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Court gives baseball players’ right to sue Arizona wages bill

Posted by   /  August 17, 2019  /  No Comments

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Colorado Rockies spring training at Salt River Field, Talking Stick/Team photo

Law deals with minor league players during spring training

By Howard Fischer | Capitol Media Services via PinalCentral

A federal appeals court has given a key victory to players on minor league teams the right to sue to be paid the minimum wage while they’re in spring training in Arizona.

In an extensive ruling, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has said that the players are entitled to pursue a class-action lawsuit to show that the 15 teams that train here were not obeying minimum wage laws. That specifically includes Arizona law which currently mandates that all employees get at least $11 an hour, a figure that goes up to $12 in January.

Friday’s ruling comes seven months after Rep. T.J. Shope, R-Coolidge, attempted to undermine at least part of the players’ claims by seeking to amend state law to exempt baseball teams, including the Arizona Diamondbacks, from the voter-approved laws that mandate what employees must be paid. That measure also effectively would have let teams work their minor league players as much as they want without having to worry about overtime — or, in some cases, paying them at all.

That measure died amid legal questions about whether Arizona lawmakers had the power to alter what voters had approved.

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