Earlier this year, the Buffalo Jills and a couple of other cheerleading squads had filed lawsuits against their accompanying NFL Football teams for violations which included wage violations that claimed they were unpaid the minimum hourly wage for hours worked.
The Buffalo Bills and the NFL made statements that they were not commenting on the situation when it first broke. Since then, the NFL is still quite but the Buffalo Bills have released a statement.
“Buffalo Bills fans have long appreciated the Buffalo Jills cheerleaders as a part of the game day entertainment,” the team said. “Additionally, our organization recognizes the significant contribution that members of the Buffalo Jills have played in supporting many charitable organizations in our community. As part of running a professional football team, the Bills organization retains a number of third-party vendors to provide ancillary services on game days. These services include, among others, parking services, concessionaire services and cheerleading services. For decades the Buffalo Jills trademark has been licensed to independent third parties who have assumed the responsibility for the selection, management, training, scheduling and compensation of the cheerleaders. We are aware of public statements and allegations that have surfaced since the start of the recent litigation which attempt to give the impression that our organization employs cheerleaders. Such statements are inaccurate and misleading. Today we responded to these allegations as part of the legal process and remain confident in our position in this matter.”
This statement basically says that the Cheerleaders are a trademark of the Bills and they are managed out to 3rd party services to make the game game better for the fans. The 3rd party that takes the licensing of the Jills trademark is responsible for the managing of the group and assumes responsibility for them.
So the question is will the judge and jury see it the same way? Even though the Jills are a licensed trademark of the Bills and are managed by a third party, are the Bills still responsible to oversee the treatment of them to ensure that they are handled properly or is it the managing groups responsibility to make sure everything is on the up and up?
As of now the Jills are still in the suspension stage of their operations that they instilled on themselves and the Bills organization. Is this a direct result of the managing group realizing that there is a problem?