ESPN.com news services
ALAMEDA, Calif. — The Oakland Raiders are being sued by current and former cheerleaders claiming wage theft and other unfair employment practices.
The lawsuit filed Wednesday in Alameda County Superior Court alleges that the organization withholds all pay from the Raiderettes until the end of the season, does not pay for all hours worked and forces the cheerleaders to pay many of their own business expenses.
“It’s as if the Raiders’ owners believe that the laws that protect all workers in California just don’t apply to them,” attorney Sharon Vinick said, according to the San Jose Mercury News.
According to the filing, Raiders cheerleaders are paid $1,250 per season, which amounts to less than $5 per hour for the time they spend rehearsing, performing and appearing at events for which they are not compensated.
Lacy T., identified only by her first name, in accordance with Raiderettes policy for security reasons, was quoted by the Mercury news.
“The club controls our hairstyle and makeup, and we have to foot the bill,” she said. “We also have to pay the costs for traveling to all kinds of events, including photo shoots … 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.”
Vinick said the Raiders owe thousands of dollars in unpaid wages to women who worked as Raiderettes in previous seasons, while owing thousands of dollars in penalties to the women who worked this season.
“I have never seen an employment contract with so many illegal provisions,” Vinick told the paper.
The team had no comment on the lawsuit.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.