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News and Announcements

Nearly one-third of salaried workers will be guaranteed overtime under the new rule, but that falls short of the half covered in the mid-1970s

Jun 1, 2016 / Media Coverage
T he Department of Labor’s new overtime rule significantly increases the number of salaried workers who qualify for time-and-a-half pay for any hours they work beyond 40 in a week. Far too many salaried workers were not covered by prevailing overtime protections: While nearly half of all salaried workers were covered by the overtime threshold in 1975, that share fell to just 10 percent of salaried workers in 2014. This is because the salary threshold of $23,660 per year—the salary beneath which salaried workers are generally eligible for overtime protections regardless of duties— had not kept...
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Blog: The overtime rule is the beginning of a much-needed cultural shift

Jun 1, 2016 / Media Coverage
A recent New York Times piece features some choice handwringing over the Labor Department’s new overtime rule, from executives in “prestigious” fields, like publishing, advertising, film and TV, and public relations. These are all fields where low-salaried junior employees are often encouraged or even expected to work well over 40 hours a week, and the executives quoted by the Times are worried that they will no longer be able to expect such long hours without paying overtime. * * * In order to ensure that low-paid employees are covered by the protections of the Fair Labor Standards Act’s...
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If the NFL Really Needs You, Then Make the NFL Pay for It

May 30, 2016 / Media Coverage
Did you know the Super Bowl is going to be played in Houston next February? Did you know the game is supposed to bring tons of visitors to the city, and to give it great exposure? Sure, you probably knew all of this. You also probably knew that the game will make millions of dollars for the NFL. And if you’re smart, you realize that all the talk about huge economic benefits for the city of Houston is not supported by any reliable evidence. Now some of you are likely trying to figure out some way to get into the game for free. And you’ve likely seen ads, or heard from others, that the Houston...
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MLB Hit With Class Action By Unpaid All-Star Volunteers

Sep 25, 2014 / Media Coverage /
Major League Baseball was hit Monday in New York state court with a putative class action alleging the league violated state wage laws by failing to pay volunteers who staffed the fan festival surrounding the 2013 all-star game. John Chen, who volunteered to staff MLB’s “All-Star FanFest” in the summer of 2013, lodged putative class allegations that he and others should have been paid for the tasks they performed during the week-long set of events around the professional baseball league’s all-star game. The 2013 all-star game took place in New York City and, among other events, FanFest...
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Judge Tosses Lawsuit by Baseball FanFest Volunteer

Mar 28, 2014 / Media Coverage /
A New York judge has tossed out a lawsuit by a volunteer at last July's baseball All-Star FanFest who claimed 2,000 volunteers should have been paid by Major League Baseball. Federal Judge John Koeltl (KOHT'-uhl) in Manhattan says the league was protected by an exemption from federal minimum wage laws for temporary amusement or recreation establishment events. The judge's findings were released publicly Wednesday. John Chen's lawsuit had sought lost wages. He said federal and state minimum wage laws were violated when the league recruited volunteers to operate 40 attractions at an event...
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South by Southwest’s unpaid labor problem: Why it’s risking a class action lawsuit

Feb 26, 2014 / Media Coverage /
Next month, more than 150,000 people will be in the city of Austin to attend South by Southwest, which started in 1987 as a tiny indie festival but has blossomed into a nine-day conference featuring the hottest names in music and film and politics and computers. There will be live performances and movie premieres alongside panel discussions addressing everything under the hot Texas sun. It’s Coachella mixed with TED talks and some Sundance; a sort of Burning Man for brands, corporate and personal, that is forecast to inject more than $200 million into the local economy. SXSW will be hosting...
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The Price for Super Bowl Volunteers

Jan 28, 2014 / Media Coverage /
Use of Volunteers Questioned as N.F.L. Revenue Soars Volunteerism has become as much a part of the Super Bowl as the Roman numeral identification of games, allowing those who cannot attend the games to be a part of the festivities by welcoming those who can. When the Super Bowl was last played in a cold-weather city, with the Giants edging the New England Patriots, 21-17, in Indianapolis to close the 2011 season, members of both teams were left with a warm and fuzzy feeling. They received blue-and-white scarves that were knitted by members of the community and that featured a logo patch sewn...
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Volunteer Suing MLB for All-Star FanFest wages

Aug 9, 2013 / Media Coverage /
A volunteer at Major League Baseball's 2013 All-Star FanFest in New York is suing the organization for unpaid wages. John Chen, one of about 2,000 volunteers at last month's event, billed as "the largest interactive baseball theme park in the world," is being represented by Outten and Golden LLP, which successfully represented two unpaid interns seeking pay for their work on the film "Black Swan," ABC News reported Friday. Chen's lawsuit, which lawyers said they hope to turn into a class action suit, alleges the league violated the Fair Labor Standards Act and New York Labor Law by failing to...
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Major League Baseball Sued by All-Star Volunteer for Unpaid Work

Aug 9, 2013 / Media Coverage /
A volunteer of the 2013 All-Star FanFest is suing Major League Baseball for unpaid wages and is represented by a law firm that won a high-profile judgment in favor of unpaid interns. Major League Baseball hosted its FanFest, what it called "the largest interactive baseball theme park in the world," in New York City last month with the help of about 2,000 volunteers. The five-day All-Star weekend events were sponsored by large corporations and brought about $191.5 million into the New York City economy, the league has claimed. The lawsuit, filed on Wednesday with the U.S. District Court for...
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Hollywood Intern Uprisings Spread to Major League Baseball

Aug 8, 2013 / Media Coverage /
John Chen and several others who worked at the Major League Baseball All-Star Game FanFest have filed a complaint against the league seeking class-action status for a lawsuit alleging the league violated federal and state minimum-wage laws. The complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, seeks to stop MLB from accepting work from unpaid volunteers and recover unpaid wages for the volunteers’ work at FanFest. The workers filed the complaint at a time when unpaid interns across the country are filing suits against prominent media companies such as Fox...
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