Buffalo Bills Cheerleaders Sue Over Pay, Mistreatment in Public

Image: Buffalo Bills Cheerleaders Sue Over Pay, Mistreatment in Public

Wednesday, 23 Apr 2014 07:08 AM

By Clyde Hughes

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Five members of the Buffalo Bills cheerleading squad, known as the Jills, have filed a lawsuit against the NFL team and their managers in New York Supreme Court, claiming they aren't paid for hours worked and they are subject to mistreatment at public events.

The lawsuit names the Bills, Stejon Productions Corp., the current managers of the cheer squad; and Citadel Communications Co., the Jills’ former manager, according to the Buffalo News.

The suit charges that the Bills failed to fully pay them for the hours put into their jobs and highlighted specific moments where the cheerleaders were mistreated at community events, the newspaper reported. One example the document gave was at the cheerleader's yearly golf tournament, where some Jills were forced to wear bikinis in a dunk tank and that they were dunked by tournament participants.

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"I've been a Bills fans my entire life," said Maria P., who was only identified by her last name initial in the lawsuit. "To be able to cheer them on in front of 80,000 fans was a dream of mine since I was a child. That dream was taken advantage of by the Bills."

Maria P. said she left the squad at the end of the 2012-13 because of the pay issue and poor treatment. Another cheerleader, Alyssa U., described her time as a Jill as "anything but a good experience," reported WIVB-TV.

She joined Maria P. and their attorney Frank Dolce in an interview Tuesday to explain the suit.

"(A manager 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," Alyssa told WIVB-TV. "We were the laughing stock of NFL cheerleaders. We deserve to be compensated just like everyone else."

Jaclyn S., Melissa M. and Gina B. were also named plaintiffs in the suit.

Stejon president Stephanie Mateczun declined to comment to The Associated Press about the suit while Bills spokesman Scott Berchtold told the AP that the team does not discuss pending litigation.

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