As if the Miami Marlins could handle any more low-paying allegations.
The Marlins along with the San Francisco Giants are currently being investigated by the U.S. Department of Labor for federal wage violations of unknown severity. The initial report by FairWarning indicates that the investigation is believed to be a small part of a larger issue regarding unfair pay within baseball.
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.
The Marlins' transgressions are apparently unknown, but as is customary for the Fish, they have announced officially that they are fully cooperating with the Department of Labor's investigation.
A Marlins spokesman said the club does not believe "that any of the Marlins’ current labor practices are improper. . . . We can confirm that the Marlins have been and will continue to cooperate fully with the Department of Labor." Major League Baseball officials could not be reached.
The Marlins are no stranger to federal investigations on their business practices. In the past, the SEC investigated the Marlins about their questionable stadium deal, and while nothing has come of the investigation, the Marlins still had to comply to handing over documentation regarding the funding of the deal by Miami and Miami-Dade county. The involvement of the Fish in this latest scandal is unsurprising.
The Giants' involvement supposedly is due to workers earning daily wages that ended up below minimum wage thanks to long hours and no overtime. These employees included clubhouse workers, security guards, and video workers.
Marlins fans would probably not be all that surprised at the involvement of the Fish, given the reputation of owner Jeffrey Loria as a penny-pinching artist. Indeed, this story seems almost too Loria, even more than the SEC stadium deal investigation. But apparently this problem may be more endemic in baseball than previously believed. Major League Baseball will hold a summit on the matter in Orlando, FL later this month.
Stay tuned to Fish Stripes for more on this developing story and all your Marlins news coverage.