Judge Rules Baseball Game Reports Must be Turned Over
On Friday, January 29, 2016, California District Judge Joseph Spero ordered Major League Baseball to disclose game reports in minor leaguers’ proposed class action suit. The players have alleged that the MLB conspired with its 30 member teams to suppress the wages they earned. The players sought access to the game reports to show the MLB did not keep formal time records of when they worked. In response, the league argued the game reports would not be able to prove anything and therefore had no probative value — an argument Judge Spero refused to buy.
The MLB further tried to support its position that the reports needn’t be turned over by arguing they contained sensitive and confidential information. However, because they are only going to be viewed by the players’ attorneys, they have been ordered to be produced without redactions, according to the order.
The case was originally filed in February 2014, claiming that the MLB paid the players in lower divisions in what amounted to less than minimum wage, alleging they were not paid overtime and often worked plus fifty hours per week.
According to the players, the game reports supposedly include all baseball-related work they performed for each game, arguing that these reports are indispensable in allowing them to accurately determine how much they worked during a given week. Further, the players allege that they were paid anywhere between $1,100 and $2,150 per month, although their official salary data has not been made publicly available.
With the order to turn over the reports, Judge Spero also granted the MLB’s request to depose up to two opt-in plaintiffs from each team and for the disclosure of any related documents for those players.