The New York Jets have reportedly reached a settlement in the lawsuit filed against them by the team’s cheerleaders.
According to FOX Sports, the Jets settled the class-action lawsuit by agreeing to pay the cheerleading squad nearly $324,000. The cheerleaders reportedly filed the lawsuit over unpaid wages, claiming that they were not paid for non-game appearances or practices.
— dominick ambrosio (@dominickambro) January 27, 2016
Each of the New York Jets’ cheerleaders were paid $150 for each game and did not have to pay anything extra for their uniforms, which were provided to them by the team. However, the cheerleaders did have to pay for their own hair and makeup products and services along with transportation expenses to and from sporting events.
How much money will each cheerleader receive from the settlement?
The Bergen Record reports that there were 52 former and current cheerleaders listed in the Bergen County Case. Each of the people identified were part of the New York Jets’ Flight Crew during the 2012 and 2013 NFL seasons.
The attorneys received $112,000 in expenses and other related fees. That amount does not include the $6,500 that was paid to a claims administrator. As a group, the 52 women listed in the class-action lawsuit received a total of $205,433.
According to the report, each of those past and present New York Jets cheerleaders will receive between $2,559 and $5,913. Their exact cut from the settlement will be based on whether they worked both seasons as well as their involvement (or lack thereof) with the team’s calendar photo shoots.
The initial lawsuit was filed in August, 2014, by a former cheerleader identified as “Krystal C.” Krystal’s attorney, Patricia Pierce, made it clear that none of the other New York Jets cheerleaders listed in the class action lawsuit were identified by name in order to protect them and preserve their privacy.
To follow the team’s strict image guidelines, each of the New York Jets’ cheerleaders were reportedly required to have straight hair. Since Krystal had naturally curly hair, she invested in regularly straightening her hair in order to meet this requirement.
Attorney Patricia Pierce told the Bergen Record that “when you figure all that up” in addition to the other expenses paid by the New York Jets cheerleaders, “they were making less than minimum wage.”
This is not the first time that an NFL football team has reached a six-figure settlement with its cheerleaders over wages recently. The Cincinnati Bengals recently agreed to pay their own cheerleading squad $255,000. However, both settlement offers were apparently eclipsed by the $1.25 million settlement that the Oakland Raiders reached with its own team cheerleaders, according to CBS Sports.
Senator Loretta Weinberg sponsored a bill earlier this month that would officially extend employment protections offered through New Jersey law to cheerleaders of professional sports teams. The Bergen Record reports that Weinberg said “this would hopefully start calling attention to how these women… are underpaid and not protected.”
The news of the New York Jets settling the class-action lawsuit is likely good news for the team’s biggest fans — especially with the team working on their game plan to hopefully have a better season next year. However, as part of the major settlement, the New York Jets reportedly made no admission of “any liability of wrongdoing whatsoever.”
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