The Oakland Raiders missed the playoffs for the 11th straight time this season, and their problems have only gotten worse since the games ended.
The team is now being sued by its cheerleading squad, the Raiderettes, on claims of “wage theft and other unfair employment practices.”
According to the lawsuit, the $1,250 salary Raiders cheerleaders are paid per season equals out to $5 per hour, far below California’s minimum wage of $8 per hour. Cheerleaders also must pay out of pocket for a number of business expenses, including hair and makeup.
“It’s as if the Raiders’ owners believe that the laws that protect all workers in California just don’t apply to them,” attorney Sharon Vinick said, according to the San Jose Mercury News.
The suit also mentions monetary fines assessed to cheerleaders for infractions such as bringing the wrong pom-poms or yoga mat to practice or wearing the wrong workout clothes. Raiderettes also are benched for games without pay if they appear “too soft” or gain more than five pounds over the course of a season, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
“The club controls our hairstyle and makeup, and we have to foot the bill,” said lead plaintiff Lacy T. (the team withholds cheerleader’s last names for security reasons). “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 said she is seeking thousands of dollars in compensation for both current and former Raiderettes.
Photo via Facebook/The Oakland Raiders