MLB All-Star Game volunteer suing over unpaid work

John Chen looks to follow “Black Swan” lead in moving forward with a class action suit

A swing and a miss, and Major League Baseball (MLB) has won … a lawsuit in U.S. District Court.

Plaintiff John Chen claims the MLB owes him unpaid wages for 17 hours of work at last month’s FanFest during All-Star Game weekend in New York City. Chen says MLB violated the Fair Standards Act and New York Labor Law by failing to pay at least minimum wage to workers. The suit also alleges the league used unpaid workers when the All-Star Game was in New York City in 2008.

Chen is represented by Outten and Golden LLP, which has experience with this type of litigation. Outten and Golden represented unpaid interns who sued Fox Searchlight after working on the movie “Black Swan.” A federal district court judge ruled in June that the interns should have been paid since they were regular employees. The judge also ruled the “Black Swan” interns may proceed as a class action suit, a strategy Chen wishes to emulate with other FanFest volunteers.

MLB hosted FanFest, which it called “the largest interactive baseball theme park in the world.” with the help of 2,000 volunteers according to ABC News. The league has claimed the event brought $191.5 million into the New York economy.

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