Another NFL Cheerleader Suit: Bengals Pay Peanuts

Alexa Brenneman says she made $2.85 per hour during the 2013 season
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 14, 2014 6:45 AM CST
Another NFL Cheerleader Suit: Bengals Pay Peanuts
A Cincinnati Bengals cheerleader cheers during a game between the Cincinnati Bengals and the San Diego Chargers Sunday, Jan. 5, 2014, in Cincinnati.   (AP Photo/David Kohl)

Another cheerleader is suing an NFL franchise for paying her what amounts to peanuts. Alexa Brenneman of the Cincinnati Bengals' Ben-Gals squad says she earned just $2.85 an hour during the 2013 season, her first. Her suit, filed Tuesday, notes that's nowhere close to Ohio's $7.85 minimum wage, the Cincinnati Enquirer reports. It's not the only part of the job that's getting press as a result of the suit, which was filed along with a six-page document titled "Cincinnati Ben-Gals Rules." The document's stipulations are perhaps even worse than what a Baltimore Ravens cheerleader recently revealed. There's only a single legitimate excuse for missing practice—your own wedding. The rules dictate "no slouching breasts" and "no panties ... not even thong panties." "Frosted lipstick" is a no-no, and the Ben-Gals are reminded that "Glamour is a priority!" Women who gain more than three pounds are required to stay after practice and do 30 extra minutes of conditioning; if there's no change after two games, "weight probation" is instituted.

Brenneman says the squad put in more than 300 hours over the course of a season through mandatory practices, charity events, and volunteer work, but were paid just $90 a game during the 10-game season, and less for private appearances in the stadium's suites. If the judge allows the suit—aimed at covering all Ben-Gals since 2011—to move forward, up to 50 Bengals cheerleaders could be eligible for unpaid wages, says one of Brenneman's lawyers. "They do it because they love it," he says. "If they work these hours then they should be compensated." Click to read more NFL cheerleader complaints. (More cheerleaders stories.)

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