Five former Houston Texan cheerleaders have filed a lawsuit claiming that they suffered in a hostile work environment, and were paid unfair wages.
The filing alleges that the women were subjected to “intense scrutiny, harassment,” as well as assault from fans, and “cyberbullying.” The women also claim sexual discrimination and unfair compensation, The Hill reported.
“While their beauty and cheers provided ample entertainment for fans, the Houston Texans cheerleaders were never treated like the integral part of the team that they are,” the court document says.
Gloria Allred, attorney for the five former cheerleaders, demanded that members of the Texans “stand up for [their] coworkers,” according to the Houston Chronicle.
“Stop penny-pinching. Pay these women what they deserve, and be sure you pay them for every minute they work,” Allred added. “Everyone who supports this team while how these cheerleaders are being treated are complicit … Do not stand silently by while these women who dance and work so hard to build enthusiasm and help you win are paid almost nothing while you earn millions of dollars for your efforts.”
In a statement about the suit, the team said only that they are proud of their cheerleader program, that hundreds of women “enjoy their experience while making a positive impact in the local community,” and that they are always seeking to make the experience better.
Lawsuits by cheerleaders have proliferated in the last decade. In 2014 the Raiders settled such a lawsuit for one million dollars. By 2016 the Jets forked over $324,000 to settle a lawsuit brought by members of their cheer squad. More recently, a group of cheerleaders filed a lawsuit against the Washington Redskins. And the newest lawsuit against the Texans comes only about a month after a Houston Texans cheerleader filed a separate class-action lawsuit against the team alleging unfair compensation.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.