Bills’ motion to dismiss lawsuit from cheerleaders denied

A New York Supreme Court judge made a decision during the week beginning on June 30 in a case involving the Buffalo Bills. The team’s cheerleading squad, the “Buffalo Jills,” is suing the Bills for unfair pay practices. According to the lawsuit, the Jills were not paid for many hours they were required to work and were also subject to fines for uniform violations.

In denying those allegations, the Bills asserted that they were not the cheerleaders’ employer. The lawsuit states that the Bills sold the Jills management rights to a fast-food-chain in Buffalo in 1986 and were only involved with the cheerleaders to the extent necessary to maintain the integrity of the team’s brand.

Since 1986, various managers have controlled the Jills according to the team. In a statement released after the judge’s decision, the Buffalo Bills said that they have contracted with other parties to hire, train, manage and pay the cheerleaders for many years. However, the judge denied the Bills’ motion to dismiss, stating that there was adequate evidence to support the Jills’ contention that they were, indeed, employees of the team.

The Jills allege that they were paid unfairly given the hours that they worked before and during the season. Additionally, the suit alleges that they were not paid for several appearances and that they were required to sign contracts classifying them as independent contractors. Their lawsuit claims that that arrangement was illegal under the state’s labor laws. Also, the Jills claim that both the Bills and two affiliated management groups took gratuities paid to them.

Individuals who believe they have not been compensated adequately for the hours they have worked might consider filing suit against their employers. Through this process, they may be able to win compensation for that time, as well as other illegal employment activities to which they might have been subjected.

Source: Business Insider, “NFL Cheerleaders Got An Early Advantage In Their Lawsuit Against The Buffalo Bills “, Allan Smith, July 08, 2014

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