The Oakland Raiders cheerleaders – known as “Raiderettes” are not as cheerful as you might imagine.
They have filed a class-action lawsuit claiming that the club indulges in unfair payment practices.
The claim was entered at the Alameda, California, County Superior Court and includes both current and former Raiderettes. It alleges that the Oakland Raiders engaged in wage theft and other unfair employment practices.
The Raiders cheerleaders claim that the team withholds all pay from them 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.
They are being represented by attorney Sharon Vinick who said.”It’s as if the Raiders’ owners believe that the laws that protect all workers in California just don’t apply to them,”
Vinick says that the Raiders cheerleaders receive a contract for an annual salary of $1,250. Effectively this works out at an hourly wage of less than $5 per hour. The lawsuit also points out that the cheerleaders incur other costs, such as fines levied for infractions such as bringing the wrong pom-poms to practice, wearing the wrong workout clothing to rehearsals, failing to bring a yoga mat to practice, or not turning in written biographies on time.
The lead plaintiff, Lacy T. (identified only by her first name for security reasons.) said:
“The club controls our hairstyle and makeup, and we have to foot the bill,” “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.”
Vinick added that the Raiders owe tens of thousands of dollars in unpaid wages to former Raiderettes who worked in the cheerleaders squad in previous seasons. The claim is also for the current Raiders cheerleaders who are owed thousands of dollars in penalties for this season.
“I have never seen an employment contract with so many illegal provisions,” Vinick said.
The Raiders management has not commented, or issued a response. This lawsuit simply adds to the Raiders woes; their field product mustered only a 4-12 record in 2013.
Maybe one cause of the problem is that the Raiders cheerleaders simply couldn’t find anything to cheer about!