Lawsuit Says Buffalo Bills Cheerleaders Are Degraded and Underpaid

Lawsuit Says Buffalo Bills Cheerleaders Are Degraded and Underpaid Photo (cc) by MattBritt00

Groping, catcalling and “jiggle tests” – it’s all in a day’s work for the Buffalo Bills’ cheerleaders, according to a new lawsuit.

And if that’s not bad enough, a handful of former Bills cheerleaders claim they were forced to endure the demeaning treatment while getting paid less than minimum wage.

It sounds like NFL cheerleaders may have been overlooked when we detailed America’s worst jobs.

Five former cheerleaders have filed suit against the Bills, joining a growing list of women who are suing NFL teams over mistreatment and wage theft. The Oakland Raiders and Cincinnati Bengals face similar lawsuits, according to Sports Illustrated.

The Bills’ cheerleaders, called the Buffalo Jills, name the team, former manager Citadel Communications and Stejon Productions Corp., in their lawsuit, SI said.

So just how bad was the pay? Terrible, Deadspin said:

Jills were not paid for working game days. Neither were they paid for the mandatory biweekly practice sessions that usually lasted eight hours in total, according to the suit. On average, the cheerleaders involved in the suit averaged only a few hundred dollars per season, the highest amount being $1,800, the lowest $150.

One of the most egregious acts against the Jills (and there are many) described in the suit was the “jiggle test.” SI said a section of the lawsuit reads:

The Jills were subjected to weekly “physique evaluations” during which defendants’ representatives tested the Jills’ bodies for “jiggling.” During the “Jiggle Test” defendants scrutinized the women’s stomach, arms, legs, hips, and butt while she does jumping jacks. The physique evaluations largely determine whether or not any particular Jill would be allowed to perform at the Bills’ next home game. Jills that failed to meet defendants’ physical standards received warnings, and in some cases were penalized, suspended or dismissed.

Deadspin acquired a copy of the complaint document, which details the lengthy rule book the Jills were ordered to follow. It includes instructions like “how to properly wash ‘intimate areas,'” Deadspin said.

Disgusted? I hope so. All the cheerleaders are asking for is fair pay and better treatment – doesn’t seem like much.

It’s appalling to me that this type of treatment would be permitted. It will be interesting to see if other cheerleaders join the Buffalo Jills, Oakland Raiderettes and Cincinnati Ben-Gals in demanding fair treatment and better pay.

What do you think of the alleged treatment of the Jills cheerleaders? Share your comments below or on our Facebook page.

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