Although their squad is known as the Gold Rush, the cheerleaders of the San Francisco 49ers football team are allegedly making just dirt in pay. ABC 7 reports that a lawsuit was filed by a former 49ers cheerleader in San Francisco seeking restitution and institutional changes. The plaintiff, identified only as a Jane Doe, hopes the suit will receive class-action status.
Doe claims that she and her colleagues sometimes received less than $5,000 a year for their work with the team, alleging that NFL teams conspired against cheerleaders to pay them below market value. Cheerleaders receive one flat payment per game, the suit alleges, and aren't paid at all for their rehearsal time or outreach contributions, according to the AP.
The Oakland Raiders cheerleading squad, the Raiderettes, sued their team for unfair employment practices and wage theft in 2014, and eventually received a $1.25 million settlement. "A lot of the stuff that goes on makes us feel like second class citizens and it's time for us to be treated fairly and paid our fair market value," former Raiderette Cailtin Yates told ABC 7. Yates says she was paid $125 per game in a lump sum at the end of the year.