If you play minor league baseball in Florida, you can now be paid less than minimum wage thanks to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.
DeSantis signed 17 bills last week, including measure SB 892 which created an exemption to Florida’s minimum-wage law for professional baseball players.
The measure, which has now been added to the state minimum-wage law, creates a loophole for minor-league baseball players in the federal Fair Labor Standards Act. That act has several minimum-wage exemptions, including for baseball players, babysitters, and seasonal amusement workers, to name a few.
The act requires that baseball players get an in-season weekly salary that is equal to the minimum wage for a regular workweek. When the law was amended in 2018, the minor league baseball minimum pay was set at $290 a week, equal to $7.25 an hour for a 40-hour work week.
Florida voters approved a constitutional amendment in 2020 that increases the minimum wage by one dollar a year until it reaches $15 in 2026. Currently, Florida’s minimum wage is $11 an hour and will go up to $12 in September.
The measure, which was backed by Republicans, came with a warning that baseball teams would have to limit player access to training facilities or games if they exceed weekly work limits. Meanwhile, Democrats argued the bill supported billionaire major league owners who just don’t want to pay a few extra bucks to the players who make them all of that money.
DeSantis recently talked about how much he appreciates the game of baseball. However, it sounds like he’s not that worried about players making a living wage.