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Raiderettes victims of wage fraud; what about other NFL cheerleader squads?

Discussion in 'NFL Football Forum' started by ewg_gestalt, Feb 9, 2014.

  1. ewg_gestalt

    ewg_gestalt Rookie

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    So, according to a recent Salon article, (former) members of the Raiderettes are suing the Oakland Raiders for what they allege are extreme instances of wage fraud: being forced to work extended hours for ridiculously low pay.

    The suit alleges that Raiderettes are paid $125 per game day, and are not paid for charity appearances and other events. Nor are they compensated for their out-of-pocket expenses. Moreover, they're only paid once per season, at the end, rather than every two weeks.

    Given the huge amounts of money that the NFL is making, and given the prominence of cheerleaders on game day, I would certainly think the NFL would want to treat them better. I certainly hope that's especially true of the cheerleaders working in Foxboro. But is there any way to be sure of this? Anybody know what the Patriots are paying their squad?
  2. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I thought I remembered reading a few years ago that they were not paid at all, that it was a volunteer position - not that it makes a difference.

    While the defense may be that 'if they don't like it, they don't have to be a cheerleader', it sure appears to be exploitation. I would imagine that it will be tough to defend if they are earning less than minimum wage, even with a contract; from an ethical viewpoint it is even more difficult to defend the pay when you see how much clubs are making off them via everything from calendar sales to goodwill from public appearances to, in the cases of some teams, revenue from television reality shows.

    In regards to your question about the Patriots and their cheerleaders: I would be very surprised if the team was any different in this regards from any of the other NFL clubs. The only exception is likely the six teams who don't have cheerleaders.
  3. PatsWickedPissah

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    Flipping on the TV which I rarely do, Fox News had a labor lawyer on last week. He said that if the cheerleaders were 1099 independent contractors, which he said they're not, they'd have no case. As simple wage earners, which they are, the NFL has no case. Recommended the NFL settle quickly with a nice payment. Makes sense especially as I read in the Salon article the CA NBA teams pay above min wage.

    Frankly it's a disgrace. These women are exploited. Owners first and Goodell 2nd should never have let this happen.
  4. Avenger

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    #11 Jersey

    My High School gym teacher's wife was a Patriots Cheerleader and Celtics Dancer
  5. Patsfanin Philly

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    Per the IRS to be an independent contractor, they can set their own schedule. The NFL would get laughed out of court trying to claim that they are ICs when they have to be on the sidelines at a certain time 10 times a year and at charity events....
  6. BelichicksHoodie

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    Why is this just coming out now? Why did they not protest when they were working? It's seems so convenient now that the checks(albeit very minimal checks at best) aren't rolling in anymore it's time to sue.

    Hopefully the teams pay these girls a fair wage going forward, but I just find it a bit funny how they're complaining about this publicly now.
  7. Deus Irae

    Deus Irae PatsFans.com Retired Jersey Club PatsFans.com Supporter

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    This was started by a first year cheerleader who had also been an NBA cheerleader, so I'd not be shocked to find out that this was all part of a setup. She purposefully waited until the year was up to file this.
  8. DocHoliday

    DocHoliday Rookie

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    Does anyone not care for NFL Cheerleaders?

    They have their place in sports with smaller venues, but at all the Patriots games I've been to I've rarely noticed them and if I did they were too far to really appreciate.

    You see them more on TV than anywhere else, and even then I couldn't care less.
  9. Observer

    Observer Rookie

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    Seems like being a cheerleader is a pretty demeaning job. I especially hope the ones that do it in cold weather are better compensated than that.
  10. ctpatsfan77

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    I know someone who was an Eagles cheerleader back in the late-90s (yes, we were all jealous of her husband ;) ).

    I don't remember asking her about getting paid, but I know that they did get tickets to home games for their SOs/husbands and travel for photo shoots, etc.
  11. BennyBledsoe

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    ....then there's all the merchandise, which I wonder if they get any compensation for and at what level.
  12. VrabelJr

    VrabelJr Rookie

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    I have a friend who once worked on a technology product for several NFL franchises. He told me they were very excited to pay you with anything except cash. HIs company was offered jerseys, boxes, tickets, etc. etc. but getitng them to pay money was always a pain in the ass. These NFL teams know how much social leverage they have and they aren't shy about using it.
  13. Tunescribe

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    I thought that pay for the cheerleaders was traditionally a token amount, that their "real" compensation was the prestige, experience, and other perks like the swimsuit photo shoot trip, etc. I can't get too worked up about this.
  14. PatsWickedPissah

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    I suspect it well may be so.

    Still does not negate the fact that their crappy treatment by employer violates CA and other states labor laws. I know that these days mere law is often over ridden by the powerful, but...

    I usually feel that folks getting what they signed up for is what they should get but in this case I feel that there is a reasonable case that the NFL has really exploited the enthusiasm of these folks. Maybe the fact that they're hot and have great racks is somehow distorting my thinking.
  15. Fencer

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    #12 Jersey

    A sort-of analogy is internships. Prestigious organizations commonly get people to work for them for less than minimum wage -- except that that seems to be illegal.
  16. Observer

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    I am with you, and that beautiful girls somehow deserve less misfortune than the rest of us. ;)
  17. captain stone

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    I don't care for NFL cheerleaders, or NBA (and in some cases now, NHL) cheerleaders.

    I've always felt that cheerleading is a staple of the High School & College sporting experiences,
    but add nothing whatsoever to the professional sporting experience.
    And no, my name is not Michael Sam.
  18. NormZauchin

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    I have a friend whose first wife was a Redskins cheerleader and she was not paid anything. One of his daughters became Redskins cheerleader years later and she was compensated with a nominal sum. Of course, I wouldn't expect Dan Snyder to break the bank for anyone except over-the-hill free agents.
  19. BradyFTW!

    BradyFTW! PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #12 Jersey

    Yup, there are a pretty stringent set of rules that all have to be true for someone to be rightfully called an independent contractor. Cheerleaders are absolutely not 1099s; it's not even a question.

    I remember reading at once point that a huge percentage of people who are paid as independent contractors really aren't, by the letter of the law. Tons of employers misclassify their workers to avoid having to pay them as employees, pay overtime, make SS contributions, etc. etc.
  20. tuckeverlasting

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    didn't some eagles cheerleaders sue the league over being spied on by opposing teams while changing? where was marshall faulk when all this was going on ? was he scratching mirrors or digging peep holes when the rams played the eagles ? he seems like a perv to me.

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