The Rise of Cheerleader Lawsuits

Employment legal disputes can often invoke a class-action if there is more than one plaintiff injured by similar facts and circumstances. Employees who have suffered from discriminatory practices or policies will often take collective legal action against their employer. This is common in the event of wage and hour disputes. Last January, some jeered a cheerleader’s wage-and-hour dispute with the Raiders, but now other cheerleaders in the NFL have followed and filed similar lawsuits. At least one of these lawsuits is pending class approval.

NFL: Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas CowboysFollowing the initial wage-and-hour claim, there have been several other lawsuits filed over unfair labor practices. Now NFL teams are being forced to look at compensation policies and cheerleader work schedules to determine if they are actually in compliance with federal labor laws. Our Orange County employment law attorneys are dedicated to protecting the rights of workers facing wage and hour disputes with their employer. We will take the time to review your case, assess your underlying claims and take strategic action to protect your legal rights.

Several other NFL teams are facing lawsuits over unfair labor practices, including the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Bengals, Bills, and Jets. In each of these cases, the cheerleaders allege that they have not been paid minimum wages for performing and participating in the activities they are expected to during the course of employment. In addition, the cheerleaders have been expected to use their own money and to pay out of pocket for many of the expenses incurred while on away games or when performing other work duties.

According to reports, an attorney for one of the cheerleaders, they have been expected to attend practices all week, be at the stadium on every game day, and attend nonprofit events throughout the season. The total number of hours worked and demanded is not compensated according to a lawsuit filed in Florida. The cheerleaders allege that they are paid less than $2 an hour given the amount of hours they are expected to work. Critics of these labor practices argue that they are completely unfair and unnecessary given the amount of money that the NFL is bringing in every year. The cheerleaders and their employment law attorneys hope that taking legal action will ensure just compensation going forward. The cheerleaders are important enough that they are required to represent the team and they should be fairly compensated for their skills and hourly contributions. Some teams have tried to have the lawsuits thrown out because the pay and treatment was under the purview of outside contractors.

In addition to wage and hour claims, the cheerleaders have also brought lawsuits involving working conditions, being forced to maintain their weight, and the constant threat of losing their position. Since the NFL is competitive, players and cheerleaders may seem disposable. Still the organization and individual teams should be at least in compliance with labor laws. It should also make sure that cheerleaders are treated fairly and respectfully, and equally under the law. The lawsuit in Florida is a propose class action and could move forward on behalf of all similarly situated cheerleaders.

Employment lawsuits can be filed with assistance from the Nassiri Law Group, practicing in Los Angeles, Riverside, and Orange County. Call 714-937-2020.

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