By Ken Reed

The U.S. Dept. of Labor is investigating two Major League Baseball (MLB) teams, the San Francisco Giants and the Miami Marlins, for possible federal wage law violations.

Emails reviewed by the online nonprofit publication, FairWarning, found that possible improper use of unpaid interns is the focus of the Giants investigation. It is the Labor Department’s second recent investigation of the Giants’ pay practices. Marlins’ officials didn’t address the specifics of the investigation of their pay practices but did say they were cooperating fully with the Labor Department.

In August, the Giants settled the previous investigation by agreeing to pay $544,715 in back wages and damages to 74 employees.

Last month, MLB’s commissioner’s office sent a letter about the issue to the presidents of all 30 Major League clubs. Ultimately, the commissioner’s office called for a team representative to attend a meeting with labor officials in Orlando, Florida next month. In a memo the Labor Department concluded that questionable pay practices are “endemic” to the baseball industry.

Hopefully, positive developments for MLB employees come out of the Orlando meeting.

A special thank you is due FairWarning, a publication that monitors “news of safety, health and corporate conduct,” for keeping the spotlight on MLB regarding this issue.

Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans


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