There was a positive step forward after a case of NFL cheerleaders in California were granted an hourly wage when a member of the Raiderettes filed a dispute claiming she wasn’t compensated for off-field appearances and had to pay her own expenses for traveling expenses and props.
Two months later, nineteen lawmakers out of eight states (California, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, Illinois and Texas) are knocking on the commissioner’s door again to demand an official paycheck, which would dissolve the title of “independent contractor” of NFL cheerleaders.
One pitfall as an independent contractor is the loose terms of a contract that subject an individual to termination at the cost of the employee’s freewill.
In a partial memorandum (provided by Buzz Feed) addressed to Roger Goodell pointed out the fallacies and failures of classifying cheerleaders as proper employees:
Over the past year, the National Football League has been making headlines due to a series of wage theft lawsuits that have been filed by professional cheerleaders against their respective teams. To date, cheerleaders for the Oakland Raiders, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, New York Jets, Buffalo Bills, the Cincinnati Bengals have filed lawsuits alleging minimum wage violations. These class action complaints outline a system of abuses against cheerleaders including but not limited to failure to pay in a timely manner, reimburse for mandatory expenses, adhere to the notice and record keeping requirements under state labor laws, and penalties for minor infractions with unlawful deductions from earnings.
“As you may know, legislation has been signed into law in California and introduced in New York that addresses these widespread wage theft cases. We write to you as this rampant misclassification of professional cheerleaders has come to the attention of legislators across the country where the issue of “employee” vs. “independent contractor” has been brought into question in various workforce sectors.”
*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports