NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks Settle Dancers Class Action for Unpaid Wages

Lauren Herington, a former dancer for the Milwaukee Bucks, brought a class action on behalf of herself and other dancers against the NBA team back in 2015. She claimed that during her employment she and fellow dancers got paid less than minimum wage for the hours they spent training, attending costume fittings, making charity appearances, posing for photo shoots, practicing, and performing during games. 

The dancers were paid as follows: 

$65 for games

$30 for practice

$50 for special events

Nearly two years later, Milwaukee Bucks have finally reached a settlement with the dancers and have agreed to pay out $250,000. So what does that amount look like when split up?

Herington would receive $10,000. Herington’s attorneys would receive $115,000. The remainder of the settlement would be divided amongst Herrington and 40 other dancers who were employed from September 12, 2012-July 31, 2015, and would be based on the hours each woman worked. The affected women would have to opt in to receive their share in exchange for waiving their legal claims.  Those that choose not to opt in, could potentially file their own suit against The Bucks.

The Bucks deny any wrongdoing, saying that the only reason they settled was to avoid a potentially costly litigation process. Regardless of whether you buy their reasoning, the Bucks are on a growing list of teams who have had to settle similar unpaid wage claims in the last few years including: the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (who had to shell out $825,000), the Oakland Raiders (who had to pay a whopping $1.24 million), and the Cincinnati Bengals (who had to cough up $255,000.) 

Why do you think professional sports teams pay their cheerleaders/dancers so little?

*image by Keith Allison

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