RELEASED: Feb. 24, 2014
Minnillo & Jenkins, CO. LPA filed a federal minimum wage class action lawsuit in the Southern District of Ohio on behalf of former Bengals Cheerleader Alexa Brenneman. The lawsuit alleges that Ms. Brenneman and the other Ben-Gal Cheerleaders receive an effective wage of approximately $2.85 per hour – far less than the legally mandated minimum wage – when all of their duties are taken into consideration. The result of this pending high-profile case may have lasting ramifications for cheerleaders employed by professional sports teams.
According to the lawsuit, Ms. Brenneman was a member of the Ben-Gals employed by the Cincinnati Bengals for less than two years. During this period, she alleges that she was compensated at a maximum rate of $90 for each home game at which she was selected to appear on field. However, according to the lawsuit, between public appearances, practices, pregame time at the stadium, calendar posing, and promotions, she averaged more than 300 hours a year for the organization, resulting in an affective hourly rate of approximately $2.85 per hour of work. Ohio’s minimum wage for 2013 was $7.85 per hour, meaning that, according to the lawsuit, the Cincinnati Bengals underpaid Ms. Brenneman and the other Ben Gals by about $5.00 per hour for every hour worked.
The suit alleges that the Cincinnati Bengals are in violation of federal wage laws and the Ohio Minimum Fair Wage Standards Act. The proposed class action seeks to recover for cheerleaders employed by the team at any time from February 10, 2011, to the present. Members of the class action lawsuit hope to recover back pay plus liquidated damages, injunctive relief requiring the Bengals to properly compensate cheerleaders in the future and attorney fees.
About Minnillo & Jenkins, CO. LPA
The law firm of Minnillo & Jenkins, CO. LPA is a full service law firm for individuals and small business based in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Cincinnati, Ohio , Fairfield and Eastgate. The firm’s attorneys handle a wide variety of matters including labor and employment, bankruptcy and debt relief, DUI & criminal defense, domestic relations & family law, consumer law, and class actions.