A class-action lawsuit against Major League Baseball (MLB), alleging the MLB violated the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) by using unpaid volunteers to run many aspects of its All-Star weekend, has been tossed by the court.
In dismissing the case of Chen v. Major League Baseball, et al., the District Court for the Southern District of New York held that the MLB All-Star event falls under the FLSA exemption for an "amusement or recreational establishment" that operates less than seven months in a calendar year.
In so ruling, the court determined that the All-Star FanFest weekend is a separate establishment from the MLB and that the event's volunteers accordingly were not employed by Major League Baseball.
John Chen and the other volunteers who filed the lawsuit for back pay and liquidated damages still have an action pending under New York state labor law. The district court resolved only the FLSA portion of the lawsuit as it lacked jurisdiction on the state issues.
The Fair Labor Standards Act is a complex law that is constantly being amended. To stay up to date with your wage and hour and general labor law obligations, get a copy of our informative FLSA Compliance Program today.