January 22, 2014 / 11:00 PM / in 4 years

Oakland Raiders cheerleader sues team, claims unfair pay

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - An Oakland Raiders cheerleader sued the NFL franchise on Wednesday on behalf of current and former members of the Raiderettes, saying the team broke California labor laws by failing to pay them adequately or on time.

Lacy T., who worked as a Raiderette for the 2013-2014 season, said in her Alameda County Superior Court lawsuit that the Raiders pay cheerleaders only $1,250 for an entire season and withhold wages until the end of the season.

She is seeking class-action status for her lawsuit, which seeks unpaid wages and damages for herself and other current and past cheerleaders.

“I‘m hoping that they change their policies and procedures for every Raiderette who comes after me, and maybe other NFL teams will do the same,” said Lacy, who is using only her last initial out of security concerns.

A spokesman for the National Football League team declined to comment on the lawsuit.

Lacy’s attorney, Sharon Vinick, said her client began working as a Raiders cheerleader last April but wasn’t paid until last week. Vinick said that, taking into account time spent rehearsing, performing and appearing at events, the $1,250 amounts to less than $5 an hour. Minimum wage in California is $8 an hour.

“I have never seen an employment contract with so many illegal provisions,” Vinick said. “The club uses the Raiderettes to build its image, sell merchandise, and promote the team. Yet, they don’t pay these women during the course of the season, even though they are required to do so under California law.”

Vinick said she believed the current crop of Raiderettes was owed between $10,000 and $20,000 each with back pay and penalties.

Reporting by Dan Whitcomb; Editing by Cynthia Johnston and Jonathan Oatis

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