MLB Fights Players’ Class Certification On Overtime
Los Angeles Daily Journal, May 7, 2018
The MLB Claims The Plaintiffs Have Abandoned The Methodology They Used To Get Their Class Certified
Major League Baseball claims a group of minor league players are now distancing themselves from a survey they previously used to justify recertifying the plaintiff class in a lawsuit over unpaid overtime. Class certification rises and falls on a new survey MLB claims, yet even the plaintiffs acknowledge the survey results varied wildly and did not measure team-related activities.
Glen A. Rothstein, a sports and entertainment law attorney at Rothstein Law APC not involved in the matter, said “there’s a substantial amount of intuitive and common sense appeal” to MLB’s argument that players’ work schedules varied too greatly for an average to be accurate.
“The players’ ‘continuous workday’ survey theory of employment, presented to the lower court whereby workdays are measured simply by when they arrive and leave the field is subject to attack because time spent at the ballpark is often divided between a number of activities — some of which are compensable, some of which are not,” Rothstein said.
Rothstein stated that the plaintiffs’ submission of myriad team schedules to establish commonality of interest suitable for class action is undermined by not easily trackable variables, like the different positions of the players. Moreover, “[o]ne team might require all players to show up at 1 for a game at 7, whereas another team might not ask position players to report until 2, or might not require pitchers to report until 3 to allow extra rest,” Rothstein said.