. As a result the lawsuit claims there were seasons where some players received no pay, according to Courthouse News Service (7/2/14).
Meanwhile, a group of minor league players has filed a lawsuit in California against Major League Baseball. According to court documents, minor league baseball players have been unable to unionize resulting in a lack of job protection and keeping wages of minor league players low. The lawsuit states that most minor league players earn between $3,000 and $7,500 per year - major league players reportedly earn a minimum of $500,000 per year, according to the lawsuit.
Minor league players do not earn overtime pay, despite regularly working more than 50 hours a week and sometimes up to 70 hours during championship time, the lawsuit claims. Furthermore, according to the lawsuit, there are periods during which the players make no money, such as during spring training.
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The football lawsuit is Melissa Margulies v. Legends Football League LLC et al., case number BC550244, Superior Court of the State of California, County of Los Angeles. The baseball lawsuit is Senne et al vs. Office of the Commissioner of Baseball, et al, case number 3:14-cv-00608-JCS, US District Court, Northern District of California.