Raiders settle cheerleader suit for $1.25 million
The Oakland Raiders have agreed to pay $1.25 million to settle a class action lawsuit that was filed by cheerleaders who alleged that the football team was violating state labor laws, including failing to pay the minimum wage, both sides said in a joint news release Thursday.
Raiderettes identified as Lacy T. and Sarah G. alleged in their suit, which was filed in Alameda County Superior Court, early this year, that the Raiders had failed to pay their cheerleading squad in accordance with the requirements of state law.
But the Raiders said that they had proactively adjusted pay practices so that all Raiderettes were paid the full state minimum wage for every hour worked and overtime pay in 2013 before the suit was threatened or filed.
The parties now agree that the Raiders’ current pay practices appear to be lawful, according to the news release.
The settlement covers 90 Raiderettes over the four-year period covering the seasons from 2010 through 2013, although only a small portion of the settlement is allocated to the 2013 season because the Raiders started paying minimum wage and overtime in that season before the suit was filed.
The settlement proposal, which won’t be finalized until a hearing on Sept. 26, would pay an average of $6,000 to each Raiderette for each season she worked between 2010 and 2012. For those who worked in the 2013-2014 season, the recovery would be about $2,500 each.
The two parties said the settlement will resolve disputed claims about payment for hours worked, including practices and appearances, expenses, interest and penalties under the California Labor Code.
Once the settlement is approved by a judge, official notification to Raiderettes who are covered by the suit will be sent within 60 to 90 days. The settlement doesn’t require any action on the part of current and former Raiderettes covered by the suit in order for them to be entitled to their portion of the settlement.
The lawsuit alleged that the cheerleaders’ contracted pay of $125 per home game, or $1,250 per season, fell well below the state minimum wage of $8 per hour because they work nine hours on each game day and must also attend two or three rehearsals per week and 10 charity events per season.
The suit also claimed that the Raiders operated in “flagrant violation” of other laws, by failing to pay overtime, withholding the women’s pay until the end of the season, requiring them to pay some of their own business expenses and failing to provide meal and rest breaks.
In addition, it said the cheerleaders illegally have their pay reduced by so-called “fines” of $10 or more for rule infractions such as failing to bring the right pom-poms to rehearsals.