By Mina Kim and Adam Grossberg
Facing a lawsuit from some of its cheerleading Raiderettes, the Oakland Raiders have agreed to a pay raise and improved conditions for the squad. Attorneys representing Oakland Raiders cheerleaders say the team has voluntarily decided to pay the cheerleaders the state’s minimum wage, $9 an hour.
According to NBC Bay Area, the raise “translates to about $3,000 a season,” when factoring in all practice time, games and community events the Raiderettes attend.
In January, a suit was filed, prompted by Lacy T., a former Oakland Raiderette, alleging that cheerleaders were paid less than $5 an hour and expected to practice several times a week and appear at events for free.
Wednesday, Lacy T. said she felt like the legal action got the team to move. “I definitely feel like I twisted their arm into following the law,” she said. “They had no intention of doing so, and I’m sure they had no idea they were ever going to be sued.”
Two other Raiderettes are suing the team and the NFL on similar allegations in a separate lawsuit.
Attorney Darci Burrell, a law partner with Levy Vinick Burrell Hyams, the law firm representing Lacy T. (and also co-counsel on a similar case against the New York Jets), said the Raiders should be doing more.
“I would be happier if they were being paid more money,” Burrell said. “I think their value to the team is more than minimum wage. I think the Raiders probably make more money off of them than what is represented by minimum wage.”
Burrell says her client will enter mediation with the team later this month. If the two sides can’t come to an agreement, both sides have agreed to submit the suit’s claims to arbitration.
The Raiders organization did not return calls for comment.