NEW YORK — Major League Baseball has paid its $185 million settlement of a lawsuit by minor leaguers alleging violations of minimum wage laws.
Under terms of the settlement agreed to last year, about 24,000 players from 2009-22 were potentially eligible to share the money, with estimated payments to players averaging in the $5,000 to $5,500 range. MLB said Monday it had transferred the money to JND Legal Administration, which is expected to make the payments by Aug. 14.
Minor leaguers unionized last September and agreed this spring to a five-year labor contract that more than doubled player salaries.
The settlement covers all players with minor league contracts who played in the California League for at least seven straight days starting on Feb. 7, 2010, through the settlement’s preliminary approval last Aug. 26; players who participated in spring training, extended spring training or instructional leagues in Florida from Feb. 7, 2009, through last Aug. 26; and players who participated in spring training, extended spring training or instructional leagues in Arizona from Feb. 7, 2011, through last Aug. 26.
The suit was filed in 2014 by first baseman/outfielder Aaron Senne, a 10th-round pick of the then-Florida Marlins in 2009 who retired in 2013, and two other retired players who had been lower-round selections: Kansas City Royals infielder Michael Liberto and San Francisco Giants pitcher Oliver Odle. They claimed violations of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act and state minimum wage and overtime requirements for a work week they estimated at 50 to 60 hours.