After a Raiders cheerleader filed a class action suit earlier this year, many assumed it would spur others in similar organizations to protest payment and wage problems in the industry with additional suits. As predicted, another cheerleader has filed a Class Action Complaint, this time claiming that it is the Bengals that are in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act and Ohio Minimum Fair Wage Standards Act. Alexa Brenneman, Cincinnati Bengals cheerleader from May 2013 through January 2014, claimed she was compensated $90 per home game (at most). Her Class Action Complaint against the Cincinnati Bengals claims that she was underpaid for the hours of work put in on behalf of the team and includes all persons “employed by Defendant as a Cincinnati Bengal cheerleader at any time from February 10, 2011 through the present.”
Brenneman specified that Bengal cheerleaders were required to attend mandatory practices, public appearances, pregame time in the stadium, photo shoots for calendars, promotions, etc. Hours required amounted to more than 300 hours per year. Considering the pay rate offered, Brenneman claims the actual pay rate when hours dedicated are considered comes out to less than $2.85/hour which is drastically lower than Ohio’s minimum wage rate in 2013 ($7.85).
It’s interesting to note that the Brenneman specified other organization in her complaint as having positive pay structures. She stated that the Seahawks cheerleaders are paid hourly wages and overtime as specified by law and for all hours required. She also stated that the Cavaliers’’ cheerleaders are provided compensation for required time outside of games.
Every employee should expect adequate compensation for all required job duties. If you feel you are not being treated fairly by your employer, get in touch with the experts at Blumenthal, Nordrehaug & Bhowmik today.