MLB Settles Lawsuit with Aaron Senne, Minor League Players over Compensation

Adam WellsMay 10, 2022

CHARLOTTE, NC - JULY 13: An All Star game logo baseball is photographed during the Sonic Automotive Triple-A Baseball All Star Game at BB&T Ballpark on July 13, 2016 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo by Gregg Forwerck/Getty Images)
Gregg Forwerck/Getty Images

A 2014 class action lawsuit filed by Aaron Senne and several other Minor League Baseball players against Major League Baseball has been settled. 

Per The Athletic's Evan Drellich, the two sides agreed to a settlement on Tuesday. Terms of the agreement were not immediately available. 

"We are pleased to report that the parties have reached a settlement in principle in this over-eight-year-old case, subject to court approval. We look forward to filing preliminary approval papers with the court and cannot comment further until then," the players' counsel said in a statement, via Drellich

The Senne v. MLB lawsuit began when players alleged violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act related to pay for minor leaguers. 

In October 2020, the United States Supreme Court denied MLB's request to dismiss the lawsuit, clearing a path for minor league players to receive compensation in line with the number of hours worked. 

"The ultimate goal is pretty simple: to get MLB to comply with the same laws that Walmart and McDonald's comply with," said attorney Garrett Broshuis after the Supreme Court decision. "Whenever they ask players to go to spring training, they should be paying their employees for it. During a season, there's no reason for players to be making $7,500 or $8,000 a year."

During the lockout, MLB lawyer Elise Bloom said in federal court in February that minor leaguers shouldn't be paid during spring training because they should be considered trainees. 

"It is the players that obtain the greater benefit from the training opportunities that they are afforded than the clubs, who actually just incur the cost of having to provide that training," said Bloom.

Per Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times, a federal judge ruled in March that minor leaguers should be classified as year-round employees and MLB was responsible for nearly $2 million in damages. 

There were some changes to minor-league pay in the new collective bargaining agreement, but it only covers players on the 40-man roster who either have prior MLB experience or have signed a second MLB contract. 

MLB did announce in October it was requiring all 30 teams to provide housing for minor league players.