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Cheerleader claims New York Jets pay less-than minimum wage

Even though the New York Jets are located right across the river in New Jersey, there are a number of New York fans of the football team. The Jets have been in the news recently because the franchise is accused of paying its cheerleaders far below the minimum wage. As in New York, every New Jersey employer must pay its staff the minimum wage. Even for positions at minimum wage, the pay rate is so low that without further income an employee would be below the poverty line, so it is understanding that employees who aren't even paid minimum wage may be interested in filing wage and hour lawsuits against their employers.

That is what one cheerleader did after she claimed the Jets were only paying her $3.77 an hour. That rate, despite being below minimum wage, is still generous, as her actual wage was approximately $1.50 after she had covered her personal expenses.

The woman is seeking to start a class-action lawsuit with other cheerleaders, which means that her wages were not unique.

Apparently the women were only paid $150 per game and $100 for each outside event. While it is true that this would be above the state's minimum wage, the women were also required to attend rehearsals, practices and camps, all without pay. The sheer number of hours spent doing unpaid work is what drives down the per hour wage.

The cheerleader also says that they were expected to take on a number of personal expenses, as well. For example, they had to pay for their hair and makeup to be done.

Source: Courthouse News Service, “NY Jets Cheerleader Files Wage Class Action,” Chris Fry, May 12, 2014

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