MLB All-Star Fanfest volunteer sues league for unpaid wages

A man who worked as one of the estimated 2,000 volunteers at Major League Baseball’s 2013 All-Star FanFest is now suing the league for unpaid wages.

The lawsuit was filed on Wednesday with the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, and its plaintiff, John Chen, hopes to expand it into a class action case, ABC News reports.

"We hope to stop for-profit companies like Major League Baseball from soliciting and receiving free labor," said his attorney, Justin Swartz. "The minimum wage law prohibits for-profit private companies from accepting free volunteer labor."

Over the four days and 17 hours Chen worked at the FanFest in July, he stamped the wrists of attendees, handed bags of FanFest paraphernalia to customers, and attended informational training sessions.

Chen was compensated with FanFest-related items, including shirt, a baseball cap and a drawstring backpack, according to the lawsuit, but no cash, ABC News reports.

An MLB spokesman declined comment, saying the league doesn’t talk about pending litigation.
Chen resides in Rego Park, N.Y., and is being represented by Outten and Golden LLP.

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