On Aug. 24, the Oakland Raiders and its cheerleading squad, the Raiderettes, came to an agreement on a wage dispute. The squad claims that the team violated California wage and hour law by failing to pay minimum wage during the four football seasons from 2010 to 2013. The Raiders will pay approximately $6,000 for each year cheerleaders worked from 2010 to 2012. The Raiderettes received a pay increase in 2013, but were still underpaid, so they will receive around $2,500 each for that season.
The total amount for the 90 female cheerleaders, including interest, comes to $1.25 million. This includes reimbursing the members for expenses such as traveling to events, the cost of a hairstylist chosen by the Raiders and supplies, including fake eyelashes and tights. The squad also reported that their salary of $125 per home game only came out to around $5 per hour, much lower than California’s minimum wage, according to a lawsuit filed in January. Cheerleaders got a total salary of $1,250 for 10 games but were also required to perform at 10 events, attend weekly rehearsals and be a part of the yearly photo shoot for a swimsuit calender.
The plaintiffs also stated that the Raiders imposed arbitrary fines for infractions like not having the correct pom-poms at practice. The squad further alleged that they were not paid until the end of the season. California law requires that workers are paid twice a month or more frequently. A judge will decide whether to give preliminary approval to the settlement on Sept. 26.
Workers who think that their employer has broken the law in regards to compensation or other aspects of employment may be apprehensive about taking action. An attorney could review the circumstances and advise the clients whether any redress is available.
Source: San Francisco Gate, “Oakland Raiders settle cheerleader suit over pay issues“, Bob Egelko, September 05, 2014