The NFL has been in the news lately for lawsuits, but those have to do with concussion injuries. Now, however, the Oakland Raiders face a California labor lawsuit
, filed by a cheerleader, who alleges the Raiders violate California labor laws by failing to pay her properly for her time working for the team. According to NBC Sports
(1/23/14), this is not the first California labor lawsuit filed against the Raiders in recent years.Associated Press
(1/22/14) reports that the current and former cheerleaders filed their lawsuit alleging the Raiders do not pay them for their work until the end of the football season, do not pay them for all hours worked and do not reimburse the cheerleaders for costs incurred associated with their role as cheerleaders. What they are paid for reportedly works out to less than $5 per hour for their time spent as cheerleaders, including at games, making public appearances and training. The lawsuit claims cheerleaders begin the season in April but are not paid until January and their cheerleading duties can require them to be available for more than 300 appearances in a football season.
Among costs incurred as a cheerleader, according to the lawsuit, are fines for wearing the wrong clothing to rehearsal, fines for not bringing proper equipment to practice and costs of accessories such as hair and eyelashes. According to court documents
, Raiderette cheerleaders must sign a contract that is filled with provisions that violate California labor law. The plaintiff, Lacy T., alleges she incurred approximately $650 in unreimbursed expenses while acting as a Raiderette.
Furthermore, the lawsuit alleges, on a game day that may require working up to nine hours, Raiderettes are paid $125 with no meal or rest breaks, and Raiderettes who are benched (meaning they attend the game but do not perform or only perform during pregame or half-time) are not paid at all for the game but are required to stay on the premises. They are also allegedly required to make at least 10 charitable appearances for which they are not paid and required to attend at least two weekly practices for which they are not paid.
Over the course of the season, Raiderettes reportedly receive $1,250, which works out to $5 an hour - less than California minimum wage, and that is only if they do not incur fines. Depending on various fines, it is possible that a Raiderette could work an entire season but not receive any compensation, the lawsuit claims.
The lawsuit, which seeks class-action status, was filed in the Superior Court for the State of California, County of Alameda. The case number is RG14710815.