Buffalo Bills Cheerleaders Sue Team Over Unfair Pay and Treatment

04.23.14 | FL News Team

 Five former Buffalo Bills cheerleaders on Tuesday sued the team over a pay system they say had them working hundreds of hours for free at games and at mandatory public appearances at which they were subjected to groping and sexual comments.
The state Supreme Court lawsuit is the third filed this year against a National Football League team by cheerleaders. The Oakland Raiders and Cincinnati Bengals also have pending wage battles.
The case against the Bills says its cheerleaders, known as the Buffalo Jills, are wrongly classified as independent contractors and are subjected to policies that violate the state’s $8 per hour minimum wage law and other workplace rules.
The Bills’ cheerleaders aren’t paid for games or practices and have to make 20-35 appearances, most of which are unpaid, at community and charity events each season, the lawsuit said. On top of that, they have to pay $650 for their uniforms and are not reimbursed for travel or other expenses, the cheerleaders said.
The time and expense, as well as rules governing their personal lives, far exceeded what they signed on for, the women said.
The civil action, which seeks unspecified back pay and legal fees, names Stejon Productions Corp., which assumed management of the Jills in 2011, along with former manager Citadel Communications Co. and the Buffalo Bills.
Stejon President Stephanie Mateczun said she could not comment on the claims.
The cheerleaders and their attorney said they hope their legal action leads to policy changes within the Bills’ organization that ensure future cheerleaders are paid and treated better.