In 2014, a group of minor league players sued Major League Baseball, the Office of the Commissioner, former commissioner Bud Selig, and three MLB franchises alleging numerous violations of the federal minimum-wage law. Some minor league players reportedly received $3,000 to $7,000 over a five-month season, even though they claimed to spend 50 to 70 hours a week in baseball-related activities. The case was amended to include all 30 MLB franchises, though eight teams were later dismissed. Central to the players’ strategy was obtaining standing to pursue a class action to defray individual costs and maximize recovery.  However, a recent ruling by a California federal court dealt a blow to the players by rejecting their request for class certification.

Although the players were conditionally granted class status in 2015, Chief Magistrate Judge Spero reversed this temporary status and ruled the players could not proceed as a class in part because of the individualized inquiries needed to determine which class members were owed compensation.

Continue Reading Minor League Baseball Players Strike Out in Attempt to Certify Class for Wage Claims

No, the First Monday in October is not when the first poll for the College Football Playoffs is released.  And it is not the day of an important college football match-up.  However, it still might be an important day for college athletes—and the NCAA.

As many know, the First Monday in October is when the Supreme Court reconvenes.  It is also likely to be when we will find out whether the Supreme Court will hear the O’Bannon case, the Court having the pending petitions for a writ of certiorari teed up for decision at their September 26th conference.  O’Bannon v. NCAA, 802 F.3rd 1049 (9th Cir. 2015). Continue Reading First Monday in October Might be Big Day for College Athletes

The New York State Gaming Commission issued temporary permits to five major daily fantasy sports operators on August 22, 2016, allowing DraftKings, FanDuel, Yahoo, FantasyDraft, and Draft to resume operations in the state of New York.  The timing is key as this occurs before NFL season kickoff and the Major League Baseball playoffs.  This development constitutes a huge win for these operators as well as the professional sports leagues holding an equity interest in DraftKings or FanDuel and the franchises holding sponsorship deals with those operators.

The permits are the final step in a lengthy and contentious process to establish rules for daily fantasy operators in the state of New York.  Last October, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman began an inquiry into daily fantasy, which concluded with the AG’s Office issuing cease and desist letters to DraftKings and FanDuel.  Shortly thereafter, the issue was taken to the courts where the AG’s Office sought an injunction prohibiting DraftKings and FanDuel from operating in New York. Continue Reading Welcome Back: New York State Gaming Commission Issues Temporary Permits to Five Daily Fantasy Operators