Raiderettes suing team, allege wage theft, unfair employment practices

By Mike Singer | CBSSports.com

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The Raiderettes deserve better. (USATSI)

With their season long over with, one would think that the Raiders could be spared from bad news this offseason. Alas, it's still the Raiders.

Current and former Raiderettes -- yes, the team's cheerleaders -- filed a lawsuit on Wednesday claiming that the team engaged in “wage theft and other unfair employment practices,” according to The Mercury News. The suit, filed in Alameda County Superior Court, alleges that the Raiders withheld the cheerleaders' pay until after the season, didn't fairly compensate the women for all their hours of work and asked that the cheerleaders pay for many of their own businesses expenses.

Most stunningly, according to lead attorney Sharon Vinick, the Raiderettes make a salary of $1,250 a season -- or less than $5 dollars per hour.

“It's as if the Raiders owners believe that the laws that protect all workers in California just don't apply to them,” Vinick said.

The suit also alleges that the Raiderettes have been fined for a series of frivolous errors, including bringing the wrong pom-poms to practice or for failing to bring a yoga mat to workouts.

As one Raiderette, Lacy T., said: “The club controls our hairstyle and makeup, and we have to foot the bill. We also have to pay the costs for traveling to all kinds of events, including photo shoots. … I love the Raiders and I love being a Raiderette, but someone has to stand up for all of the women of the NFL who work so hard for the fans and the teams.”

Vinick claims that the organization owes current and former cheerleaders tens of thousands of dollars in unpaid wages.

The team had no comment.

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