Gov. Ron DeSantis signs a bill that lets professional baseball players get paid less than minimum wage in Florida

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Gov. Ron DeSantis on Monday signed 17 bills, including a measure (SB 892) that creates an exemption to the state’s minimum-wage law for professional baseball.

The measure incorporates into the state minimum-wage law a carve-out for minor-league baseball players that is part of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act.

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The federal act includes several minimum-wage exemptions, such as for baseball players, casual babysitters, some seasonal amusement workers and border patrol agents.

It requires baseball players to receive an in-season weekly salary equal to the minimum wage for a 40-hour work week.

When Congress amended the federal law in 2018, the minor-league minimum was set at $290 a week — the equivalent of $7.25 an hour — without overtime eligibility.

The federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour. Florida voters in 2020 backed a constitutional amendment that increases the minimum wage $1 a year until reaching $15 on Sept. 30, 2026.

The Florida minimum wage is now $11 an hour and will go to $12 on Sept. 30.

Before the state House passed the bill last month, sponsor Brad Yeager, R-New Port Richey, warned that without the change, baseball teams could limit access to training facilities or pull players from games to ensure they don’t exceed weekly work-hour limits.

Democrats argued the bill supports “billionaire” major-league team owners.

©2023 The News Service of Florida

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