One More Time: New Lawsuit Argues NCAA Must Pay Athletes Minimum Wage

Trey Johnson, a former defensive back for Villanova University, has sued the NCAA, arguing that the organization has violated federal labor law and that it must pay student-athletes a minimum wage. In his lawsuit, Johnson argues that student-athletes clearly constitute employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Specifically, he notes that college students in work-study programs are classified as employees, meaning that they are subject to minimum wage laws. Meanwhile, student-athletes, who work longer schedules and create the need for some of these work-study…
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NFL, MLB, and NHL Players’ Associations Sue Pittsburgh Over “Unconstitutional” Athletes Fee

The city of Pittsburgh is being challenged for a fee it is charging  nonresident professional athletes who play for Pittsburgh teams. The NHL Players’ Association, MLB Players’ Association, and NFL Players’ Association, along with baseball player Jeff Francoeur and hockey players Kyle Palmieri and Scott Wilson, have sued the city of Pittsburgh. The city currently imposes a three percent general revenue income fee on professional athletes who reside out of state. Athletes who live in the city, however, pay only a one percent fee. Pittsburgh…
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Game On: FaZe Clan’s $20 Million Lawsuit Against eSports Gamer Will Continue

A federal judge will allow a $20 million contract lawsuit filed by FaZe Clan Inc. against a popular eSports star to proceed. In May 2019, Fortnite player and social media celebrity, Turner Tenney, known to fans as “Tfue,” sued FaZe Clan, a popular eSports organization, in California state court. Tenney alleged that FaZe lured him and other gamers into “grossly oppressive, onerous and one-sided” contracts, allowing FaZe to make millions while Tenney earned a mere $60,000. He also filed a complaint with the California Labor…
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NCAA Student-Athlete Pay Rules, Opposition Grows

On October 30, 2019, the plaintiffs in the Alston v. NCAA case gained support in the form of an amicus curiae brief from the Open Markets Institute, Change to Win, the National Employment Law Project, economics professor Marshall Steinbaum, and law professors Sanjukta Paul and Veena Dubal. In the brief submitted to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, the amici argue that the U.S. District Court Judge for the Northern District of California, Claudia Wilken, reached “an overly narrow” decision based upon…
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Inglewood Scores Big with Legal Victory in Clippers Arena Lawsuit

A California judge handed the city of Inglewood a win by ruling against a group of local residents who sought to block the city from selling public land for a $1.2 billion arena for the NBA’s Los Angeles Clippers. The city of Inglewood accepted $1.5 million for an exclusive negotiation agreement with Murphy’s Bowl LLC, the developer of the proposed arena. The arena is located at a site near Los Angeles International Airport and the land was acquired by the city so that residents would…
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U.S. Women’s Soccer Team Ordered to Reveal Sponsorship Income

In March 2019, the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team (USWNT) filed suit against the U.S. Soccer Federation (USSF) in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. In their complaint, the plaintiffs alleged that the USSF violated the Equal Pay Act and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 for paying the women’s soccer team players less than the U.S. Men’s National Team. On October 28, 2019, the USSF filed a motion to compel disclosure. The USSF seeks documents from the…
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Youth Football Concussion Suit, Pop Warner Seeks to Exit

Pop Warner Little Scholars, Inc. submitted a motion for summary judgment to U.S. District Court Judge Phillip S. Gutierrez for the Central District of California on October 25, 2019. Pop Warner is a named defendant in a lawsuit alleging the organization knew of, and hid, the safety risks associated with youth football. The youth football organization is asserting the plaintiffs’ lack of evidence to show it was aware of the alleged health risks until years later. According to the complaint filed September 1, 2016, Paul…
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NCAA Plays Defense on All Fronts, College Athletes Seek Big Win in Ninth Circuit

On March 8, 2019, U.S. District Court Judge for the Northern District of California, Claudia Wilken, ruled that the NCAA’s student-athlete compensation limits “unreasonably restrain trade in violation of . . . the Sherman Act.” A group of former and current student-athletes, including plaintiff Shawne Alston, applauded Wilken’s decision but is requesting that the Ninth Circuit invalidate caps on all forms of compensation. The NCAA appealed Wilken’s decision and is once again defending its student-athlete compensation rules before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the…
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NFL Tells Ninth Circuit to End Painkiller Class Action Lawsuit

The NFL argued to the Ninth Circuit that the lawsuit from former players should be dismissed, as it was individual teams, not the league, that supplied the players with amphetamines and painkillers. In 2014, former Chicago Bears players Richard Dent and Jim McMahon sued the NFL, claiming that teams frequently use opioids, anesthetics, and anti-inflammatory drugs like Toradol. They alleged that such drug use often does not require prescriptions and that the teams do not take into account medical history or potentially fatal interactions with…
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