The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have agreed to settle a class action wage and hour lawsuit filed by it cheerleaders. The 94 former and current cheerleaders have alleged that the football program failed to pay the cheerleaders minimum wage, and that they were required to work unpaid hours including practice time, posing for calendars, charities and clinics. The Buccaneer’s own website provided that the cheerleaders were “consistently busy rehearsing, performing and volunteering for community events and appearances.”
Pursuant to the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) – which covers most employees in the United States – employers must pay all workers at least minimum wage and all non-exempt workers are entitled to be paid time and a half for all hours worked in excess of forty hours in any one work week. If you have questions about your pay, or believe that you have not received all the compensation you are entitled to, it is important to consult with an experienced Atlanta wage and hour attorney right away.
Other cheerleader lawsuits are pending across the nation, including one against the Buffalo Bills. In that FLSA lawsuit, the crux of the argument stems from allegations that the cheerleaders were misclassified as independent contractors, rather than employees, and that they were subjected to a harassing work environment.
The $825,000, with $264,000 of the settlement allocated to attorney’s fees. If the settlement is approved, class members will receive a portion of the $561,000, depending upon how many weeks and hours worked, so long as they do not opt out to pursue their own individual action.
For more information or if you have any wage and hour questions, please contact the experienced Atlanta wage and hour attorneys at Buckley Bala Wilson Mew LLP.