A few of Football's Fabulous Females are not too happy these days with their pay from the Raiders and are taking their case to court. A current Raiderette, going by only Lacy T, is taking the Raiders to court on behalf of 40 current and former members of the Raiders' famed cheerleading squad.
They are claiming the Raiders have been paying the Raiderettes what amounts to a wage of under $5 per hour when considering the entirety of the hours they spend representing the team. Their duties include 10 home games, several team sponsored charity events, three rehearsals per week, a fan day, and photo shoots. The suit is claiming they should be compensated for their time and to not do so has them paid well below minimum wage and therefore violates California labor laws.
"It's as if the Raiders' owners believe that the laws that protect all workers in California just don't apply to them," said attorney Sharon Vinick. "I have never seen an employment contract with so many illegal provisions."
In addition to the low wages, the suit claims they must foot the bill for all hair and makeup which is not only required by the organization but they may only go to approved hairstylists which costs several hundred dollars. In total, Lacy T claims her expenses last year totaled $650 - more than half what she earned.
The cheerleaders are paid $125 per game only which amounts to $1250 for an entire season and is not paid until the season is complete which means all expenses up to that point must come out of pocket.
But once that check comes, it may not actually be $1250 because according to the suit, they can be fined for things such as bringing the wrong pompoms to rehearsal or not bringing their yoga mat. These fines are $10 and up per infraction. This too would go against California labor laws.
The suit also said a cheerleader can lose game checks if she gains 5 pounds from her weight at the start of the season, or appears "too soft" by the squad's director. They would then be told to stay in the locker room at the following home game and be unpaid, even though she would still be required to take part in pregame and halftime activities.
The Raiders are far from alone in this. There are 26 other cheer squads in the NFL, many of which are said to have similar low pay, though the exact details of the contracts are not known. Still, these are pretty serious allegations and rather shocking as well considering the pride the Raiders have long taken in their famed Raiderettes. Even a dream job needs to be compensated at least as the law requires if that applies in this case. They are seeking compensation for minimum wage, overtime, expenses, and breaks.