By Isabel Angell
The San Francisco Giants have paid $545,000 in back wages and damages to 74 employees. That’s after a U.S. Department of Labor investigation found some workers in the Giants’ clubhouse and elsewhere in the organization were making far below the federal minimum wage of $7.25. The department said that some clubhouse attendants were getting paid $55 a day—and working 12 to 15 hours a shift.
For a little context, three Giants players — starting pitchers Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain and Barry Zito — are all reportedly paid $20 million or more a year. Lincecum is the highest paid of that trio with a $22 million salary. Starting about 30 to 35 games a year, Lincecum makes more for every appearance than the Giants have agreed to pay their undercompensated staffers.
Susana Blanco, who oversaw the investigation for the Labor Department, said that when it comes to the undercompensated workers, the Giants are in clear violation of federal regulations.
“Employees should typically be making $7.25 an hour based on the regulations, and these employees we determined were making approximately $4 — I think we determined it was $4.25 an hour,” she said.
The investigation also found video operators and some administrative workers weren’t getting proper pay for their jobs. In all, the Giants paid the 74 employees about a quarter-million dollars in back wages, and then another quarter million in damages, which is an added punishment against the employer.
The Giants did not return calls before this posted, but Blanco said the organization worked openly with the department throughout the investigation.
The Department of Labor is now working with Major League Baseball to make sure wage issues aren’t systemwide. At more than $136 million, the Giants have the sixth-highest overall payroll in the league.