The Oakland Raiders had better hope their legal team does a better job defending against lawsuits in the courtroom than their 28th-ranked pass defense does defending wide outs in the secondary, as the team is being sued by a member of its cheerleader squad, the Oakland Raiderettes.
The suit, filed in Alameda County by lead plaintiff Lacy T., accuses the Raiders of wage theft and unfair employment practices. It claims the Raiders do not pay their cheerleaders in a timely fashion, nor do they pay for all hours worked. Additionally, the cheerleaders are responsible for their own business expenses.
“The club controls our hairstyle and makeup, and we have to foot the bill,” said Lacy in a statement released by her lawyer. “We also have to pay the costs for traveling to all kinds of events, including photo shoots… I love the Raiders and I love being a Raiderette, but someone has to stand up for all of the women of the NFL who work so hard for the fans and the teams.”
According to filing attorney Sharon Vinick, the Raiders cheerleaders are paid $1,250 annually, amounting to less than $5 per hour after games, rehearsals and charity events. Raiders cheerleaders are not paid until the end of the season and have their pay docked for being late and other reasons.
“I have never seen an employment contract with so many illegal provisions,” Vinick said via San Jose Mercury News.
CNN reports that the plaintiff is asking that the suit move forward as a class action so that other Raiders cheerleaders, past and present, can gain restitution for thousands of dollars in unpaid wages and penalties.
The San Francisco Gate reports that the Raiders fine their cheerleaders $10 or more for failing to bring the right pom-poms or a yoga mat to practice. Cheerleaders who gain 5 pounds from her weight at the start of the season, or appear “too soft” will not be able to appear at the next home game, but must remain in the locker room, forfeiting the $125 wage they would have made for participating.
What do you think about the cheerleader lawsuit against the Oakland Raiders?