Lawsuit: pay PGA caddies for bib wear

Class-action lawyers sue PGA Tour demanding compensation for caddies’ use of bibs with advertising on them [ESPN]


  • Maybe I am wrong but I always thought that PGA Tour caddies are hired by the players, are independent contractors and each caddy’s compensation is a percentage of his golfer’s earnings each week. Therefore if his golfer misses the cut that week he gets nothing but if the next week his golfer wins the tournament he gets 5-10% of the prize, which could be well over $100K . Caddies are not employees of the PGA Tour and thus I believe this lawsuit is frivolous

  • TJ,

    IMNAL but: if the PGA required the caddies to wear the bibs, wouldn’t that make their being independent contractors the real cause of the claim? If they were employees, they could be requires to wear the uniform if provided. As independents, the were conscripted into the service of the PGA without compensation. In fact, since they could not wear their OWN ‘billboards’ they actually had to pay in Opportunity Costs.

  • OBQuiet ,

    As a sports official, I am considered an “independent contractor” and am required to wear a specific (sport dependent) uniform which has patches and “advertising” for districts and organizations. I am required not only to pay for the uniform, but for the patches. (Even things like special hats I have to pay for.)

    As an independent contractor, if you don’t want to work under the conditions imposed by the employer, you walk away.

  • I was guilty a very unclear phrasing. I understand that even as a contractor, you are still working for the guy paying you and they can specify many work conditions.

    I could be wrong, but based on my limited knowledge of the game, I thought the caddies are contracted by the players not the PGA. If this is wrong, then my point is wrong as well.

    But if they are working for the player and the player does not specify that they will wear the official PGA billboard, then I can understand the complaint. The players get to select their own sponsors. And if the caddies could wear matching logos, it would probably be worth it for sponsors to pay the caddies something as well. If nothing else, it would encourage the players to pay the caddies something just so they did NOT wear a competitors blouse.

    Of course, it could be that the value from the bibs when into higher purses for the players that then went to the players. So the Caddies would have gotten a share that way when they shared the prize money. They may not like the share, but that is part of negotiating their contracts.