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.

Lady Gaga Sued By Personal Assistant for Unpaid Overtime

Lady Gaga In yet another celebrity lawsuit, Lady Gaga's former personal assistant has sued the pop star for $380,000 of alleged unpaid overtime.  Gaga's former personal assistant, Jennifer O'Neill, says she was on-call almost every hour of every day she worked for Gaga.  This included being Gaga's "personal alarm clock", fetching tampons, changing DVD's, and doing whatever the eccentric pop star asked for.  Gaga's main legal defense is that Ms. O'Neill never worked over 8 hours in a day or 40 hours in a week if you just add up her tasks individually.

Ms. O'Neill though, claims she was always required to be available and never paid for working over 8 hours in a day.  Ms. O'Neill only received her $75,000 a year salary.

During Gaga's deposition she made the following interesting statements:

"Jennifer is a fucking hood rat who is suing me for money that she didn't earn. She thinks she's just like the queen of the universe. And, you know what, she didn't want to be a slave to one, because in my work and what I do, I'm the queen of the universe every day."

She knew there was no overtime, and I never paid her overtime the first time I hired her, so why would she be paid overtime the second time? This whole case is bullsh*t and you know it.

I'm quite wonderful to everybody that works for me, and I am completely aghast to what a disgusting human being that you have become to sue me like this. Because she slept in Egyptian cotton sheets every night, in five-star hotels, on private planes, eating caviar, partying with [photographer] Terry Richardson all night, wearing my clothes, asking [Yves Saint Laurent] to send her free shoes without my permission, using my YSL discount without my permission.

Unfortunately for Lady Gaga, bad performance or misconduct by an employee is not a defense to non-payment of overtime.  Neither is treating your employee to the benefits of a lavish lifestyle.  Overtime must be paid to all non-exempt employees who work over 8 hours in a day and/or 40 hours in a week (depending on your state).  An agreement to be a salaried employee does not override this rule.

What do you think of Gaga's assistant's lawsuit?  Should employees have to be paid for every hour they are available to their employer, even if they only work a small portion of that time?

Comment at:   http://www.shirazilawfirm.com/lady-gaga-sued-by-personal-assistant-for-unpaid-overtime/

 

Price is Right Model Gets $8.5 Million Award for Pregnancy Discrimination

"The Price is Right" has been hit with an $8.5 million jury verdict for pregnancy discrimination against former "Barker Beauty" model Brandi Cochran.  The 41 year old former Price is Right model says that she was not allowed to return to work after her maternity leave in violation of California law.

The Los Angeles jury determined the former model's pregnancy was the reason she wasn't rehired and awarded Cochran $776,944 in regular damages and $7.7 million in punitive damages.  In their defense, producers FremantleMedia North America and The Price is Right Productions said they were satisfied with the five models working on the show at the time Cochran sought to return.

"I'm humbled. I'm shocked," Cochran said after the jury announced its verdict. "I'm happy that justice was served today not only for women in the entertainment industry, but women in the workplace."

The producers will appeal the verdict stating: "We believe the verdict in this case was the result of a flawed process in which the court, among other things, refused to allow the jury to hear and consider that 40 percent of our models have been pregnant," and further "important" evidence.
This was not the first employment lawsuit by a "Barker Beauty" against the show's producers.
What do you think of this huge verdict for failing to bring back an employee who went on pregnancy leave?
Please post your thoughts on ShiraziLawFirm.com/blog

 

Jury Holds Los Angeles Hotel Owner Responsible for Discriminating Against Jews

   

A jury has held that the Pakistani/Muslim owner of the Hotel Shangri-La in Santa Monica, CA discriminated against Jews holding an event at her hotel.  The jury found that a group of 18 young Jewish professionals were kicked out of the pool area at the owner's direction because of their religion--in violation of the UNRUH Civil Rights Act.  Although not an employment law, the UNRUH Act outlaws discrimination by businesses on the basis of “sex, race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, disability, medical condition, marital status, or sexual orientation.”

According to multiple news sources, witnesses stated that the owner reportedly stated:

- "Get the [expletive] Jews out of my pool!"

- “If my [family finds] out there’s a Jewish event here, they’re going to pull money from me immediately,”

Shangri-La owner, Tehmina Adaya, denied the charges.  The jury awarded $1.2 million in damages to the group, plus another $440,000 in punitive damages, and awarded the Plaintiffs' their attorney's fees.

What do you think of this?

Reply below or at www.ShiraziLawFirm.com/blog