On the surface, becoming an NFL cheerleader and being able to soak in and be a part of the atmosphere of each Sunday seems like a dream job to some. But we are now discovering that the price these women have to pay to wave their pom-poms is a very restrictive, intrusive, outdated and controlling one.
Former New Orleans Saints cheerleader Bailey Davis has filed a complaint with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission after being fired from the team, according to a report from the New York Times.
The basis of Davis complaint is that while employed as NFL personnel, she was forced to follow rules that applied only to women. Saints players had no onus to follow strict fraternization rules with the teams dancers.
Davis was fired by the Saints after she was accused, without proof, of being at the same party as one of the teams active players and then posted a picture of herself in what the Times describes as a one-piece outfit to a private Instagram account.
Ex-cheerleader Bailey Davis is suing the New Orleans Saints for discrimination after she says she was fired for posting an Instagram photo in a one-piece swimsuit that the team said was too revealing, violating the team’s strict code of conduct: https://t.co/X7poqcCRvp
Her case hinges on a key part of the leagues personal conduct policy, which applies to all employees. It prohibits any forms of unlawful discrimination in employment based on an individuals … race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, or sexual orientation, regardless of whether it occurs in the workplace or in other NFL-sponsored settings.
If the cheerleaders cant contact the players, then the players shouldnt be able to contact the cheerleaders, Sara Blackwell, Davis lawyer,told the Times. The antiquated stereotype of women needing to hide for their own protection is not permitted in America and certainly not in the workplace.
Davis goal is to expose a double standard between how the women are treated as cheerleaders and how the football players are allowed to behave.
The NYT investigation details how the franchise controls nearly all aspects of its cheerleaders known as the Saintsations public lives, from who they can be seen with in public, to what they can post online and who can view it.
Talking with @RobinMeade about former New Orleans Saints cheerleader Bailey Davis who has brought a gender discrimination suit against the NFL team.
Davis isnt the first cheerleader to file a complaint against an NFL team concerning job discrimination.
In 2013, the Raiderettes filed a lawsuit concerning minimum wage and overtime pay. One year later, the team settled a wage-theft lawsuit with its cheerleaders for $1.25 million.
The Bills and Bucs have also faced legal challenges over alleged violations of minimum wage laws in the past five years, with each case centered around women having their personal lives controlled by a part-time job that pays little more than $10 an hour. Instead of dealing with the lawsuits, the Bills disbanded the squad.
Of course, the Saints denied Davis was discriminated against. This has been an accepted practice since cheerleaders became a huge part of the Sunday show.
The Saints organization strives to treat all employees fairly, including Ms. Davis, Saints lawyer Leslie A. Lanusse, told the Times via email. At the appropriate time and in the appropriate forum, the Saints will defend the organizations policies and workplace rules. For now, it is sufficient to say that Ms. Davis was not subjected to discrimination because of her gender.