Oakland Raiders Accused of Violating Labor Laws

Raiders vs. Ravens

No Cheers for the Oakland Raiders!

The Oakland Raiders are being sued for allegedly violating numerous state labor laws. The suit suggests that the organization withheld pay from the Raiderettes until the end of the season, pays below minimum wage and does not pay for hours worked, while forcing cheerleaders to pay for many of their own business expenses. 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 a total of about 100 women.

According to the suit Raiders cheerleaders are paid about $125 per game equaling $1,250 per season which comes out to less than $5 per hour for the time they spend rehearsing, performing and appearing at events. The suit aims to stop the alleged illegal practices and award back pay to the cheerleaders. The Raiderette contract states that the team will fine $10 per infraction such as bringing the wrong pompoms to rehearsals. The contract also stipulates that the women must work about 9 hours per day on game days, attend 2 to 3, 3-hour-long rehearsals per week, and attend up to 10 unpaid appearances for charity events per year, including the swimsuit calendar photoshoot. One Raiderette identified as Lacy T, of the Oakland Raiderettes was quoted as saying “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” (ABC, 2013).

Raiders spokesman Mike Taylor, refuses to comment on the lawsuit while Vinick states that the Raiders allegedly owe thousands of dollars in unpaid wages to current and former Raiderettes and goes on to say; “I have never seen an employment contract with so many illegal provisions” (ABC, 2013). She will ask the court for an injunction requiring the team to stop the allegedly illegal practices, and award back pay for the cheerleaders and other financial penalties.

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