Student Athletes’ Wage Suit Against NCAA and Universities Is Dismissed

by | Dec 24, 2018 | Blog

A federal judge in Indiana dismissed the remaining claims of a lawsuit filed by student athletes, alleging that they were “employees” and therefore entitled to the minimum wage under the Fair Labor Standards Act. The suit was initially filed in 2014 by Samantha Sackos, a soccer player for the University of Houston. Ms. Sackos alleged that she and other student athletes were “temporary employees” and therefore were entitled to minimum wage. Ms. Sackos eventually dropped out of the case but was replaced by plaintiffs Lauren Anderson, Gillian Berger, and Taylor Hennig, all track and field athletes at the University of Pennsylvania. Because all of the three plaintiffs were current or former Penn students, the other schools moved for dismissal, arguing that the plaintiffs had no standing to sue them. U.S. District Court Judge William T. Lawrence agreed, and dismissed the claims without prejudice. Theoretically Plaintiffs can try again with amended claims, or by adding plaintiffs from other schools. That may not be worth the trouble, though, because the judge also dismissed the claims against Penn on their merits. Specifically, the judge found that Penn was not the employer of the plaintiffs. The claims against Penn were dismissed with prejudice.

Source: Courtesy of Client Bulletin #572 of Constangy, Brooks, Smith & Prophete, LLP