The NFL Players Association is facing an unprecedented lawsuit by a union representing its players.
The players’ union filed a $1 million lawsuit Thursday against the streaming music company Spotify, alleging its business practices have harmed their careers and damaged the union’s reputation.
In the lawsuit, the union claims that Spotify “repeatedly violated its obligations to players and its contractual obligations to its members.”
It also says the company “willfully and intentionally caused harm to its employees and its members” by the company’s practices.
Spotify says it has complied with the settlement and that it plans to defend itself vigorously in court.
“We’re pleased that we have reached a settlement that will allow us to continue to build the team and team culture that is our mission,” Spotify CFO James Pohl said.
“The players have made clear that we want to continue this culture in the NFL.”
The union’s lawsuit accuses Spotify of “sending thousands of its members to nightclubs, nightclubs that do not exist,” and “creating false advertising and promoting fraudulent products.”
The lawsuit also claims Spotify has engaged in “an intentional and willful violation of the Sherman Anti-Trust Act, which requires the company to prevent and deter anticompetitive conduct, and the Fair Labor Standards Act.”
Spotify says its business strategy is “based on trust and respect for our members and the integrity of the game.”
Spotify is expected to file a response in the coming days.
Spotify CEO Daniel Ek said the settlement will help the union build a stronger working relationship with the company.
“Spotify has been an incredible ally in the efforts to reform the NFL and the NFL Players union and I am grateful that the union has reached a resolution with us, which I believe will serve the league and players well for years to come,” Ek said in a statement.
“I believe the settlement we have negotiated will enable the union to better understand the unique and complex issues that we face in our industry, including the nature of the digital platform we use to stream our football.”
The settlement agreement also calls for the NFLPA to have the ability to hire and fire union officials, which would “provide us the flexibility to effectively represent our members.”
The NFLPA says the NFL has been unfairly treating its members with “unfair and discriminatory” labor practices.
The union is seeking class-action status in the lawsuit.
In addition to the $1,500 per year salary cap and $250,000 payout for each employee, the NFL also has a $50,000 severance package for players who quit or are fired.
The settlement includes an additional $10,000 in payments for each player who does not leave the league within three years.