Looks like being one of “Football’s Fabulous Females” – an Oakland Raiders cheerleader – might not be all it’s cracked up to be. One of the Raiderettes sued the team on Wednesday over salary issues.
The cheerleader, identified in court documents as “Lacy T,” worked for the team during the just-completed season.
She charges that the team broke California labor laws in a number of ways: paying the women below minimum wage, not allowing them breaks for meals or rest and owing them for unpaid work.
She wants to turn the lawsuit into a class-action on behalf of current and past Raiderettes.
“I'm hoping that they change their policies and procedures for every Raiderette who comes after me, and maybe other NFL teams will do the same,” she told media in California.
The Raiders have not commented on the lawsuit and an NFL spokesman declined comment to media outlets as well.
Lacy claims that her cheerleader salary of $1,250 for the season ended up being less than $5 hour for work that included appearances at games, rehearsals and charity events. Minimum wage in California is $8.
She also claims that the Raiderettes don’t get paid until the end of the season, when their pay can get docked if they’re fined for late arrivals or other infractions determined by the team.
Her attorney, Sharon Vinick, told media that Lacy began working as a cheerleader last April but wasn’t paid until last week.
“I have never seen an employment contract with so many illegal provisions,” Vinick said. “The club uses the Raiderettes to build its image, sell merchandise, and promote the team.
“Yet, they don't pay these women during the course of the season, even though they are required to do so under California law.”
The team might owe current Raiderettes between $10,000 and $20,000 in back wages and penalties, Vinick 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," Lacy said in a statement.
One California TV station interviewed a former Raiderette who couldn’t believe that Lacy was suing the team, suggesting that being a cheerleader and benefiting from the connections that come with that should be reward enough.
Translation: Who needs money when you get cool boots?