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MLB All-Star Weekend

Workers Sue

Pay Us In Cash, Not Tchotchkes

8/7/2013 8:45 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF


Major League Baseball put roughly 2,000 people to work during All-Star weekend in NYC last month and illegally paid them with giveaway items like shirts and hats INSTEAD of cash, so says a new lawsuit.

One of the "volunteers" who worked the event has filed the suit against MLB -- claiming the organization broke the law by failing to pay the "volunteers" actual wages for doing real jobs.

In the suit, John Chen says he worked 17 hours in 4 days at the All-Star Weekend festival -- doing everything from stamping wrists to stuffing flyers into bags and even filing paperwork ... all assignments that would otherwise have to be done by paid employees.

Chen says at the end of the event, he was compensated with a shirt, cap, cinch drawstring backpack, free admission to the FanFest for himself and a guest, a water bottle and a baseball.

Basically, Chen believes the concept of a "volunteer" workforce violates federal and state labor laws -- and the "volunteers" should be paid at least minimum wage ... which, in NY, is $7.25 per hour.

Furthermore, Chen points out that MLB made a killing during the event -- charging $35 per adult ticket, $5 for a bag of chips and $7.50 for lemonade.

Chen is seeking a judgement forcing MLB to end the volunteer work program ASAP -- and pay volunteers who worked at FanFest events dating back to the 2007 All-Star Weekend.

Chen released a statement saying, "I very much enjoyed working at FanFest, but the minimum wage laws are important. People who cannot afford to work for free should be able to have the same experience I had."

A rep for MLB tells us, “We don’t comment on pending litigations."


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Chen and his attorney need to check the dictionary definition for "Volunteer." On the other hand, unless the MLB Fanfest event was non-profit, they shouldn't be exploiting volunteers and should pay these people a wage.

411 days ago


The revenues from the sale of tickets for the All-Star Game go to the players pension fund. That's why the ASG was started back in the Good O'l Days before the 25th man was paid $2M to clean jockstraps.

411 days ago

_][ Character_Assassin ][_    

I've done volunteer work and I tell you, I've done more work than that like pick/lift isht up that weighs more that 50lbs only to get a certificate at the end and these mofo's whining about stuffing bags with flyers... lol.

411 days ago

en Todo Momento!!    

is there even one single legal rep out there who does not exclusively use the standard '5' legal rep answers?

411 days ago

en Todo Momento!!    

this guy must be kidding tho. first off, those are some awesome gifts, and they will probably pay off in ten years, if he takes care of them. and secondly, almost all of baseball is volunteer work. they fund all the teams all around the country via the ONLY income generating aspect, namely MLB. from mom's who do bakesales or other fundraising events, to dads and brothers etc who coach and train teams, the vast majority of baseball IS ABOUT VOLUNTEERING. if you want a salary for a team spirit event, you may as well hire some table dancers and a couple of uber ambitious motivational speakers, and let that be that.

411 days ago



411 days ago


If you want to get paid, don't volunteer D-azz!

People this ignorant do walk among us. Dear Lord help us all.

411 days ago


So the events I volunteered for back in school I can sue for being used as a child slave?

411 days ago


Honestly, I'm very close to leaving America. I can't believe how stupid we're becoming, it's ridiculous.

411 days ago


It looks like this dumb*ss needs to look up the word, volunteer. When you volunteer, you DON'T get paid!!!!!

411 days ago


I hope they make him pay for all legal fees when he loses.

411 days ago

tmz addict    

its definitely THEIR money

411 days ago


Isn't the definition of "volunteer"- work for nothing. Why does EVERYONE feel they can sue anyone. This should be town out of the Clerk's Office. It soldnt even reach the judge.

411 days ago


Thrown and shouldn't. Darn auto-correct.

411 days ago


The jackass just bought a $100,00.00 MLB legal bill.

411 days ago
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