Oakland Raiders being sued again over cheerleader wages

Frank S. Clowney III

California football fans may be interested in the ongoing legal battle between the Oakland Raiders organization and their cheerleaders. The cheerleaders, called the Raiderettes, had filed a lawsuit against the franchise over wages, which resulted in a settlement of $1.25 million to be divided among 90 cheerleaders. On Jan. 26, one cheerleader filed a new lawsuit with a new allegation against the team.

The new suit contends that the cheerleaders were paid less than minimum wage and were not compensated for working overtime. According to the action, the Raiderettes were not paid for training sessions, and they had to work while injured or risk being fined or sidelined. The new charge contained in this lawsuit suggests that the cheerleaders were denied opportunities for media exposure that had been promised to them.

Two other Raiderettes have publicly rejected the settlement amount of the first lawsuit. That lawsuit resulted in payment of around $6,000 for each of the 90 cheerleaders for each year they worked between 2010 and 2012 and $2,500 for 2013. Their wages for those years were paid per game and worked out to be less than $5 an hour. They were also not paid for rehearsals or performances at charity events.

California’s minimum wage is $9 per hour. As in this case, if a worker is not being paid for work they have performed or if they are not receiving the legally mandated meal breaks or rest periods while at work, they could contact an attorney who might be able to determine if they should take the case to court. That attorney may be able to help a client pursue an action that seeks compensation for a number of damages, including back pay.

Source: SF Gate, “Raiders hit with new suit by ex-cheerleader over wages,” Henry Lee , Jan. 27, 2015