A former Tampa Bay Buccaneers cheerleader has filed suit against the team alleging it violated federal wage and other labor laws during the 2012-13 season she was employed by the NFL club. Since January, cheerleaders for the Buffalo Bills, Cincinnati Bengals, Oakland Raiders and New York Jets have filed similar "wage theft" suits, according to the Tampa Bay Times.
Kimberly D. Woods, Manouchcar Pierre-Val’s attorney, said she and the team’s other cheerleaders were required to attend multiple practices per week, be at the stadium all day on game days, attend at least 40 hours of events for nonprofits throughout the season, pose for swimsuit calendars and other activities. Pierre-Val’s only pay was $100 a game.
If you do the math, you see she earned less than $2 per hour, while the minimum wage in Florida was $7.67.
Earlier this year, Oakland Raiderette Lacy T. filed a similar suit against the Raiders. In a letter of support to Lacy T., AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Elizabeth Shuler wrote:
I was very moved by your courage in standing up to some very powerful interests. It reminds me of the many union members we represent, especially women, who are lifting up their voices in workplaces all over the country, often against overwhelming odds. I believe your willingness to speak out will be a turning point toward a better future for other young women who want to take their skills and experience to the professional level.