Jets Cheerleaders Score $325K Settlement

Their hourly wage was about $3.77
By Luke Roney,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 28, 2016 7:15 AM CST
The New York Jets cheerleaders perform ... for less than $4 an hour.   (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)

(Newser) – A New Jersey court on Wednesday gave the Flight Crew—aka the New York Jets cheerleaders—something to cheer about: a $325,000 settlement of the class-action lawsuit filed in 2014 by a cheerleader identified as Krystal C., CNNMoney reports. That amounts to each of the 52 cheerleaders getting $2,500 per season worked and $400 per photo shoot. The settlement covers the 2012-13 and 2013-14 seasons. New York State Sen. Diane Savino, per the New York Post, cheered the settlement, calling on the NFL to "develop uniform rules … to ensure that all cheerleaders in every state received the employee pay and protections they deserve."

NFL teams have sought to justify low pay for cheerleaders by saying they're independent contractors, CNN notes. In the case of the Flight Crew, Krystal C.'s suit claimed that cheerleaders were compensated $150 per game and $100 for special appearances. But, when you factor in practices and rehearsals, that pans out to $3.77 per hour. Throw in hair, makeup, and transportation expenses and "the hourly rate goes below $1.50 an hour," says the cheerleaders' attorney. The Flight Crew isn't alone: Cheerleaders have taken to the courts to seek higher pay from the Cincinnati Bengals (tentative agreement reached), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (settled for $825,000), Oakland Raiders (settled for $1.25 million), and the Buffalo Bills (class-action suit on the horizon).

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