Bucks prepared to fight federal lawsuit in court

NBA team says dancer was paid fairly

Last updated on July 2nd, 2019 at 09:32 am

Bucks LogoThe Milwaukee Bucks is prepared to fight allegations from a former dancer who filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of about 40 fellow dancers and cheerleaders claiming wage abuse.

“The lawsuit presents inaccurate information that creates a false picture of how we operate,” said Bucks spokesman Jake Suski. “The Bucks value the contributions our dancers make to the team. We treat all of our employees fairly, including our Bucks dancers, and pay them fairly and in compliance with federal and state law.”

Lauren Herington filed the lawsuit in Milwaukee federal court Sept. 24, alleging she has been paid extremely low, sub-minimum wages by the Bucks and far less than federal and Wisconsin minimum wage requirements.

 

Bucks dancers perform at home games, make appearances at corporate functions, charity events and community events and appear in an annual swimsuit calendar.

 

They are required to arrive 2.5 hours before home games, practice five to 10 hours per week and work out 15 to 20 hours a week, according to the lawsuit.  In a non-playoff year, Bucks have 41 home games.
They are also required to pay for routine salon visits, tanning sessions and uniform maintenance. For their work, dancers are paid a flat rate of $65 per home game, $30 for practices and $50 for special appearances.

 

The lawsuit is the first of its kind filed against the National Basketball Association. There will likely be more suits filed against NBA teams as cheerleaders and dancers across the country have begun raising the issue of fair pay, said Ryan Stephan, one of Herington’s attorneys with Stephan Zouras law firm in Chicago.

Five National Football League teams – the Buffalo Bills, Oakland Raiders, New York Jets, Cincinnati Bengals and Tampa Bay Buccaneers – have been sued over underpayment of cheerleaders. The Buccaneers paid $825,000 to settle its lawsuit in March with 94 cheerleaders.

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