Former Cowboys cheerleader sues team, claims male mascot 'Rowdy' was paid more than twice as much

A former Dallas Cowboys cheerleader filed a lawsuit against the team on Tuesday, alleging that she wasn’t paid money she was owed and that she unfairly made significantly less than the team’s male mascot, Rowdy, the Dallas Morning News reported.

Erica Wilkins, who was a cheerleader for the Cowboys from May 2014 to August 2017, was paid just more than $5,800 when she joined the team and just more than $16,500 in her final year with the team. In comparison, the Cowboys paid Rowdy about $25 an hour, or $65,000 a year, according to the report.

Wilkins said her pay was inconstant. Sometimes she was paid on an hourly basis, but alleges that she was paid for fewer hours than she actually worked. Other times she said she was paid a flat rate instead, and claimed she wasn’t paid time-and-a-half when working overtime — which the lawsuit alleges she “routinely” did in excess.

The evolution of NFL cheerleader uniforms
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The evolution of NFL cheerleader uniforms

She also claimed that they were instructed to post on social media frequently to “benefit the Cowboys financially,” though was not paid for the time spent on social media accounts.

The lawsuit was filed under the Fair Labor Standards Act. The Cowboys did not respond to the Dallas Morning News for comment on Tuesday.

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