Why the Oakland Raiders Cheerleaders Are Suing The Team For Unfair Pay Practices

The Oakland Raiders' cheerleaders are suing the team for unfair pay practices, claiming they receive $1,250 a year for about 300 appearances. This amounts to an hourly wage of less than $5. The class-action suit claims the team doesn't pay its cheerleaders until the season is over, doesn't pay them for all hours worked, and charges fines for minor infractions like forgetting to bring a yoga mat to practice or wearing the wrong workout clothes for rehearsals. Yikes.

"I have never seen an employment contract with so many illegal provisions," attorney Sharon Vinick told the San Jose Mercury News. "It's as if the Raiders' owners believe that the laws that protect all workers in California just don't apply to them."

The Raiderettes are paid $125 for each home game, which boils down to about $14 an hour, since they usually work about nine hours on game day. But the suit claims that cheerleaders actually attend about 300 events every year, including practices and “other events, engagements or functions on behalf of the Raiders.” This includes at least two or three practices every week during the season.

And this doesn't take into account all the other costs of being a Raiderette. "The club controls our hairstyle and makeup, and we have to foot the bill," Lacy T. (identified only by her first name), the lead plaintiff, told the Mercury News. "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."

"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." -Lacy T.

Vinick claims the Raiders owe their cheerleaders tens of thousands in unpaid wages as well as thousands of dollars in penalties. The Raiders, through a team spokesperson, have declined to comment. Looks like they might have a lot more to worry about than their horrible season.