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 …

Continue Reading

Take Two: NCAA Moves to Dismiss Student Athlete’s Wage Suit

On October 8, 2018, the NCAA moved to dismiss a proposed class action lawsuit led by Lawrence “Poppy” Livers, a former Villanova University football player. As we have previously reported, Livers sued to 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. However, Livers needed to show that the NCAA and the universities “willfully” …

Continue Reading

Former Houston Texans Cheerleader Files Class-Action Wage Suit

A former cheerleader for the Houston Texans has filed a putative class action suit against the Texans and the team’s cheerleading coach, Altovise Gary, claiming unpaid wages, wrongful termination, and other labor violations including a failure to remedy reports of physical abuse by fans. The named plaintiff, identified as P.G.G., has sued under the Fair Labor Standards Act and Texas Labor Code, seeking remuneration for hours spent working “off-the-clock” and unpaid overtime.

P.G.G. worked as a Texans cheerleader from April 2017 to April 2018. In …

Continue Reading

On Appeal, Former USC Linebacker Tackles Judge’s Ruling with Misapplication of Law Claims

In September 2016, Lamar Dawson, a former USC linebacker, filed a class-action suit against both the NCAA and Pac-12 Conference alleging violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act and California Labor Law. Dawson claimed the NCAA and Pac-12 failed to pay athletes minimum wage, failed to pay overtime, and failed to make timely compensation to athletes. He argued that he, among other student athletes, were without a doubt employees.

The NCAA and Pac-12 moved to dismiss the suit in January 2017, and in April, Judge …

Continue Reading

Former USC Football Player Urges California Court Not to Dismiss FLSA Class Action Suit

On Monday, February 27, 2017, former USC football player, Lamar Dawson, urged the Northern District of California court not to dismiss his proposed class action lawsuit, in which he seeks wages and overtime pay for Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) players.

As background, Dawson filed suit against the NCAA and Pac-12, alleging that the organizations violated the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and California State labor law by underpaying athletes, not paying athletes minimum wages for all hours worked, not paying timely compensation, not …

Continue Reading

Could a Sport’s Revenue be the Difference-Maker in Fight for Paid Student-Athletes?

A federal judge in California held a Seventh Circuit’s decision inapplicable to the Fair Labor Standards Act case brought by former University of Southern California linebacker, Lamar Dawson. District Court Judge Richard Seeborg rejected the defendants’ motion to stay the wage-and-hour case in spite of the NCAA and PAC 12’s motion to dismiss Dawson’s claims.

Dawson brought this class action suit after leaving USC in December 2015, arguing he was “denied full pay for all hours worked, including overtime pay, and was frequently permitted to …

Continue Reading

Former Track & Field Athletes Petition for En Banc Review in the Face of Latest Defeat in Student-Athlete Employment Fight

Two former NCAA track and field athletes are petitioning the Seventh Circuit to overrule itself, in one of the highest profile student-athlete lawsuits since the Ed O’Bannon litigation. Plaintiffs Gillian Berger and Taylor Hennig competed for the University of Pennsylvania, and argue that the hours spent training and competing for their school violated the wage-and-hour provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The defendants, which include the NCAA, won a motion to dismiss the case this past February. That order was upheld by …

Continue Reading

Student Athletes: Don’t Quit Your Day Job

On December 5, 2016, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals issued a decision in a case brought by former student athletes of the track and field team at the University of Pennsylvania, against the University, the NCAA and several other Division I universities. The former student athletes claimed that during their time in college athletics they were employees of the defendants and therefore entitled to a minimum wage under the Fair Labor Standards Act.

The district court held that the student athletes, who formerly attended …

Continue Reading