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NFL team faces discrimination suit from ex-cheerleader

Some Texas football fans might be aware that in the past few years, several NFL teams have been sued by cheerleaders. In 2013, the Oakland Raiderettes sued for overtime pay and the case ended in a $1.25 million settlement. The Buffalo Bills and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have also been sued for violating wage laws. A former cheerleader for the New Orleans Saints has alleged in a complaint filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission that the team discriminates against its cheerleaders by requiring them to follow rules that the players are not also required to follow.

The New York Times did an investigation into the case and found that the Saints have several rules for their cheerleaders that do not apply to players. They including keeping private social media accounts and blocking NFL players, leaving any unapproved events that an NFL player attends and significantly limiting conversations with players. They were also not permitted to post photos of themselves in Saints gear.

The woman was fired because of a photo of herself she posted in Instagram and because of an accusation that she attended the same party as a player. The organization has a policy prohibiting discrimination based on a number of factors including sex.

People who believe they have faced discrimination in the workplace because of factors such as race, religion or sex may want to consult an attorney. Discrimination could include workplace retaliation for reporting harassment and other actions. The victims might need to document the discrimination and report it through workplace channels. The EEOC has certain procedures and timelines that must be followed in pursuing a discrimination suit. An employer may also decide to settle out of court.

Source: SB Nation, "Discrimination complaint, investigation reveal how much Saints try to control cheerleaders' personal lives", Christian D'Andrea, March 26, 2018

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