The Oakland Raiderettes will now be treated like normal human workers thanks to the wage theft lawsuit two former cheerleaders brought against the Raiders earlier this year. The Raiders are going to cough up $1.25 million in back pay per a settlement agreement reached yesterday, and from here on out, the Raiderettes will be paid above minimum wage.
The Los Angeles Times reports that "instead of earning only $125 per game in a single paycheck delivered at the end of the season, Raiderettes will earn $9 an hour from now on, plus overtime, for the estimated 350 hours each cheerleader puts in each year, including rehearsals, practices and mandatory community and charity appearances." The Raiderettes will also get a paycheck every two weeks now—like a real job!
About 90 current and former Raiderettes will get back pay, even though some of them protested the lawsuit. (Cheerleaders are loyal to their team, sometimes to a fault.) Per the Bay City News, Raiderettes will get $6,000 for each season they worked between 2010 and 2012. The back pay for last year's season will be $2,500, since the Raiders slightly increased wages in light of the suit.
I'm so excited, honestly. I feel a sense of satisfaction knowing this long journey is over and will end happily for 90 women. I feel very proud about that. I know we're just cheerleaders to people, but we're low-wage workers working for a billion-dollar industry. It shows everyone that one little girl who stood up and said, "This is not right," changed the way the Raiders do business.
Former Raiderettes have also filed a separate suit against the NFL, which is still pending. The NFL conveniently claims it has nothing to do with cheerleader wages, and that the teams need to solve the issue themselves.
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