Pay attention NFL teams - it seems like the Oakland Cheerleaders have figured things out. The Raiderettes are suing the Oakland Raiders. Yep, the Cheerleaders are suing the team! But wait; before you crack any jokes you might want to consider this. Would you want your daughter working for $5 an hour or less for a sports franchise that rakes in billions? Read on!
The Oakland Raider cheerleaders are suit the Oakland Raiders and according to attorney Sharon Vinick the suit has been filed in Alameda County Superior Court on behalf of current and former Raider cheer squad members.
"It's as if the Raiders' owners believe that the laws that protect all workers in California just don't apply to them," Vinick said. "I have never seen an employment contract with so many illegal provisions." Here are a couple of examples and claims from the suit.
The team engaged in wage theft and other unfair employment practices.
The team withholds all pay from the Raiderettes until after the season.
The team does not pay for all hours the cheerleaders actually work.
That the Raider cheerleaders work for a wage of less than $5 dollars per hour.
That squad members are subject to fines and expenses that could outnumber their wages.
According to Vinick the cheerleader can be fined by the Raiders if they happen to bring the wrong pom-poms to a practice or even wearing the wrong workout uniform to practice in. One team member stated that the Raiders force other expenses onto the cheerleaders such as travel, makeup for events and photo shoots. The cheerleader, named as Lacy T. for security reasons, said that it was time to stand up.
"I love the Raiders and I love being a Raiderette," Lacy T said. "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 agree. These teams make a ton of money and one of the most visible part of that team in the community are often the cheerleaders. I wonder how much revenue is brought in from posters, events, calenders and more. Now I'm sure the NFL teams will argue that the ladies on cheerleader teams know what they are getting into. They'll say that the ladies can use the exposure to build their respected businesses. I get that point. I also understand that NFL teams have a habit of paying HUGE sums of money for great NFL talent.
Now it's time for teams to pay for the talented ladies on the sideline. Heck, at least pick up the tab for travel, makeup and whatever else it takes to keep these hard working ladies cheering on our teams.