Another NFL Team Faces a Wage and Overtime Lawsuit Filed By Cheerleader

Another NFL cheerleader has filed a class action lawsuit over income claims, saying she was paid well below minimum wage while working for the New York Jets.

The lawsuit is among several pending against NFL teams, including the Oakland Raiders, Buffalo Bills and Cincinnati Bengals.

In the lawsuit, the woman, known as Krystal C., claims that Jets’ cheerleaders were paid $150 per game, plus $100 for outside appearances. Krystal C. said she was not paid for the three weekly practices she was required to attend, or rehearsals. She also claims that she was not paid for compulsory participation in the for-profit cheerleading camps sponsored by the Jets.

Krystal C. also alleged that she earned $1,800 for the entire 2012-13 season, which amounts to $3.77 an hour. The lawsuit claims the amount is even lower if you include the mandatory straightening of her curly hair and the $80 she was forced to spend on a “motivational gift” that she was required to give each member of the squad and its director. The lawsuit was filed in New Jersey, where the team plays its games.

It is sad that so many NFL teams, that have estimated values in the billions of dollars, are not properly paying cheerleaders.

In March, the Oakland Raiders responded to a similar lawsuit by claiming that when cheerleaders for the team signed contracts, they signed away their rights to sue the team in court. The team alleged that the cheerleaders’ cases should be heard before NFL commissioner Roger Goodell through an alleged arbitration agreement.

Is There Anything I Can Do Legally If My Employer Is Not Paying Me Enough?

If you are in a similar situation as these cheerleaders, you should seek legal guidance. There are federal and state employment laws that exist regarding wage and overtime claims, which cannot be circumvented by an employer through a forced arbitration agreement.

Your employer must pay you at a level that meets minimum wage guidelines. If your employer does not, they are breaking the law—make sure you hold them responsible by seeking damages.

Kesluk, Silverstein & JacobLos Angeles employment attorneys