Cheerleaders File Wage & Hour Class Action Against NFL's Raiders

*UPDATE: This article was updated on December 12th, 2014. 

Can you believe the NFL's Oakland Raiders pay their cheerleaders only $1,250 per year?!  Well they do.  In fact, the Raiders actually pay many cheerleaders less if you take into account their unreimbursed expenses and fines they give to their cheerleaders.

That is why the Raiders are now being sued for failure to pay minimum wages and overtime and illegally requiring cheerleaders to pay expenses out of their $125-per-game salaries.  The Raiderettes allege they do 2-3 rehearsals per week, performances at 10 charity events each season, and participate in the team's annual swimsuit calendar photo shoot.  Along with the games themselves, they allege that this makes their wages below $5 per hour. California's minimum wage is $8 per hour.

The suit also alleges that the Raiders:

1) impose arbitrary fines on the cheerleaders for such offenses as bringing the wrong pom-poms to practice;

2) illegally withhold the Raiderettes' salaries until the end of each season, in violation of California law requiring pay at least twice a month; and

3) illegally prohibits the cheerleaders from discussing their wages with one another.

A Cincinnati Bengals cheerleader has since filed a similar lawsuit.

What do you think of Raiderettes getting paid so little while the players make millions?

UPDATE: According to this article, the NFL settled a claim with the Raiderettes for $1.25 million. This settlement will cover back pay for over 90 cheerleaders between the years of 2010 and 2013.

"The Bachelor" Race Discrimination Lawsuit Thrown Out of Court

Update from a previous post:

Several months back I wrote a post on the lawsuit filed by two African-American men who sued the shows "The Bachelor" and "The Bachelorette" for race discrimination because they did not have African-American contestants (see my first post below).  Well, last week the judge dismissed the case on grounds that casting decisions by the network and the series' producers are protected by the First Amendment.

The federal judge stated that while the Plaintiffs' efforts are "laudable," they cannot regulate the show's content under the First Amendment.  The judge ruled that:  "Ultimately, whatever messages `The Bachelor' and `The Bachelorette' communicate or are intended to communicate – whether explicitly, implicitly, intentionally, or otherwise – the First Amendment protects the right of the producers of these shows to craft and control those messages, based on whatever considerations the producers wish to take into account".

What do you think of this ruling on First Amendment grounds?  Wouldn't then all discrimination be allowable as freedom of expression?

Comment below or at www.ShiraziLawFirm.com/blog

 

 

ORIGINAL ARTICLE:  Two African Americans are suing the long-running show “The Bachelor” for race discrimination.  The two men say that they—like many other African Americans—were not chosen by the show’s producers because of their race.

This case brings up two points.  First, most people think of race discrimination as being outlawed only by employment laws.  It seems unlikely that a Bachelor contestant would be an employee, but race discrimination laws can still apply.  Many states have civil rights laws prohibiting race discrimination in all sorts of situations—such as public accommodations.

Next, there is the question of whether there are exceptions to the civil rights and employment laws for such discrimination.  In the employment law context, many state laws have an “entertainment” exception.  For example, if a Broadway play or TV show is trying to cast someone to play the role of Martin Luther King, it is permissible to only hire/cast someone who is an African American male.

Now, The Bachelor does not have specific racial roles, but the producers may (rightly or wrongly) argue that their target audience is a specified gender, age, and race group.  This is a tough one to decide.  What do you think?

http://www.shirazilawfirm.com/suing-the-bachelor-for-race-discrimination/

 

LA Employment Lawyer Sues Gloria Allred for Poaching his John Travolta Sexual Harassment Client

I often write on popular issues in employment law, but this time the issue is the employment lawyers themselves.  A local Los Angeles employment lawyer who represented one of the masseurs accusing John Travolta of sexual battery/sexual harassment is now suing "famous TV attorney" Gloria Allred.  The lawyer has sued Allred claiming that she poached his John Travolta client while he represented him.  The John Doe client along with another unidentified male is now represented by Allred.

Allred vigorously denies the poaching allegations and has threatened to countersue for defamation.

UPDATE:   L.A. Superior Court Judge Michael Linfield officially dismissed the suit against Allred on June 29.  The Court ruled that since the "claims are premised upon activities protected by the litigation privilege, there is no possibility" of prevailing on this claim.

What do you think of this interesting twist to the John Travolta cases?

Please post your comments on my website:  www.ShiraziLawFirm.com/blog