A consistent problem in many workplaces is improper pay due to employers attempting to save money. If minimum wage laws, overtime laws, or other labor regulations are violated, these are sufficient grounds to bring a lawsuit.
A member of the Dallas Cowboys cheerleading squad filed a lawsuit under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act related to illegal wage practices and discrimination.
Cheerleader starts a class action claim against the Cowboys
The woman in question was part of the NFL team’s cheerleading squad from 2014 to 2017. The claim was filed as a class action lawsuit related to widespread pay discrimination, along with minimum wage and overtime pay violations.
The lawsuit was brought in the federal Northern District of Texas. The statutes that allow for these kinds of claims are the Equal Pay Act and the Fair Labor Standards Act. Damages sought in the claim are related to improper or missing pay, due to the fact that the compensation of members of the cheerleading squad amounted to less than the federal minimum wage when divided by the number of hours worked. Women who worked on the squad also claim that they were promised approximately $8 an hour for time spent practicing, rehearsals, and a television show about the Cowboys cheerleaders that aired on the CMT network.
There are more claims in the employment lawsuit related to unpaid work for assisting the team with mandatory social media posts and content, as well as unpaid overtime for weeks when they worked beyond 40 hours. Other situations involved a flat rate pay for cheerleaders who appeared at certain events, but they allege that this amount was never correct either.
As a point of comparison, the team’s mascot who does similar work receives about $65,000 per year. The cheerleaders generally average between $6,000 and $17,000 a year in total wages. Other teams, including the Houston Texans, have recently dealt with similar lawsuits. In 2014, the Oakland Raiders paid about $1.2 million to settle a class action lawsuit brought by its cheerleaders.
Laws that regulate pay for employees
Both the federal government and states all have wage laws that set a minimum amount which must be given to employees for each hour worked. The employee also cannot be asked to complete tasks for the benefit of the employer without receiving at least that amount in return. Remedies given to workers who are harmed by these practices can include the missing wages and other forms of damages.
Get help with a lawsuit against an employer