Cheerleader made $3-$5 per hour, paid for nails and tans, lawyers say

This image was removed due to legal reasons.

This past Sunday's New York Times provided a detailed look at a lawsuit filed by former Milwaukee Bucks cheerleader against the basketball team.


The lawsuit accuses the Bucks of paying Lauren Herington below minimum wage, according to the Times, and the dollar figures cited by her lawyers are pretty shocking. From the Times:

The flat fees she received — $65 for games, $30 for practices and $50 for special appearances — translated to an average hourly wage of $5, according to her lawyers. On busier weeks, hourly earnings fell as low as $3, the lawyers said, less than half the $7.25 minimum required by both Wisconsin and federal law.


The Bucks also required her to pay for things like cleaning her uniform, tanning and getting her hair, nails and eyelashes done regularly, according to the complaint cited by the Times.

A Bucks spokesman told the newspaper the lawsuit had "inaccurate information that creates a false picture of how we operate" and that the team pays its workers fairly.

Herington's lawsuit is not the first time a cheerleader has sued a sports team over wages. But it's notable because it's the first one the NBA is facing, and it has the potential to become a class action as other cheerleaders have joined or are considering joining Herington's claim, according to the Times.

The NBA told the Times it works with its teams to ensure they comply with all applicable wage and employment laws.


I oversee Fusion's money section and have spent most of my time as a journalist writing about banks and finance. I live in Brooklyn with my partner Geoffrey & our two dogs, Captain & Tallulah. Favs: leopard print, Diet Coke, gummy candy, Ireland.

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