According to the San Jose Mercury News, the Raiderettes cheerleading squad is suing the Oakland Raiders for allegedly only paying them $5 an hour.
The suit, filed in Alameda County Superior Court on behalf of current and former Raiderettes, claims that the NFL team engaged in wage theft and other unfair employment practices. Specifically, the suit charges that the team withholds all pay from the Raiderettes 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.
“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.
Vinick claims the cheerleaders only make $1,250 a year, which works out to $5 an hour.
“The club controls our hairstyle and makeup, and we have to foot the bill,” said the lead plaintiff, Lacy T., identified only by her first name, in accordance with Raiderettes policy, 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.”
The lawsuit also states that the Raiders owe backpay to current and former cheerleaders.
“I have never seen an employment contract with so many illegal provisions,” Vinick said.