VENTURA, Calif. (CN) – Three members of the Los Angeles Temptation have sued the Lingerie Football League over payment after they won the 2010 Lingerie Bowl. The players claim the league paid less than California’s $8 an hour minimum wage, stiffed them for overtime, and didn’t itemize deductions on their paychecks — claims that are sharply rejected by the league’s president who calls them “absolutely ridiculous.”
Jennifer Delarosa, Coryn Salazar and Nicolle Bate sued the Lingerie Football League in Ventura County Court.
Bate and Delarosa say they weren’t paid their share of a $100,000 bonus for winning the Lingerie Bowl Championship Game in Florida and were never reimbursed for their airfare.
The players demand more than $38,000 for unpaid wages, airfare and bonuses, plus penalties and interest. They are represented by Michael Strauss.
Defending his organization, league president Mitchell Mortaza said the league has satisfied its obligations to the players and called the demands for overtime “absolutely ridiculous.” Mortaza added, “Our players are independent contractors and are not eligible for wages or overtime pay.”
He said the only reason Delarosa and Bate were not paid their share of the bonus is “because they chose the route of litigation.”
Mortaza said in an email that he would engage in some litigation of his own. “We plan on filing a counter-suit for defamation,” he said.
Lingerie Football began in 2004 as a pay-per-view event broadcast during halftime of the Super Bowl. It features women playing full contact football in uniforms of “matching lace-trimmed bras, panties and garters, with the players’ numbers sewn over the left bra cups,” according to ESPN.
The League held its inaugural season in 2009, with 10 teams competing in a 20-week season.