NFL cheerleaders always look so happy on the HDTV screen. It appears some have reason not to be.
Imagine competing for a job that pays about $5 an hour, doesn’t reimburse all business expenses, and issues monetary fines for seemingly minor infractions. That’s how a new lawsuit describes the job of Oakland Raiders cheerleaders. And you thought this was a glamorous career.
The suit, filed in Alameda County Superior Court on behalf of current and former Raiderettes, claims that the Raiders organization engaged in wage theft and other unfair employment practices. Specifically, the suit charges that the team withholds all pay from the Raiderettes until after the season is completed, does not pay for all hours worked and forces the cheerleaders to pay many of their own business expenses.
Fox News adds: “Perhaps adding insult to injury, the cheerleader’s lawyer says NFL teams’ male mascots are treated as paid employees with benefits.”
Lead plaintiff Lacy T. (whose last name was not made public for security reasons) said in a statement she hopes other cheerleaders around the National Football League will join the suit. Only six of the 32 NFL teams don’t have cheerleading squads.
The Raiderettes’ contract says they’re supposed to be paid $125 per home game, the lawsuit says.
But, says SFGate:
The suit said Raiderettes are required to take part, without pay, in two to three rehearsals per week, the 10 charity events, a team rally, Fan Day and the swimsuit calendar photo-shoot. They must also pay the costs of traveling to those events, it said.
in addition, cheerleaders are required to pay out-of-pocket for things like yoga mats and the services of a team-selected hairstylist, the suit alleges. The cheerleaders also get fined $10 for infractions, like bringing the wrong pom-poms or yoga mat to practice.
The Raiders organization has declined to comment.