Saturday, October 26, 2013

Giants Under Investigation For Federal Wage Law Violations

While the Giants throw insane amounts of cash at washed-up starters, they are simultaneously under investigation for unfair labor practices--specifically not paying interns--possibly in order to fund those spending sprees:

Two Major League Baseball clubs–the San Francisco Giants and Miami Marlins—are under investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor for possible federal wage law violations. The investigations come amid wider concern about questionable pay practices throughout professional baseball, according to interviews and records obtained by FairWarning under the Freedom of Information Act.

Labor Department spokesman Jason Surbey confirmed the investigations of the Marlins and Giants, but would not give details. However, emails reviewed by FairWarning show that possible improper use of unpaid interns is a focus of the Giants probe. It is the Labor Department’s second recent investigation of the Giants over pay practices involving lower level employees. [...]

Officials with the department’s Wage and Hour Division announced in August that the Giants had resolved the prior case by agreeing to pay $544,715 in back wages and damages to 74 employees. Many were clubhouse workers the agency said were paid at a daily rate of $55, but who sometimes worked so many hours that they got less than minimum wage and no overtime. The federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour.

In announcing the settlement, Susana Blanco, director of the San Francisco district office of the Wage and Hour Division, said she was “encouraged that the Giants acted to resolve this issue,” but disappointed ”to learn that clubhouse workers providing services to high-paid sports stars weren’t making enough to meet the basic requirements of minimum-wage law.”

The Giants were also found to have improperly classified some workers as exempt from overtime pay, including clubhouse managers and video operators at both the parent team and its minor league affiliates.

The Giants in June also reached a $500,000 settlement in a private class action suit on behalf of security guards, who had claimed they were owed back pay for overtime and for working through breaks and meals.

As if getting shit on by seagulls wasn't enough of a workplace violation; not getting paid while getting shit on sounds doubly bad. Good times for Giants employees!