Ex-Tampa Bay Buccaneers Cheerleader Sues Team for Paying Her Less Than $2 Per Hour (Video)
Manouchcar Pierre-Val, an ex-cheerleader for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, has sued the NFL team for allegedly violating the Fair Labor Standards Act, which includes minimum wage and overtime pay.
In her lawsuit that was filed on Monday, Pierre-Val claims that she is owed at least minimum wage for more than 500 hours that she put in as a cheerleader.
"These women were required to attend multiple practices per week, be at the stadium all day on game days, and attend at least 40 hours of events for nonprofits throughout the season," said Pierre-Val's lawyer Kimberly Woods, noted the Tampa Bay Times.
Pierre-Val, who works as a registered nurse, was also employed by the Buccaneers during the 2012-2013 seasons.
According to The Huffington Post, Pierre-Val claims that she was paid $100 per game, but wasn't paid for hours of work that included cheerleading clinics, charity events, team swimsuit calendars and 15 hours of cheerleading practice each week.
"If you do the math, you see she earned less than $2 per hour, while the minimum wage in Florida was $7.67," claimed Woods.
"You have a huge empire like that, and you can't pay 34 women minimum wage?" added Woods. "You can't waive your rights under the Fair Labor Standards Act. Even if someone says they'll work for free, the law is still the law. You've got to pay employees at least minimum wage."
The Buccaneers refused to comment, but their website reportedly states: "As a Tampa Bay Buccaneers Cheerleader, the ladies are consistently busy rehearsing, performing and volunteering for community events and appearances. The squad makes approximately 300 community appearances every year for both non-profit organizations and corporate events."
Pierre-Val appeared in a video (below) by the Tampa Bay Times in which she said that became a cheerleader "because it allows me to be able to give back. Since my job is so stressful, this is a place I can let go and have a great time, just not be so serious all the time."