USTA Accused of Federal and State Labor Law Violations by Umpires at the U.S. Open Tennis Tournaments

Sep 08, 2011, 18:53 ET from Abbey Spanier Rodd & Abrams, LLP

NEW YORK, Sept. 8, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Four umpires have filed a class and collective action lawsuit against the United States Tennis Association (USTA) for wage and hour violations. The case was filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York (Case No. 11-Civ-6268) on behalf of persons who worked as umpires in the main draw and in qualifying matches at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center during the U.S. Open tennis tournaments held in 2005 through 2011.  

The U.S. Open is held annually in New York City in late August and early September.  It is one of four "Grand Slam" tournaments that are the highlights of the year for professional tennis players.  In 2011, the U.S. Open will award players more than $23,000,000 in total prize money.  The USTA employs about three hundred umpires in total during the tournament, who come from all over the United States and many foreign countries.

The umpires claim that, in the years 2005 through 2011, the USTA violated federal and/or state wage and hour laws by failing to pay the umpires all wages due including overtime.  

Ms. Spanier, one of plaintiffs' counsel, said:  "The umpires, who are integral to the success of the U.S. Open, have been treated unfairly for years. They work long hours for low pay at the center of a Grand Slam that generates huge revenues for the USTA.  This suit has been brought to enable them to collectively assert their statutory rights."  

Co-Counsel Mitchell Schley stated:  "It was frankly surprising to learn how woefully little the umpires are paid when viewed against the high ticket prices, level of prize money and the very generous compensation USTA executives take for themselves. Hopefully, this class action will force the USTA to at least abide by federal and state labor laws in the manner it compensates umpires."

Judith L. Spanier of Abbey Spanier Rodd & Abrams, LLP, and the Law Offices of Mitchell Schley, LLC, represent the plaintiffs.  The lawsuit seeks collective and class action status, and monetary damages.

SOURCE Abbey Spanier Rodd & Abrams, LLP