OAKLAND (KCBS) – The Oakland Raiders have settled a class-action wage theft lawsuit brought against them by two former cheerleaders, and will pay out $1.25 million in the settlement.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the settlement will cover any cheerleader who worked for the team since the 2010-11 season. All told, about 90 women will receive checks.
Lacy T., the original plaintiff, and Sarah G., who joined the case a short time later, will receive an additional $10,000 for bringing the lawsuit.
“I’m so excited, honestly,” Lacy, who spent only one season as an NFL cheerleader, told the newspaper. “I feel a sense of satisfaction knowing this long journey is over and will end happily for 90 women. I feel very proud about that. I know we’re just cheerleaders to people, but we’re low-wage workers working for a billion-dollar industry. It shows everyone that one little girl who stood up and said, ‘This is not right,’ changed the way the Raiders do business.”
Since the original lawsuit was filed, cheerleaders from several other teams, including the Cincinnati Bengals, Buffalo Bills, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and New York Jets have filed similar claims.
It was in January when the two former cheerleaders filed the suit, claiming the team broke state labor laws, including failing to pay minimum wage, withholding wages, and refusing to reimburse cheerleaders for business expenses.
The Raiders have since offered their new cheerleading squad a contract that nearly triples their pay. Raiderettes will now earn $9 an hour, plus overtime, for the estimated 350 hours they work each season, with their annual compensation increasing from $1,250 to about $3,200. The cheerleaders will also be reimbursed for business expenses and mileage, and will receive paychecks every two weeks, rather than a lump sum at the end of the season.
No comment from the Oakland Raiders following the settlement announcement Thursday in Alameda Superior Court.