LABOR | OAKLAND | The Oakland Athletics agreed to pay 86 current and former low-wage employees over $266,000 in wages it stiffed clubhouse workers and interns, according to Bloomberg Businessweek.
The Athletics, like the San Francisco Giants and Miami Marlins before them, agreed to the settlement following an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor. Earlier this year, the Giants settled for over $765,000 in illegally withheld pay.
The issue of wage theft may, in fact, be endemic to professional baseball, according to the magazine. Other Major League Baseball teams are also currently under investigation.
Another issue behind the behavior of some ball club is the notion young, inexperienced employees should be content merely to be associated with the popular professional teams rather than fairly compensated.
A federal lawsuit filed earlier this year by 32 former minor league player against the commissioner of baseball and all 30 teams asserts clubs are suppressing wages below minimum wage standards. Minor league players are paid for roughly six months of work per year, but are not compensated for attending spring training, fall instructional leagues and other activities, according to Baseball America.
One of the lead plaintiffs in the suit is a former San Francisco Giants farmhand named Oliver Odle, who last played for its Class A club in San Jose.