NFL Cheerleaders and Cab Drivers–Connected?

It is a headline grabbing article.

NFL cheerleaders file a class action suit against their teams for wage loss.

The cheerleaders are claiming they were not paid what was owed to them by NFL teams.

Who knows where this is going to end up.

What’s interesting about this case is that it will be decided on a narrow legal issue.

The legal issue is whether or not the cheerleaders are employees of the team.

At first glance that appears to be a no-brainer.

Of course they are employees of the team.

I mean the team pays them their salary don’t they?

But it’s more complicated than that.

Check out this part of the digital news article talking about this case:

“At the core of the case — and similar ones by cheerleaders for other NFL teams — is how they are categorized by the teams. The NFL teams have considered them independent contractors and not employees. As a result, they weren’t entitled to certain wage and workplace rights.

The suit claims that the Jills cheerleaders were paid below minimum wage and were required to attend unpaid events. The cheerleaders claim that at some of these sponsored events they were made to feel uncomfortable by male attendees.

They also say they were forced to adhere to strict dress codes and behavioral guidelines set by the team. The Bills controlled everything from their physical appearance to music selection.

In a statement, the Bills said they intend to appeal the ruling and continue to fight the allegations.

“It remains our position that this case is being prosecuted by a very small number of former cheerleaders whose allegations do not accurately reflect the sentiment of all cheerleaders,” the team said.

Tuesday’s ruling is the latest development in a push by cheerleaders and their lawyers against NFL teams”.

Pittsburgh wrongful death, medical malpractice, car accident and slip and fall attorney Bernie Tully thinks the case will be decided on whether the cheerleaders are independent contractors or employees on the team.

If employees then the cheerleaders win.

If not the NFL owners win.

I can tell you that often people you just assume are employees are legally classified as independent contractors.

One example where Pittsburgh Wrongful Death,medical malpractice, car accident and slip and fall attorney Bernie Tully has encountered this distinction is in regard to cab drivers.

Believe it or not, there is case law to the effect that a cab driver is not an employee of the cab company. Instead they are their own employers who just happen to work under the name of the Company.

In other words independent contractors.

If the same analysis applies in this case, the cheerleaders are going to lose.

But I don’t think so.

Do you think cheerleaders are employees or independent contractors of the NFL teams?

Thanks for reading.

Bernie the attorney.