Target: New York Governor Andrew Cuomo
Goal: Ensure that cheerleaders are provided workplace protections and minimum wage.
Cheerleaders in New York could finally be paid minimum wage and no longer be exploited for their labor and bodies, if a proposal being considered in the state’s capitol makes it into law. Too often these women are coerced into performing without pay and without security. Demand that this proposal become law so that these injustices can end.
The status of cheerleaders in today’s national sports culture has come under increasing scrutiny in recent years. Among the issues being brought up are the realities of their day-to-day work environments, which are reported to include hundreds of hours of unpaid labor, exploitation, and forced one-on-one time with event attendees.
In New York specifically, a recent suit leveled against the NFL’s Buffalo Bills and its cheerleader management team by a group of former cheerleaders accuses the team of regularly ignoring minimum wage laws, amounting to 840 hours of unpaid work for each woman every single year. It also accuses the cheerleader management of forcing the women to wear bikinis and be auctioned off to people at charity events, who they then had to spend the day with.
They contend that no security was provided to prevent groping on the part of the event attendees. To refuse this would have been to reportedly risk being fired from their on-the-field cheer jobs during football games.
The bill being discussed in New York would put an end to this disgusting exploitation by requiring that cheerleaders in the state be paid at least minimum wage for total hours worked and that they be given basic workplace protections. Such guarantees are long past due. Sign the petition below to demand that the Governor of New York ensure that this bill be made law and these protections put in place.
Dear Governor Cuomo,
I am writing you today regarding the Cheerleaders’ Fair Pay Act, a piece of legislation working its way through your legislature that will hopefully end up on your desk in the very near future. This act is long overdue and should be signed into law at once.
Cheerleaders are being exploited in your state and around the country. Sports teams and their management affiliates promise fame and stardom to up-and-coming cheerleaders, and take advantage of that promise to exploit hundreds of hours of unpaid work out of them and force them into situations outside their job descriptions where they can be groped and fondled without consequence. Any woman who refused to comply with these deplorable conditions would be at risk of being fired in retaliation.
These injustices have gone on too long and must be put to an end. The Cheerleaders’ Fair Pay Act would do just that by ensuring that they are paid at least minimum wage for the hours they work and that they are provided basic workplace protections to prevent abuse. I demand that you sign this very necessary act into law.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: United States Navy