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US: Minor league baseball players lose appeal over wages

 |  June 26, 2017

A federal appeals court on Monday said professional minor league baseball is exempt from US antitrust laws and rejected an appeal by players who complained that their wages were kept artificially low.

By a 3-0 vote, the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco said minor league baseball ruled falls “squarely” within the “business-of-baseball” antitrust exemption that the US Supreme Court granted the sport in 1922.

“The employment contracts of minor league players relate to the business of providing public baseball games for profit between clubs of professional baseball players,” Chief Judge Sidney Thomas wrote for the appeals court panel.

Monday’s decision is a defeat for four plaintiffs who played minor league baseball at some point between 2010 and 2012.

They brought class-action claims accusing Major League Baseball and its 30 teams of suppressing wages, leaving most minor leaguers earning between US$3,000 and US$7,500 annually, and nothing during spring training.

Full Content: Law 360

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