MLB Advanced Media, a subsidiary of Major League Baseball, agreed to pay $1.275 million to settle a lawsuit alleging it underpaid workers who handle video of games.
There are 197 eligible class members, according to a Jan. 4 motion for settlement approval. They say they’re paid in part on a per-game basis for tasks like contemporaneously logging events like strikes and foul balls and compiling highlight clips. Pay doesn’t vary based on a game’s length or how long the work takes, depriving them of time-and-a-half overtime when they work more than 40 hours in a week, they say.
MLB Advanced Media contends it complied with overtime rules that govern hourly and piece-rate rate pay. Piece-rate pay compensates workers by measuring completed tasks, rather than on an hourly basis.
Lawyers for the video workers estimate they could recover $1,523,084 if there were to prevail at trial. The settlement allows for class members to obtain a payout without waiting for the delay and uncertainty of litigation, they say.
The settlement is subject to approval by Judge Paul A. Engelmayer of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, who will review whether it’s a fair and reasonable resolution.
Jennings Sigmond P.C. in Philadelphia and Winebrake & Santillo LLC in Dresher, Pa., represent the workers. Epstein, Becker & Green P.C. in New York and Washington, D.C., represents MLB Advanced Media.
The case is Behrens v. MLB Advanced Media, L.P., S.D.N.Y., No. 1:18-cv-03077, 1/4/19.
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