A former Dallas Cowboys cheerleader is suing the team saying that she earned only a fraction of what the male mascot made, according to a lawsuit filed in federal court on Tuesday.
Erica Wilkins, who was a Cowboys cheerleader from May 2014 through August 2017, filed the suit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas. Wilkins is alleging that the team violated The Equal Pay Act and Fair Labor Standards Act and seeks "other available damages."
She claims in the suit that she and other cheerleaders were paid at a rate less than the team's male mascot, Rowdy.
Wilkins' earnings in 2014 were 5,817.99; in 2015 she earned 12,381.09; in 2016 she earned $16,516.01 and in 2017 she earned $8,424.66. During the same period, Rowdy earned about $65,000 a year, the lawsuit alleges.
Under FLSA rules, Wilkins stated, she was paid on an hourly basis, but for fewer hours than she actually worked, including not being paid time-and-a-half her regular rate of pay, according to the 23-page lawsuit.
Wilkins alleged that she was paid less than $7.25 an hour during a regular seven-day work week. When she made the team, the general hourly pay rate was set at $8 an hour, according to the lawsuit.