Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders paid less than mascot, suit alleges

Cheerleader claims pay less than $8 per hour

A former Dallas Cowboys cheerleader is suing her ex-employer, alleging that she was paid less than the team's male mascot.

Erica Wilkins, who worked for the NFL team from 2014 to 2017, claims she wasn't paid for all her work with the Cowboys, according to The Associated Press.

Citing the Fair Labor Standards Act and the Equal Pay Act, Wilkins is seeking "unpaid overtime wages, minimum wages, and all other damages," according to court documents filed Tuesday.

In the filing, Wilkins says that her pay rate was supposed to be $8 per hour, but that when her pay was divided by the number of hours she actually worked it fell short of the $7.25 federal and Texas minimum wage.



Her work for the team included not only appearing at Cowboys games, but also spending time at practices, rehearsals, filming a CMT reality series about the cheerleading squad, and making social media posts related to her job, according to the suit.

The team's mascot, Rowdy, made about $25 an hour, or $65,000 per year, the suit says. Wilkins says she was paid $5,817.99 her first year with the team and $16,516.01 in 2016.

Wilkins isn't the first cheerleader to file suit against an NFL team. Earlier this month, five former Houston Texans cheerleaders sued the team, alleging it failed to pay minimum wage and overtime and subjected them to a hostile working environment.

Suits have also been filed by cheerleaders for the Cincinnati Bengals, Buffalo Bills, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Washington Redskins and New York Jets in recent years, with the Oakland Raiders paying $1.25 million in 2014 to settle a class-action lawsuit.

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