Five former Buffalo Bills cheerleaders are suing the NFL club, claiming they were severely underpaid while working for the team.
Stejon Productions Corporation, current manager of the cheer squad, known as the Jills, and Citadel Communications Company are also named in the suit.
The complaint alleges the Jills were paid well below minimum wage and endured degrading treatment by the team and during public appearances.
The former Jills — they worked as team cheerleaders between 2010 and 2013 for varying amounts of time — claim they earned between $105 and $1,800 for hundreds of hours of work over a season.
The suit also claims cheerleaders had to adhere to strict rules regarding appearance and etiquette, including how to wash “intimate areas.” Their appearance was also allegedly evaluated using a “jiggle test.”
It is also alleged that select Jills who worked during the squad’s annual golf tournament were reqired to wear bikinis and go into a dunk tank where they would be dunked in water by tournament participants. They were also “auctioned off” and had to ride around in golf carts with winning bidders – sometimes sitting on their laps due to lack of seats – for the duration of the tournament. There was also a “Flip for Tips” promotion, where cheerleaders would do acrobatics for gratuities but weren’t allowed to keep the money.
Buffalo released a statement saying they are aware of the lawsuit but will not comment on pending litigation.
The Bills are the third NFL team this year to face a lawsuit by former cheerleaders. The Cincinnati Bengals and Oakland Raiders are also fighting legal battles over wages.