NFL Cheerleaders Have Something Big to Cheer About

Photo (cc) by idibriconsulting

The Buffalo Jills are celebrating an important win off the field after a New York State Supreme Court judge ruled that the cheerleaders can proceed with a class action lawsuit against the Buffalo Bills professional football team for better wages.

Justice Timothy J. Drury said a class action suit by the cheerleaders “would be a far more efficient means of litigation as opposed to a multitude of individual lawsuits,” according to the Buffalo News.

A handful of former Bills cheerleaders, who are called the Buffalo Jills, filed a lawsuit against the team in 2014 claiming that they were forced to endure degrading treatment while getting paid less than minimum wage. The women involved in the suit allegedly made just a few hundred dollars per season cheering for the NFL team.

Although the Buffalo Bills have maintained that the cheerleaders were independent contractors, not employees, and not entitled to certain wage and workplace rights, the judge denied the team’s claim. Drury noted that the women were held to a strict Code of Conduct, which governed seemingly every aspect of their lives, both on and off the field.

Examples of the strict rules the Jills were required to follow include directives on how much bread the Jills could eat in a “formal setting,” how they should talk – “Say ‘oh my goodness’ instead of ‘Oh my God'” – and even what soap they should use, according to a report in The New York Post.

A section of the cheerleaders’ 2013-14 handbook titled “General hygiene & lady body maintenance” includes the instruction, “Intimate areas: Never use a deodorant or chemically enhanced product. Simple nondeodorant soap will help maintain the right PH balance.”

The judge’s ruling allows all Jills from as far back as April 2008 to join the suit against the Bills.

In an interview with Buffalo’s ABC affiliate WKBW, Christopher Marlborough, an attorney for the cheerleaders, said he was pleased with the court’s ruling.

“The case is going to move forward on behalf of everyone,” he said. “This is a major victory.”

The Buffalo Bills released this statement to WKBW:

“The Buffalo Bills respectfully disagree with the Court’s decision. It remains our position that this case is being prosecuted by a very small number of former cheerleaders whose allegations do not accurately reflect the sentiment of all cheerleaders. We intend to appeal today’s ruling and we will continue to vigorously defend the allegations brought against us and we remain confident in our position in this matter.”

This is the latest in a growing trend of NFL cheerleaders going after their NFL teams for better wages and treatment. The Cincinnati Bengals, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Oakland Raiders and New York Jets all have faced lawsuits brought by their cheerleaders.

I don’t think the cheerleaders are asking for too much here. If an NFL team wants to have cheerleaders, then they need to pay them a fair wage, period. That said, it would be hard to determine “fair pay” for these women, considering the demeaning treatment they have to endure.

What do you think of the cheerleaders’ allegations of demeaning treatment and unfair pay? Sound off below or on our Facebook page.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
How Baby Boomers Are Earning an Extra $573 a Month
How Baby Boomers Are Earning an Extra $573 a Month

In the gig economy, baby boomers are out-hustling their younger competition. You can cash in, too.

8 Surprising Things No One Tells You About Retirement
8 Surprising Things No One Tells You About Retirement

Knowing what to expect can help you prepare for — and adjust to — life in your golden years.

8 Things I Always Buy at Costco
8 Things I Always Buy at Costco

From bacon to birthday cakes, here are my favorite deals at the popular warehouse store.

7 Things You Should Buy at Estate Sales
7 Things You Should Buy at Estate Sales

Here’s what an experienced estate sale shopper considers a great find.

7 Deadly Health Mistakes People Make After Age 50
7 Deadly Health Mistakes People Make After Age 50

Simply avoiding these actions, or lack thereof, can improve the odds of a longer, more healthful life.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It
If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It

This iconic dinnerware is prized for everyday use as well as reselling for profit.

20 Things That Are Actually Worth Stockpiling
20 Things That Are Actually Worth Stockpiling

You don’t need a year’s supply of toilet paper to survive an outbreak, but consider stocking up on these items.

9 of the Best Things to Do When You Retire
9 of the Best Things to Do When You Retire

You’ve waited all your life for this moment. Make the most of your retirement.

3 Colors That Can Ruin Your Car’s Resale Value
3 Colors That Can Ruin Your Car’s Resale Value

Select the wrong color for your next car, and it could depreciate twice as fast as others.

Beware This Hidden Ingredient in Rotisserie Chicken
Beware This Hidden Ingredient in Rotisserie Chicken

Something foul may lurk in those delicious, ready-to-eat birds.

7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco

Even if it seems you save a bundle buying Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand products, they may not be the bargain they appear to be.

Never Buy These 10 Things on Amazon
Never Buy These 10 Things on Amazon

Just because you can purchase something on Amazon doesn’t mean that you should.

7 Big Purchases You Should Never Make
7 Big Purchases You Should Never Make

Sometimes a big-ticket purchase is nothing more than a big waste of money.

8 of the Worst Things to Buy at Target
8 of the Worst Things to Buy at Target

No store can specialize in everything. For some purchases, it’s smart to shop elsewhere.

5 States With the Worst Health Care for Retirees
5 States With the Worst Health Care for Retirees

All of these states are located in the same region of the nation.

8 Things You Should Be Buying at Thrift Stores
8 Things You Should Be Buying at Thrift Stores

For one expert, these secondhand bargains stand out from the rest.

20 Great Part-Time Jobs for Retirees
20 Great Part-Time Jobs for Retirees

Retirees can dial back the intensity of work while continuing to bring in a paycheck.

12 Deep Discounts Available on Amazon This Friday
12 Deep Discounts Available on Amazon This Friday

These items are steeply discounted — but the deals won’t last long.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

11 Foods That Can Keep for Years
11 Foods That Can Keep for Years

These are some of the longest-lasting groceries you can buy.

13 Amazon Purchases We Are Loving Right Now
13 Amazon Purchases We Are Loving Right Now

These practical products make everyday life a little easier.

Medicare Will Not Cover These 6 Medical Costs
Medicare Will Not Cover These 6 Medical Costs

Don’t let these health care expenses catch you off guard in retirement.

5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free
5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free

Hesitant to drop $119 a year on an Amazon Prime membership? Here’s how to get it for free.

Selling Your Stuff? Don’t Fall for These 5 Negotiating Tricks
Selling Your Stuff? Don’t Fall for These 5 Negotiating Tricks

Don’t let buyers fleece you — whether you’re selling via a yard sale or Facebook Marketplace.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.