Oakland Raiders sued by cheerleader

Raiderette claims team 'blatantly disregarded the fair employment laws,' attorney says

A member of the Oakland Raiderettes cheerleading squad sued the football team in Alameda County Superior Court Wednesday for allegedly being in "flagrant violation" of an array of state labor laws, including failing to pay the minimum wage.

The Raiderette, identified in the lawsuit as Lacy T., claims the Oakland Raiders club doesn't pay the cheerleaders for all the time they spend working, withholds pay until the end of the season, and forces them to pay some of their own business expenses.

The club also allegedly fails to pay overtime, doesn't provide meal and rest breaks, and deducts "fines" of $10 or more from the women's pay of $125 per game for infractions such as forgetting to bring the correct pom-poms to rehearsals, according to the lawsuit.

"The Raiders have blatantly disregarded the fair employment laws," said Sharon Vinick, one of Lacy T.'s lawyers.

The lawsuit seeks to be certified as a class action on behalf of all present and former Raiderettes who cheered for the team since 2010, estimated to total about 100 women.

It asks the court for an injunction requiring the team to stop the allegedly illegal practices, an award of back pay for the cheerleaders and other financial penalties.

Raiders spokesman Mike Taylor said, "We're not going to comment" on the lawsuit.

Vinick said she believes the allegedly illegal practices are widespread among National Football League teams.

Lacy T. said, "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."

"I hope cheerleaders across the NFL will step forward to join me in demanding respect and fair compensation," she said in a statement.

Vinick said the squad members' pay of $125 per home game, or $1,250 per season, amounts to $5 per hour -- well below the $8 minimum wage -- for the time they spend rehearsing, performing and making required appearances at charity events.

Raiderettes are required to work approximately nine hours per day on game days, attend two or three three-hour rehearsals per week and make at least 10 unpaid appearances per year at charitable events, according to the lawsuit.

The charitable events are defined as including both Raider Image store appearances and events for nonprofit groups.

The Raiderettes are also required to pay some of their own business expenses, including the costs of travel to appearances, Raider-approved hair stylists, yoga mats and false eyelashes.

Lacy T.'s unreimbursed expenses for the 2013-14 season totaled $650, the lawsuit says.

Leslie Levy, another lawyer representing Lacy T., said the next step in the case will be a Superior Court hearing on whether the lawsuit can be certified as class action. She said she expected the hearing to take place within three to five months.

— Bay City News Service


Like this comment
Posted by Irving
a resident of Danville
on Jan 24, 2014 at 7:43 am

Hey Lacy T.

Give us a break ... Lincoln freed the slaves over 150 years ago. You knew up front that you weren't going to get rich as a Raiderette. Many cheerleaders perform, not for the $1,250.00 annual pay, but for potential side benefits such as TV exposure, boost to modeling or other careers or catching a rich guy.
I suppose there will always be lawyers who will take any crappy case in order to get their name in the newspaper.

Like this comment
Posted by Linda
a resident of Blackhawk
on Jan 24, 2014 at 3:19 pm

No sympathy--u knew what you were getting into as well as free ogling from drunk spectators and the chance to steal someone else's spouse or bf.

Like this comment
Posted by Aston Isht
a resident of Diablo
on Jan 24, 2014 at 3:53 pm

This silly soapbox just never ceases to amaze and entertain with the sheer stupidity and arrogance of some privileged readers.

Irving, the Raiders are worth $816 Million, according to Forbes. Like any other business that employs people, they are required to pay those employees at least a minimum wage. It does not matter whether there are other opportunities that may become available in the job: the minimum is the minimum. Is that really hard to understand?

And Linda: there's no "she knew what she was getting into" defense that justifies impoverishing your workers and ignoring the wage/hour laws. The minimum wage is a pittance, but at least it's better than $5/hour. BTW, there just HAS to be SOMEthing animating your hostility. Did you lose a boyfriend to a cheerleader in high school? A husband to a Raiderette? C'mon, give it up!

Like this comment
Posted by Cardinal
a resident of Diablo
on Jan 25, 2014 at 8:26 am

Tomorrow's headline, today: Raiderettes sack their team!

Like this comment
Posted by FairNSquare
a resident of Danville
on Jan 27, 2014 at 9:52 am

So if there are 50 total Raiderettes, then the total compensation that the Raiders pay them per year is $62,500. Give me a break. They pay an injured running back more than that to sit out one game. And they pay them for practices, and they buy them their uniforms.
This is where we have a societal disconnect. This is where income inequality starts, when management uses, "you should be happy to have this job" and justifies ripping people off.
Why don't you critical ones, start giving back your paid sick leave and vacation time to your companies? Silence, figured you wouldn't want to do that. How about not paying injured players? Hmm... they have a Union to back them up to prevent owners from dong that.
Raiderettes, time to collectively negotiate...

Like this comment
Posted by Bill
a resident of Danville
on Feb 4, 2014 at 6:26 am

It's not really a surprise that one of the most embarrassing teams in the NFL would come to this. If you want to get noticed and have exhibitionist tendencies then the Raiderettes are for you. What a zero as a story of any interest!

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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