Former Cowboys cheerleader sues team
A cheerleader who previous swung her pom-poms for the Dallas Cowboys is suing the team in federal court. Erica Wilkins, a cheerleader for the team from 2014 to 2017, alleges that the cheerleaders are underpaid, earning less than the team’s mascot, Rowdy. The suit seeks "unpaid overtime wages, minimum wages, and all other available damages" in accordance with the Fair Labor Standards Act.
According to Wilkins, she was contracted at $8 an hour. However, she alleges that she was often underpaid and was unfairly paid, given Rowdy’s $25-per-hour paycheck. She has also hinted at gender-bias since Rowdy is played by a male employee.
The lawsuit follows on the heels of a suit entered by five cheerleaders against the Houston Texans at the beginning of this month. In that suit, the cheerleaders have accused the team of paying below minimum wage, failing to pay overtime and subjecting the cheerleaders to unsafe working conditions that also included sexual harassment. That suit is seeking unspecified damages.
Last month, the Texans faced another lawsuit by three other cheerleaders. That suit also accused the team of failing to pay adequate wages, as well as "body-shaming."
In March of this year, Bailey Davis, previously a cheerleader with the New Orleans Saints, filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission against the team, as well as the NFL. Davis, along with former cheerleader Kristan Ware, proposed the suit be settled in exchange for a meeting with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. That proposal was never accepted.