OUTRAGE: Not-So-All-Star Volunteer Swings for the Legal Fences

Oct 21, 2013

It’s almost Halloween and the only thing scarier than free candy from strangers is frivolous lawsuits. Throughout October, we’ll feature a ridiculous lawsuit each week, courtesy of FacesofLawsuitAbuse.com.

In this week's outrageous lawsuit, Major League Baseball is in trouble, but this time, it’s not Alex Rodriguez causing problems.

A man who volunteered at the 2013 All-Star Game FanFest in New York is now suing MLB for hourly wages and overtime pay, saying that the swag bag he received isn’t enough.

According to the lawsuit, federal and state minimum wage laws were violated when the league recruited 2,000 volunteers to operate 40 attractions from July 12 to July 16 at an event advertised as “the largest interactive baseball theme park in the world” and “baseball heaven on earth.” This year’s All-Star Game and related events including FanFest generated about $191.5 million for the New York City economy, the lawsuit said.

Volunteers to the festival, which charged adult attendees $35 and children age 2 and older $30, were given a shirt, a cap, a cinch drawstring backpack, free admission to FanFest for the volunteer and one guest along with a water bottle and a baseball, the lawsuit said.

The lawsuit filed in Manhattan federal court was brought in the name of John Chen and seeks class-action status. It asks for lost wages and urges a judge to order the league to stop soliciting and accepting work from unpaid volunteers. Lawyers for Chen said the league has already invited this year’s volunteers to work for free at the 2014 All-Star Game in Minneapolis. 

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