Five former Buffalo Bills cheerleaders are suing the NFL team in New York Supreme Court for unspecified damages, claiming they weren't paid for their time at games or mandatory public appearances that left them open to groping and sexual comments.
Two members of the Buffalo Jills squad held a news conference Tuesday with their attorney, Frank Dolce, explaining how they were each exploited out of "840 hours of work" and subjected to harassment, such as being told to sit of men's laps and being subjected to a "jiggle test," reported WIVB.
The women say they were wrongly classified as independent contractors by Stejon Productions, which manages the Jills and failed to pay them for hundreds of hours of work during 2012 and 2013 season.
"We had always dreamed since we were little girls of becoming Buffalo Jills cheerleaders and unfortunately it was anything but a good experience," said former Jills cheerleader Alyssa U.
"[They made us do] everything from standing in front of us with a clipboard and having us do a jiggle test to see what parts of our body were jiggling and if that was something she saw, then you weren’t performing at all."
The five women claim other degrading behavior included being forced to wear a bikini and then go into a dunk tank, being auctioned off like prizes, and "the Jills were forced to sit on participants" laps because there was not enough seats in the golf carts.
The lawsuit is the third filed this year against a National Football League team by its cheerleaders.
The Oakland Raiders and Cincinnati Bengals also have pending wage battles.
The Buffalo plaintiffs claim that they did not receive compensation for working at Bills games. Instead, they received a $90 game ticket and a parking pass.
They also claim that no compensation was paid for practice time.
"We were the laughing stock of NFL cheerleaders," Alyssa U said.
The Bills said they were aware of the lawsuit and would not comment on "pending litigation."