On Thursday September 24, 2015, former Milwaukee Bucks cheerleading team member Lauren Herington filed a class action against the NBA organization regarding minimum wage violation allegations. Herington represents a class of current and former Bucks cheerleaders/dancers, aptly named, the “Bucks Dancers.”
The lawsuit was brought under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act and pursuant to Wisconsin state wage and hour laws. The action is seeking increased wages and damages, in addition to injunctive relief for attorneys’ fees, unpaid overtime wages, and unpaid minimum wages. The Bucks Dancers allege that they were required to attend 10 hours of practices and 15-20 hours of fitness workouts per week, in addition to having to arrive 2 ½ hours before home games and working during those games. Moreover, Bucks Dancers must attend certain events and model for calendar photo shoots.
The lawsuit was filed following the recent success of similar actions. In August 2015, the Cincinnati Bengals agreed to a $255,000 settlement in an action with former cheerleaders. Earlier in 2015, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers settled a suit with its former cheerleaders, agreeing to a payment of $800,000. In addition, the New York Jets are facing pending litigation by way of its cheerleaders.