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Oakland Raiders Will Pay Cheerleaders Minimum Wage This Season

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"Oakland Raiders Will Pay Cheerleaders Minimum Wage This Season"

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Members of the Raiderettes conduct a class with Chinese students.

Members of the Raiderettes conduct a class with Chinese students.

CREDIT: AP

The Oakland Raiders will pay their cheerleaders $9 an hour, in line with the California state minimum wage, for all work the Raiderettes perform for the team during the 2014-2015 season, the team quietly announced near the end of June.

Former cheerleaders alleged wage theft and unfair labor practices in a lawsuit against the team filed in January, saying that they earned less than $5 per hour if all of their work, from games to practices to promotional appearances, was included.

The Raiders posted the new wage on audition fliers that are no longer on the team’s web site, according to NBC Bay Area, which first reported the wage increase this week.

Since former Raiderette Lacy T. filed the lawsuit against the Raiders, cheerleaders from four other teams — the Buffalo Bills, New York Jets, Cincinnati Bengals, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers — have filed similar suits, some of them alleging pay as low as $2 per hour.

Caitlin Y., another of the plaintiffs against the Raiders, has decided to return to the squad, according to Slate’s Amanda Hess.

The suit will continue toward arbitration to determine whether the cheerleaders who brought it are owed back wages, and there are still other problems around NFL cheerleaders, like the fact that the former Bills cheerleaders said they were subjected to “jiggle tests” to check their weights. And wage theft remains a major problem throughout professional sports, from cheerleaders to office workers to minor league baseball players, and outside of sports too.

The other suits are also proceeding. Tuesday, a federal judge denied a motion to dismiss the suit against the Bills.

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