U.S. Labor Department Opens Raiderette Wage Theft Investigation
There’s something irresistible about cheerleaders standing up for their rights.
They represent an outdated notion about the decorative function of women in the male combat arena known as professional football. They are supposed to be grateful just for the chance to be exploited.
But they are an integral part of the show. They work hard. They are expected to represent the team’s interest on and off the field. Why should they not receive fair compensation? A typical NFL cheerleader earns less money than anyone else associated with the game, including hot dog vendors and parking lot attendants.
Lacy T., the Raiderette who filed a class-action lawsuit against the Oakland Raiders on Jan. 22 in Alameda County Superior Court, alleging wage theft and a raft of other labor law violations, has done her fellow NFL cheerleaders a favor. Her lawsuit has captured imaginations around the world, and she’s been deluged with requests for interviews.
On Thursday, the Associated Press reported, the U.S. Department of Labor opened an investigation into her claims.
Her attorney, Leslie Levy, confirmed to The Times that she has been notified of the inquiry.
The AP noted that other professional teams have been investigated by the feds as well: “In August, the San Francisco Giants paid $544,000 in back wages to 74 employees after a Labor Department investigation found wage violations over a three-year period. The department has also announced an investigation into the use of unpaid interns by the Giants and a second major league baseball team, the Miami Marlins.”