Category Archives: Labor & Employment

NLRB Opens its Doors to Protect College Football Players as Employees

On January 31, 2017, the general counsel of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB or Board) released a memo which stated it believed football players at private colleges qualify as employees. The Board declined to answer this question in 2015 when they dismissed a unionization effort by players at Northwestern University, citing concerns of instability if such a decision was rendered that only pertained to private universities. However, a recent decision by the NLRB that found in favor of graduate teaching assistants challenging their status…

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Former Sous Chef Wants Florida Golf Club to Fork Over OT Pay

On November 6, 2015, former sous chef Marcos Castro initiated a putative class action against a Florida golf club, claiming that the club withheld overtime compensation in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Castro alleges that his former employer, Windstar Club Inc., failed to compensate him with “time-and-a-half” pay for hours worked in excess of 40 hours per week. Castro claims that other employees in similar positions were also intentionally deprived of overtime compensation and he seeks an expedited order so that he…

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Professional Sports Team Cheerleaders to be Treated as Employees in California

California Governor Jerry Brown just signed a bill which now requires professional sports teams to treat their cheerleaders like employees.  Previously, these cheerleaders were paid as independent contractors which exempted them from state wage and hour laws.  The cheerleaders will now need to be paid minimum wage and are potentially eligible for overtime depending on the amount of hours worked in a given week. This law follows on the heels of a lawsuit filed last year by the Oakland Raiderettes who challenged their independent contractor…

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Interns vs. The Wendy Williams Show

The landmark 2013 decision in Glatt v. Fox Searchlight Pictures that interns on two film production crews were entitled to payment with actual wages has opened the litigation floodgates. In the hotly debated ruling, Judge William H. Pauley III held that Fox Searchlight Pictures violated the Fair Labor Standards Act by not paying its interns. In the latest example of the ongoing debate over the use of unpaid interns, television’s Wendy Williams Show and production company Lionsgate have been sued for wages by a former…

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Lingerie Football League Sued Over Wage Dispute

On Monday, June 30, the former Lingerie Football League (now known as the Legends Football League) was sued in Los Angeles Superior Court by a former player.  Melissa Margulies, formerly of the Los Angeles Temptation, filed the complaint claiming violations of labor laws. According to Ms. Margulies, the league required its players to sign as independent contractors, thereby avoiding overtime pay and other wage requirements.  Margulies claims this to be a “willful misclassification” as the players were strictly employees of the football league as they…

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Northwestern Football Players Encouraged to Just Say No to Union

Last month the Chicago office of the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) issued a ruling stating that athletes at private universities are employees of their respective schools and have the right to unionize.  Now, with Northwestern’s players scheduled to vote on unionization on April 25, Pat Fitzgerald, the school’s football coach, is urging his players to vote against the measure. The players leading the unionization effort are hoping to secure things such as better medical coverage, four-year scholarships, and even the possibility of being paid. …

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Bengals Cheerleaders File Class Action Against Team Over Compensation

On February 11, 2014, Cincinnati Bengals cheerleader Alexa Brenneman filed a class-action lawsuit against the team, accusing the organization of failing to pay their cheerleaders minimum wage.  Brenneman’s suit claims that she was paid only $855 for her work during the 2013 football season, yet worked over 300 hours – meaning that she was making roughly $2.85 per hour.  The minimum wage in Ohio is $7.85 per hour. The Oakland Raiders were recently hit with a similar suit; Raiders’ cheerleaders filed an action in January…

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Minor League Baseball Players Cry Foul – File Lawsuit Seeking Class Action Over Low Wages

A lawsuit filed in federal court seeks to overhaul minor league baseball’s pay scale with three former players arguing low pay, mandatory overtime and lack of collective bargaining rights all violate state and federal wage laws. Minor League Baseball is not a party to the lawsuit. Instead, suit was filed in federal California Northern District Court by former players Aaron Senne, Michael Liberto, and Oliver Odle against Major League Baseball, the Office of the Commissioner, Commissioner Bud Selig and their former teams the Miami Marlins,…

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Producers of “Dumb” Sequel Ask Court to Freeze Out Original Production Team

Red Granite Pictures Inc., the production behind the long awaited comedy sequel Dumb and Dumber To, has asked a California Court for a declaratory judgment seeking to preclude the producers of the first 1994 film from getting any fees or credits on the new film.  The complaint filed in the Los Angeles County Superior Court on July 15th alleges that the producers of the original movie, Brad Krevoy and Steve Stabler, are not entitled to producer fees or production credit.  Mr. Krevoy and Mr.…

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State of Arizona Requires “Temporary Workers” To File Workers’ Compensation Claims in Arizona

On April 3, 2013, the Governor of Arizona, Jan Brewer, approved Senate Bill 1448 drastically limiting the ability of workers who “temporarily” work outside of Arizona to file claims in other jurisdictions. In relevant part, SB 1148 provides that workers employed in Arizona who “temporarily leave[] this state incidental to th[eir] employment” and are injured must file their workers’ compensation claim in the state of Arizona.  A worker is deemed “temporarily” in another state if the claimant has done work for fewer than 90 continuous…

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