Second Raiderette Joins Wage and Hour Lawsuit
We recently went over the story of Lacy T., a Raiderette who is suing the Oakland Raiders Club for violation of California labor laws. Well, the lawsuit is picking up steam as a second Raiderette joined the suit.
Twenty-nine-year-old Sarah G. (last names aren't disclosed for safety reasons) spent four seasons with the Raiders as a cheerleader but joined the lawsuit, claiming their contract with the Club was rife with illegal provisions.
For all you employment attorneys out there, check out this laundry list of alleged violations:
- Minimum wage and overtime. According to the Raiderettes' suit, their contract calls for $125 per home game, or $1,250 per season. On paper, that looks fine and dandy. The problem, they say, is that they work nine hours on each game day, must attend two to three rehearsals per week, and are also required to attend 10 charity events per season, reports San Francisco's KTVU-TV. If you count those unpaid hours that amounts to $5 an hour, falling far below California's minimum wage, which is flirting with the idea of becoming the highest of any U.S. state.
- Withholding pay. The cheerleaders claim they get paid at the end of the season. California law requires compensating workers at least twice a month but creates an exemption for creative professionals. Still, creative professionals must typically be paid at least once a month, so the team could potentially lose on this front.
- Business expenses. Raiderettes are also contractually required to foot their own travel expenses, which is usually a no-no under federal law. They also have to pay out-of-pocket for accessories such as tights, false eyelashes and a yoga mat, and also pay for a pricey team-selected hairstylist. The cost and maintenance of uniforms are considered business expenses under California law and must be reimbursed by employers. Unfortunately for the Raiderettes, the accessories named in the suit might not be sufficiently distinctive in design and color to count as uniforms.
- Wage deductions. The Raiderettes' suit alleges the Club unlawfully deducts from their wages by imposing so-called "fines" of $10 or more for rule infractions such as failing to bring the right pom-poms to rehearsals.
Lacy T. is seeking to make the lawsuit a class action on behalf of all Raiderettes who have cheered since 2010, and seeks an injunction against the Club's policies, and backpay, among other monetary penalties, reports KTVU.
A case management conference is slated for March 25 in Alameda, so stay tuned.