LOS ANGELES (CN) – The Lingerie League misclassifies its football players as independent contractors to avoid paying them wages and overtime, a former player claims in a class action.
Melissa Margulies sued Legends Football League, Lingerie Football League and the league’s founder and chairman Mitchell Mortaza on Friday in Superior Court.
Margulies claim some players in the 10-team league went through complete seasons without being paid a dime.
Originating as a halftime show at the Superbowl, Legends Football also operates leagues in Australia and Canada.
Until last year, players wore modified bras, panties, and garters. But Mortaza has since adopted the Legends Football League brand and replaced lingerie with performance wear and protective shoulder pads.
According to Margulies, the league requires players to sign on as independent contractors, but the contract requires players to sign over their publicity and promotional rights, and attend all practices and promotional events. And if players do not show up at practices, games or events they may be fired.
“The designation of the football players as independent contractors was and is clearly improper because the players lack the requisite control and discretion over their job responsibilities and duties to deserve treatment as independent contractors,” the complaint states.
Margulies, who played in the league for three years until August 2013, says players are not paid minimum wage. She says wages are tied to ticket sales and team performance.
“However, there were entire seasons where plaintiff and members of the plaintiff class received no income despite playing in the football league,” the 20-page complaint states.
Alleging violations of labor laws, Margulies seeks general and compensatory damages, restitution, waiting time penalties, interest and costs.
She is represented by Michael Morrison with Alexander Krakow + Glick of Santa Monica.
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