Buffalo Bills Cheerleaders Sue TeamBy: Heather Vecchioni - April 22, 2014
What do they want? More money. When do they want it? Now!
Five former cheerleaders for the Buffalo Bills are suing the team for low pay and degrading situations. The women claim they worked hundreds of hours for free at games and at mandatory public appearances, in which they were often subject to groping and sexual comments.
The women and their attorney Frank Dolce state that members of the cheer squad, called the Buffalo Jills, were wrongly classified as independent contractors and were paid less than the state’s minimum wage of $8 an hour. One of the former cheerleaders claims she was only paid $420 during the 2012-2013 football season, and another alleges she only received $105.
The Bills’ cheerleaders do not receive pay for games or practices, and are required to attend 20 to 35 appearances at community and charity events, most of which are unpaid. The cheerleaders also have to spend $650 for their uniforms and are not reimbursed for travel expenses.
In addition to the low wages, the women also claim they had to adhere to strict and inappropriate rules regarding their appearances and hygiene. The plaintiffs stated they were told how to wash “intimate areas” and were also subjected to “jiggle tests,” in order to determine if their weight was within the limits.
See the Jills in action:
The suit also states that the women were made to wear bikinis during certain events, including the squad’s annual golf tournament. They were also “auctioned off” and had to ride around in golf carts with the winners. They usually had to sit on their laps because of limited seating.
The Bills is the third NFL team this year to face lawsuits from their cheerleading squads. The Cincinnati Bengals and the Oakland Raiders are also in legal battles over low wages.
The Buffalo Bills released a statement stating the organization is aware of the charges but cannot comment on pending litigation.
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