The New York Jets will finally compensate their cheerleaders after a lawsuit. The 52 women will each receive a portion of the $324,000 settlement.
The team settled with the women in a New Jersey court.
NFL cheerleaders make almost no money. The woman named in the New York lawsuit claim they only make $150 per game and they are not compensated for practice time.
The girls also pay their own hair and makeup costs, however, the organization has very specific rules on how they must look.
— Michele Steele (@ESPNMichele) January 27, 2016
According to one of the women involved, Krystal, cheerleaders are grossly underpaid for the work they do. NFL teams do not even ensure the cheerleaders make minimum wage.
Via Krystal’s lawyer on CNN:
“When you look at the actual hours worked versus what Krystal was paid, she only made $3.77 per hour,” Pierce said. “When you factor in the required hair, makeup and transportation expenses, the hourly rate goes below $1.50 an hour.”
Basically, they are working for free or hope it leads to other work. The Raiders schedule in 2009 mandated three-hour rehearsals twice a week and an eight-hour game-day shift.
While the settlement seems like a lot of money, the 52 cheerleaders will only receive $2,500 for each season they worked in the two-year time period covered by the suit.
State Sen. Diane Savino (D-Staten Island) was happy about the settlement. He also called for “the Buffalo Bills to do the same, to ensure that their cheerleaders are not left out in the cold when it comes to fair pay and treatment.”
The Oakland Raiders settled for $1.25 million in 2014 and the Cincinnati Bengals for $255,000 in 2015.
A couple of years ago, a cheerleader who worked for the Ravens spilled all the details on how awful the job truly is. 200 to 300 women try out for 30 to 40 spots. Before tryout, each girl is weighed.
Each cheerleader, male and female, is expected to maintain ideal body weight and physical look for the duration of your contract. Weigh-ins will be held at the discretion of the Ravens. a) Failure to comply with body weight and/or appearance guidelines could result in suspension from the team or gameday suspensions. b) 3 game misses due to physical appearance suspensions could result in dismissal from the team.
She also said that maintenance of hair and makeup could cost upwards of $1,000 a season. The Ravens did provide some help to offset costs. Such as gym memberships, teeth whitenings, and tanning vouchers for the fairer-skinned cheerleaders. These benefits typically went to senior girls.