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Virginia Sports and Entertainment Law Journal (2017)
  • Mitchell J Nathanson
This Article examines California Labor Law §2855 and explores whether it might apply to Major League Baseball (MLB) clubs operating within the state of California.  Further, it attempts to answer the question of how the statute might impact California clubs, as well as those operating outside of California, if in fact it does.  It will explore the history, purpose and workings of the statute – one most typically applied to artists and creatives such as Hollywood actors – as well as its public policy aims to see whether the concerns that underpin the language and subsequent judicial interpretation of §2855 are likewise present in modern day professional baseball.  For if they are there is a strong argument that the statute applies to the creatives pursing their craft on the diamond just as it does to those who perform on the sound stage.  This Article will also examine the issue of federal pre-emption given that player relations within MLB are governed by a collective bargaining agreement negotiated pursuant to the National Labor Relations Act.  It will explore how the statute has been applied historically and how the “anti-collusion” language written into MLB’s collective bargaining agreement might hinder club owners’ ability to prevent their players from exercising their rights under §2855.  It will also scrutinize the potential nexus between §2855 and baseball’s arbitration rules to see if perhaps some small tweaks of these rules might bring baseball into compliance with the statute surprisingly easily.  And finally this Article will take a look at the practical impact the application of §2855 might have on California clubs as well as MLB overall and will show that without its realizing it, baseball has been inching towards compliance with the statute in recent years.  As this Article will conclude, rather than ushering in the End of Days of baseball in California as some fear, formally applying §2855 to MLB might very well provide California clubs with negotiating advantages relative to their non-California brethren when it comes to the wooing of free agents.  For all of these reasons, this Article argues that, rather than fight it, both MLB and its California clubs ought to instead embrace §2855 as one way or the other, they will be following many of its dictates in the not-so-distant future.
  • baseball,
  • labor law,
  • california labor law 2855,
  • mike trout,
  • nlra
Publication Date
Fall 2017
Citation Information
Mitchell J Nathanson. "MORE THAN JUST CALIFORNIA DREAMIN.pdf" Virginia Sports and Entertainment Law Journal (2017)
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