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Lawmakers stand up for cheerleaders

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Give me an M-I-N-I-M-U-M-W-A-G-E.

That is the cry from 19 lawmakers on behalf of cheerleaders for NFL teams. The cheerleaders are currently considered independent contractors, which exempts them from minimum-wage laws.

The story was first reported Wednesday by Buzzfeed.

The lawmakers sent a letter to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, laying out “abuses” against cheerleaders including failure to receive pay in a timely manner, unreimbursed expenses and illegal deductions from earnings for minor infractions.

“It is outrageous the conditions that these young women are being forced to work in,” New York state Sen. Diane Savino (D-Staten Island) told the New York Daily News.

Queens (N.Y.) Assemblywoman Nily Rozic told the Daily News, “It shouldn’t take lawsuits and legislation to get the NFL to do the right thing.”

According to SI.com, cheerleaders for the Oakland Raiders, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, New York Jets, Buffalo Bills and Cincinnati Bengals filed wage lawsuits in the past year. A California law passed this summer designates professional sports team cheerleaders as employees.


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