Judge Denies NCAA’s Motion to Dismiss in Student Athlete’s Wage Suit

On July 25, 2018, U.S. District Judge Michael M. Baylson denied the NCAA and Villanova University’s motion to dismiss in Lawrence “Poppy” Livers’ amended lawsuit. As we have previously reported, Livers sued the NCAA claiming that the NCAA, Villanova, and other universities were violating the minimum wage provision of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Livers likened college athletes to paid student employees and claimed they should be compensated as such. The NCAA and Villanova moved to dismiss the amended lawsuit because it was…
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NCAA Asks Ninth Circuit to Adhere to Seventh Circuit Ruling

On June 29, 2018, in a letter, lawyers representing the NCAA asked the Ninth Circuit to adhere to the Seventh Circuit’ recent decision and not revive a proposed wage-and-hour class action lawsuit brought by former NCAA football player, Lamar Dawson. The lawyer’s asked the Ninth Circuit to adhere to the June 25, 2018 Seventh Circuit ruling that upheld the NCAA’s controversial “year-in-residence rule.” The rule mandates that if a student athlete transfers from a division one institution to another division one institution, they are…
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NCAA & Villanova Critique Student Athlete’s Amended Wage Suit

The Sports Law Insider previously reported on a putative class’ wage suit against the NCAA and several universities. The suit by former Villanova football player Lawrence “Poppy” Livers was brought in September 2017. Livers asserted that the NCAA, Villanova and other universities were violating the minimum wage provision of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Livers likened college athletes to paid student employees and claimed they should be compensated as such. However, Livers needed to show that the NCAA and the universities “willfully” violated the…
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Online Betting Co. Sued By Former Employee

On Monday, June 18, 2018, online horse racing platform Xpressbet LLC was sued in Pennsylvania federal court by former employee John Martinez. Xpressbet allows users to bet live horse races legally online. Martinez claims he was demoted and subsequently fired because he took medical leave. Martinez brings his complaint to recover all available damages for violations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act (PHRA). Martinez started working at Xpressbet in 2015…
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White Sox’s Move to Dismiss Dustin Fowler’s Negligence Suit

On February 13, 2018, the Chicago White Sox moved to dismiss a suit brought by brought by former New York Yankees outfielder, Dustin Fowler. Fowler, now a member of the Oakland Athletics, sued the White Sox claiming that the team negligently caused him to injure himself during a game at Guaranteed Rate Field, home of the White Sox. The incident occurred on June 29, 2017, when Fowler was running at full speed, chasing a foul ball, and crashed into the low corner wall. His right…
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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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